Viewpoint Psychotherapy offers mindfulness workshops

Siobhan Nearey, Registered Psychotherapist and OMC-trained mindfulness teacher, has opened her private practice! Please visit Viewpoint Psychotherapy for information on the terrific workshops she will be offering.



Three one-hour talks with Siobhan Nearey, Registered Psychotherapist, about reducing your stress and putting the spring back into your step!

Special rate: All three talks for $60. Please email for discount code.

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So, What’s the Deal with Mindfulness?        Tues, Apr 4, 2017 @ 7:00 pm,  cost: $25               Buy Tickets

Wondering what’s up with mindfulness? Research indicates that it benefits our physical and mental well-being. But isn’t that just one more thing to squeeze into our busy lives?

Coping with Job Stress                                     Wed, Apr 12, 2017 @ 7:00 pm,  cost: $25                Buy Tickets

Are you stressed at work? Isn’t everyone? There’s no magic wand to change our workplaces into supportive and empowering spaces. So, how can you get your life back when work is running you down?

Taking Care of Yourself in a Busy World      Thu, Apr 20, 2017 @ 7:00 pm,  cost: $25             Buy Tickets

Do you find yourself taking care of others, but neglecting your own needs? Do you criticize yourself because you can’t get everything done? Come and learn some self-compassion and self-care techniques that will help you take care of you.

Location: 2487 Kaladar Ave, room 215 (sorry, no elevator)

Call or text: 613-700-4969     Email:

Special rate: All three talks for $60

Interested in working for a mindfulness clinic? We’re looking!

omc logo

Interested in working in a mindful environment?

Want to learn more about mindfulness and support those who do?

Curious, open-minded, creative?

We’re looking for someone who can be supportive, compassionate, and disciplined in their work with others.



The Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic (OMC) & Sea Glass Psychological Services (SGPS) are two aspects mental health services provided through a mindfulness-based treatment centre and the private practices of Drs. Lynette Monteiro and Frank Musten, Psychologists, and clinical associates. The group of professionals practising together under the umbrella of the OMC forms a cooperative delivering mental health services through mindfulness-based programs. The OMC conducts at least fifteen 8-week mindfulness programs annually along with retreats and workshops. Sea Glass PS is comprised of the private practice psychological services of Drs. Frank Musten and Lynette Monteiro, offering individual psychotherapy and personnel selection services for various security organizations.

Administrative services, while primarily dedicated to the activities of the OMC, occasionally involves some aspects of the SGPS such as scoring tests or setting up for assessments. This is a contract position based on an hourly rate for 15 hours per week with employee benefits (CPP, EI). There is a six month probation period to ensure a good fit with the organization.

Job description for Receptionist/Administrative Assistant

The incumbent will be responsible for the following for the OMC

  • Read and respond to emails inquiring about the MBSM & MSC programs
  • Setting up sign up through Eventbrite for information sessions and monitoring the flow of registrants
  • Respond to phone calls about the programs offered as above
  • Photocopying materials as required for the clinic
  • On line ordering of materials (printing of handouts by Staples) for programs
  • Preparing receipts for participants in courses or events
  • Data entry of course and event evaluations
  • General filing duties (client files and expense receipts) including creating labels for file folders
  • Attend events to support registration desk (some may be during evenings and/or weekends)

The incumbent will be responsible for the following for SGPS

  • Forwarding phone calls and emails to psychologists
  • Scanning & scoring test forms when necessary
  • Faxing materials requested by external agencies
  • General filing duties

All listed duties are open to change based on the growing needs of the OMC and/or SPGS.


Applicant Attributes

Applicants should have an interest in mindfulness and open to working in an environment that fosters a mindful approach to interactions. They should have experience and be comfortable working with current technology. Experience with Word, Excel, templates, online set up of event registration, email protocols, cloud-based data storage and retrieval, and standard filing.

The applicant we hope to work with will be sensitive to the population we serve, attending to their needs with patience and kindness. They will also be assertive in expressing their own needs, meeting the needs of those who seek information about the organizations’ services and with professionals who work in the organization. Additional attributes we seek are as follows:

  • Able to work in a quiet atmosphere with sensitivity to mental health issues
  • Excellent email (grammatical, tone and phrasing) and phone (polite, patient, straightforward) skills
  • Conscientious and reliable in carrying out the tasks as outlined above
  • Attentive to routine tasks
  • Good organization skills with the ability to stay focussed
  • Open to evolving ways of doing things
  • Creative and willing to take on challenges
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Able to recover well from typical missteps
  • Good stress awareness and coping skills

This position is best-suited for someone with matured interpersonal skills, seeking part-time employment, is retired or semi-retired, and with a flexible availability for occasional evening or weekend duties.

If you believe you have these attributes and enjoy working in a dynamic and encouraging setting, please forward you resume to our address below or via email (mindful [at] – insert @ for [a]) with the subject header “ADMIN APPLICATION”. Cover letter should include direct experience with software and programs mentioned in the above job description and a statement of expected salary range.

Please note that due to the volume of calls we receive regarding the clinic programs, we cannot respond to phone inquiries about this position. You may email us or submit your resume with cover letter.

Mail application to: Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic, 595 Montreal Road, Suite 301, Ottawa ON K1K 4L2

Download PDF version here.

Craig Mackie RSW joins OMC

Craig We are pleased to welcome Craig Mackie RSW to the Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic. Craig has a BA in developmental psychology, MA in philosophy and a Masters of Social Work. He has worked in therapeutic recreation, mental health, and social services for over 10 years. He is a certified Transformative Mindfulness practitioner, 16 Guidelines international facilitator trainer, and has taken multiple trainings in clinical and mindfulness modalities. Currently he teaches in the Applied Mindfulness Meditation program at the University of Toronto and is the Director of Essential Change.

At the clinic, Craig will be offering mindfulness programs for youth and adults.

Program and contact information on the adult and youth programs can be downloaded here:

Youth – Transformative Mindfulness.

Adults- Transformative Mindfulness.


Credible Teachers of Mindfulness: How can you know?

Mindfulness-Based programs have become the go-to treatment around the world and their popularity has made treatment more accessible in many ways. Despite the popularity or maybe because of it, several articles have argued against mindfulness because it  (1) seems to be the fix-it for many ills, (2) doesn’t stay true to its Buddhist roots and (3) understates its “dark side”. There is concern that mindfulness therapies and programs are often sold as much better than the traditional methods of treating depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders. Such concerns were supported when a recent study showed that statistically mindfulness-based therapies (MBTs) have a moderate effect when studied in comparison with wait-list controls and when participants are compared to their pre-post scores. More than that, MBTs are not better than traditional cognitive behavioural therapy or pharmacological treatments. The deepest concern however relates to the qualifications of those who teach mindfulness as more and more programs are offered by individuals and groups with little or no training in mindfulness concepts and approaches.

Elisha Goldstein, writing for the magazine Mindfulness, re-stated some of these issues that constitute a “mindfulness backlash” in his recent blog post which claimed that there is little evidence for a backlash. What stands out in his discussion about the issues facing programs that offer mindfulness is the emphasis on trusting that “skilled mindfulness teachers” will neither over-sell the treatment scope and that “credible teachers” will walk participants through their misunderstanding of what is mindfulness. Goldstein goes on to say – even more emphatically – that it is important to seek out teachers who are well-trained. He adds a link to finding qualified teachers via the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts, the birthplace of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

What is left unsaid however is that the focus of all discussions and debates of mindfulness programs are anchored in the original one, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). This particular program was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and the acronym has taken on an iconic status much like the terms Xerox or Kleenex. When most professionals discuss mindfulness programs they are typically referring to MBSR unless it is clear from the outset that the topic is related to Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). This assumption leads to confusion because MBSR, while being the original, is not the only mindfulness treatment program.

Does it matter? Absolutely. While most programs have a similar format (8-10 weeks, groups, meditation and yoga, etc.), significant aspects of the program will differ. Even more than that, the type of training and confirmation of skills of the teacher will differ considerably. And since Goldstein makes a very good point that we need to find credible teachers, it is important to note that not all qualified mindfulness teachers will have been trained in MBSR itself.

Recently, the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts (CFM-UMass; the home base for MBSR and training of MBSR teachers) announced a format of teacher training that includes training those who will train teachers. While it’s perfectly understandable that CFM-UMass has taken a firm stand in cultivating MBSR teachers, this move is not without its detractors. However, it will filter those who have been teaching without full training at CFM-UMass and passing their programs off as MBSR. Nevertheless, this raises a difficult issue for those who have been trained in approaches that are not MBSR but which are legitimate approaches; the cachet of the term MBSR now takes on a more serious tone because many identify it as THE treatment program and may be confused by others.

That being the case, it is important to know that there are a number of other training centres that train teachers for mindfulness programs.

The M4 Program, Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic. The M4 (includes Mindfulness-Based Symptom Management; MBSM) training is in-depth and takes as long as a year. It requires applicants to have a clear rationale for wanting the training and expects a high level of participation. They attend the 8-week program as participants and do twice the expected formal and informal practices. They must attend a silent retreat in the year of their training. Current research and topics in mindfulness treatments are researched especially in their area of interest of specialization. They attend a training in the specifics of the delivering the program and in cultivating teacher qualities. Before teaching the M4 potential teachers must teach under supervision (qualification level) and then teach for 3 sessions with senior teachers in the clinic for Certification.

MBSR, University of Massachusetts, Center for Mindfulness. This is the original MBSR program and the training is extensive.

MBCT, The Centre for Mindfulness Studies. The training in MBCT is offered through various forms of study and teacher development. This program is supported by the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (University of Toronto) which offers a certificate in MBCT.

MiCBT, Mindfulness integrated Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. An approach to mindfulness that weaves together Western psychology with Eastern principles of mindfulness. Training is comprehensive and a graduate diploma is offered for teachers.

Applied Mindfulness Meditation, Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. This program offers what is likely one of the most extensive trainings in mindfulness, meditation, and all its attendant components.

Training in the UK. This website lists various programs that train mindfulness teachers, including MBCT teachers. Rebecca Crane and her colleagues at Bangor University have also developed a teaching assessment protocol for the cultivation of mindfulness teachers which is a gold standard for any teacher who is dedicated to cultivating their skills.

Mindful Self-Compassion, Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. Developed by Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff, Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) has developed a following in the last year as the teacher training becomes more available globally.

UCSD Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute. For training in various mindfulness-based programs such as Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention, Mindful Eating, etc.

Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy offers a certificate program in mindfulness and psychotherapy. The founding practitioners include Paul Fulton, Christopher Germer, Ronald Siegel, Trudy Goodman – all well-regarded in the field of meditation and clinical psychology.

If you intend to take a mindfulness program, ask the sticky questions. It’s your health and your wellbeing. Be informed. The program may not be MBSR. And it may be something valid and well-supported in its own right.


Wishes for the very best of the New Year!

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Thank you for you support of our clinic and programs! We invite you to join us in our twice-monthly practice to sustain your mindfulness skills and to enjoy the support of the ever-growing community of mindfulness practitioners.

With warm wishes to you and yours,

Lynette Monteiro
Frank Musten

& the teachers and staff of the OMC

Is Mindfulness the same as Buddhism?

DSC_0049There’s been a lot of chatter on the internet these days about Mindfulness and Buddhism. In a nutshell, practitioners, writers, and philosophers of Buddhism have expressed concern about the potential misuse of Buddhist beliefs and concepts by mindfulness-based interventions or programs. There is much merit to these concerns although the discussions tend to become bogged down with a lot of arguments that missed the central point. There are important issues about Mindfulness and Buddhism as well as Mindfulness itself that anyone considering a program should take the time to investigate. Below are some of these issues that may be helpful to consider.

Are Mindfulness-Based Programs and Interventions the same as Buddhism?

The answer will vary depending on the framework we use to address it. At one level, mindfulness is a Buddhism-based concept so it is unavoidable that the core principles guiding any Mindfulness-Based Intervention or Program will reach into a Buddhist conceptualization of its meaning and practice. However, mindfulness has moved far enough away from Buddhist philosophy and has begun to draw from various fields of psychology such as Cognitive Theory, Positive Psychology, Motivational approaches, Organizational Psychology, that it can be said to be a new “wave” in the genre of psychological and organizational approaches.

If you are considering a mindfulness program, there are some underlying concepts and frameworks you may wish to know that will inform your decisions. In our course intakes, we are often asked if the program is Buddhist. We are also asked if there are aspects of the program that would interfere with the person’s religious views or practices. People also want to be assured that the program won’t impose values and beliefs on them that may not fit with their own values and beliefs. These are important questions and need to be addressed openly and all the more important with the debates going around on the Buddhist nature of mindfulness and the potential dangers of teaching it as a secular or psychological modality.

Is Mindfulness the same as Buddhism?

Not completely. We can organize mindfulness programs into two categories: Mindfulness-Informed (MI) and Mindfulness-Based (MB) approaches (edit: See Shapiro & Carlson’s book The Art and Science of Mindfulness). Mindfulness-Informed approaches will draw from Buddhist philosophy using concepts of impermanence, adaptive self (non self), and the reality of suffering. They can also introduce concepts of lovingkindness and compassion. MI approaches may not use meditation practices specifically. Typically, the professional is trained in Buddhist theory and/or practice and therefore understands how our attitude and interpretations of our difficulties leads to our sorrow and suffering. Mindfulness-Based approaches draw from Buddhist practices such as sitting and walking meditation, breath awareness, etc. and build from this a state of steadiness so that the issues that plague us can be faced in a skillful manner. (edit) Additionally, Mindfulness-Based approaches draw from current understanding of stress theory and other psychotherapeutic models. (edit end) The final intention of both MI and MB approaches is the same – the reduction of suffering. Neither approach requires nor relies on a belief in Buddhist religious concepts.

Are all Mindfulness Programs the same?

No. For clarity, I refer to interventions separately from programs. A Program is offered over a time period, typically 8-weeks and may or may have a psychological intent; it may be conducted individually or in a group. “Programs” may be offered for stress management, lifestyle changes, spiritual growth, personal wellness or development. An Intervention refers to the medical- or psychological-based intent of the approach; this may be delivered as a time-framed process in a group or individually. “Interventions” may be offered to deal with physical or psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain, physical pain or injuries, etc. These typically require a registered health care professional to supervise or conduct the intervention. Research articles on mindfulness will refer to Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs) or their specific label such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.

There are many, many MBIs! Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Mindful Self-Compassion, Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (for addictions), Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training, Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training, and so on. And of course, just to add to the confusion, each of these will be taught under different “company” names. The M4 Program we offer at the OMC is a psychologically-based MBI and designed as an intervention for psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, chronic illness etc.

Are Mindfulness Instructors or Teachers accredited, certified or trained professionally?

Not all are. Most professionals will have taken at the very least a 5-day intensive training in the specific area of interest. Some will have continued from this to take on-going training with specialists in their field. (edit) All MBI teachers are expected to have a personal meditative/contemplative practice to support their teaching skills and personal development. (edit end) Health Care Professionals who work in the Mindfulness-Informed approaches will likely have trained in their specific treatment modality (CBT, EFT, etc.) and also continued with a Buddhist or other contemplative practice tradition. Others will have obtained accreditation from specific organizations.  The Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts offers a teacher certification program for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programs. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy accreditation is available from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion offers teacher training in Mindful Self-Compassion. The University of California at San Diego is developing a Professional Training Institute that will allow teacher-development programs in several streams of Mindfulness-Based Interventions.

One aspect of the training/accreditation question is to consider whether the facilitator or instructor is accredited in their own field of expertise. All health care professionals have a regulatory organization which certifies their training; mindfulness can be viewed as a therapeutic intervention that they provide as a trained health care professional. Other professionals such as educators, coaches, and spiritual care professionals,  will have professional organization that verify their credentials as a trained professional.

Do all Mindfulness-Based Programs have the same positive effect?

It depends. Research shows that MBIs have a positive impact for many issues. Whether an individual experiences the expected positive change depends on the “good fit” between the individual and the program. If the issue is depression, then a “stress” program may not do the job. If there are issues of anxiety that are not disclosed at the intake (yes, there should be an intake!), then this can have an impact on their experience of the program. What can increase the probability of a “good fit” is asking lots of questions at the information session or the intake appointment. The most frequent issues that derail the program for participants are as follows:

  • Realizing that there is a certain amount of sharing that happens in the course
  • Finding out it is not like a school course where we get all the answers from the teachers
  • Not realizing how much time the practices take
  • Wanting a “quick fix”
  • Needing certainty that the practices will work
  • Wanting to “get rid” of the problem

These are all important questions to consider and to ask if you are thinking of taking a Mindfulness-Based Program. It is about your health and well-being. Be proactive. Understand the scope and limits of MBIs. Most of all, know the people offering the programs.

How to sell a book and not your soul

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks around here! Not only has our book, Mindfulness Starts Here, hit the bookstands, it has been greeted with some very positive feedback from colleagues and friends! The process of putting this baby out on the road has also opened us to various other ways to share information and to take a mindful stance to social media and its entanglements. It was interesting to see how much pressure there is to set ourselves up for tweeting every 2 minutes, flooding the marketplace with posts on Facebook, LinkedIn,, and so on. The vision of the publicity team was quite different from our own and we found ourselves arguing about the merits of keeping a book full of books in our car trunk in case we were somewhere and someone asked to buy the book – or maybe we could flog it on the street-side. So the phrase “book-in-a-box” has become a mindful bell for us to remember that we can get too caught up in the process and forget that the intention of putting the book on the metaphoric road was to provide opportunities for practice.

Along with keeping that intention in mind, we also noticed how easy it was to fall into an attitude or stance towards feedback or the statistics of the sales. Initially, it was fun getting to know what the Amazon ratings mean (nothing much as a global scale). Then we found ourselves comparing and contrasting with the ratings of other books. You know where that’s going, right? Oh that judgmental mind, ever ready to pounce and trounce!

The best lesson in subtle grasping happened as we were trying to upload the meditations onto a format suitable with iTunes. We became so focused on the “iTunes” piece that the obvious solutions escaped us – even at 2AM when the millionth upload to a storage website failed again. There we were caught in ideas like “iTunes,” “podcasts,” and “stats for downloads!” Some of you who have subscribed to this blog may have noticed a couple of posts go by with links to the meditations only to find them dead links the next day. Sorry about that! It was just a skirmish lost with the internet gremlins! It took a while to shake off those ego-gremlins too and to let go of how the “big names” do it. Back to intention. Provide opportunities for practice.

And yet those pretty logos and the cachet of saying we’re on iTunes is tempting. And we may still get there! Until then we do have a few nice things to offer you put out in the spirit of “if you upload it, they will come.” Here’s a list:

Newsletter (or click on the link in the panel on the right)

Meditations – these accompany the book (sell point!)

Current news & articles on mindfulness of interest – Flipboard of articles we think are outstanding.

General grab-bag of news on mindfulness – format, check out various others like The DysthAnxious Daily.

Of course, there are also the usual suspects of Twitter and Facebook.

So please enjoy these offerings and remember that everything is an opportunity to practice. Even leaving all this for later, turning off your computer, tablet, phone, and seeking out the sunshine!