Linda Hochstetler - Monthly Newsletter
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More groups, and more new experiences

In June, I took on a challenge I'd been dreaming about for years. I had heard of the West Coast Trail on the furthest west part of Canada on Vancouver Island, and this summer was the time to make it happen. Unable to entice any of my friends or family to join me, I signed up with a tour company and guides. I was a bit sheepish, as I really thought I should be able to go it alone, but I was so glad I made this decision. See, I'm an Ontario gal, and I quickly realized that I knew nothing about about reading tide tables and timing the surge crossings, not to mention my caution around climbing the infamous ladders. Together, we hiked the 75 km in 7 days, and safely climbed 79 ladders, including one giant set of ladders totalling 214 rungs in 9 sections. 214 rungs down, across a suspension bridge (with no rails!) and 214 rungs up again, all carrying a 45 pound pack and poles. 

The most incredible part was the variety of it all. I was the youngest hiker, besides the guides, and we took turns needing accommodation to make it through various parts of the trip. The first 3 days were long (11 hours of hiking) and exhausting as we slowly got used to the routines. The views included lots of beach walks, with whales, sea lions, and tide pools, as well as interior walking in old growth forest with trees more than 1000 years old. And being with strangers for a week and working together was an open, and revealing experience. The feelings, the thoughts, and the sensations differed in every moment. Another highlight was listening to the guides' reading aloud from an old book about ocean disasters and ship wrecks before the trail was fully functional. Overall I came back refreshed, enlivened, and happy to be alive. Ready for my next adventure!


Introduction to Buddhist Counselling

10 Saturdays; September 21 – November 23, 2019; 1:30-3:00 pm at 33 High Park Gardens
Instructor: Linda Hochstetler, MSW RSW
Sponsor: Toronto Centre for Applied Buddhism

Meet & Greet: September 14, 3-5pm at 33 High Park Gardens
Opportunity to find out more information about the program, meet the instructor and students, and ask questions.

The Fall 2019 module is designed to provide basic Buddhist counselling skills to individuals with little or no clinical experience or training. It is intended to prepare participants to volunteer with Sangha members, friends, and family. No previous training is required.

This module includes learning about the following skills: attending, rapport building, use of silence, paraphrasing, reflecting, showing empathy, focusing the conversation, clarifying, appropriate questioning, and summarizing. Participants will learn to integrate Buddhist concepts into their supportive counselling conversations and will be encouraged to practice these skills in their many conversations. 

Registration fee is only $50 for the entire fall session, thanks to donations to the Buddhist Education Foundation of Canada. Please complete an application by September 16, 2019. 

Note: A second module will be available January-March 2020 on Providing Care to Seniors and Palliative Patients. This fall module, or its equivalent, will be the pre-requisite for the second module. 

Meet & Greet Flyer
To Register for Program
For More Information

Clinical Supervision and Consultation

I have 17 years of Clinical Supervision and Consultation experience, and I really enjoy working in groups. Although I am a Social Worker, I qualify as a CRPO Supervisor, and can provide documentation for any of these sessions. Here are 3 different opportunities to participate in. All sessions will be held at the Village Healing Centre, 240 Roncesvalles Avenue.

1. Setting Up a Private Psychotherapy Practice - Workshop: 2 hours, $75, Thursday, September 26, 1-3pm 
- you will receive handouts and templates to jump start the process of getting started
- topics: requirements, paperwork forms, payment, contact information, marketing, scheduling plan, self-employment, supervision, and resources for clients

RSVP and payment is required in advance, as space is limited to 8 persons. Send to
Flyer for Workshop

2. Monthly Clinical Group Supervision: 1.5 hours, $75, 2nd Friday of the month, 10am-12pm

- Reflective Practice model of supervision
- 3 month commitments for Sept-Nov, Jan-Mar, Apr-June $225
- limited to 3 or 4 persons

RSVP and payment is required in advance, as space is limited to 4 persons maximum. Send to
Flyer for Monthly Supervision

3. Bi-monthly Clinical Group Supervision: 1.5 hrs, $60, 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, 12:30-2pm

- Reflective Practice model of supervision
- 3 month commitments for Sept-Nov, Jan-Mar, Apr-June $360
- 4-8 persons

RSVP and payment is required in advance, as space is limited to 8 persons. Send to
Flyer for Bi-monthly Supervision

4. Buddhist Group Supervision: 1.5 hrs, $80, 10 Saturdays September - November, 3:30-5pm
This summer, we offered a special group supervision expressly to help individuals connect their personal Buddhist practice to their volunteer or paid supportive counselling offerings. It included Buddhist practitioners from the Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana traditions.

Starting in September, we are approved to hold the first ever Buddhist Contextual Education site group of Buddhist practitioners who are completing their placements at the end of their Masters in Pastoral Studies in Buddhist Studies at the Emmanuel College, affiliated with the University of Toronto. My role as psychotherapy supervisor for them is funded through the Buddhist Education Foundation of Canada and coordinated through the Toronto Centre for Applied Buddhism. Contextual Education students will be joined by other soon-to-graduate and recently-graduated psychotherapists and chaplains. This group is already full for September, but may have space in January. 

To Learn More about the Toronto Centre for Applied Buddhism

Private Practice is open again!

My private practice is open and I have days, evenings, and Saturday appointments. For the fall, I will be available Wednesday-Saturday. I am enjoying seeing individuals, couples, and families. I'm open to a wide range of issues, everything from anxiety/depression, health issues, working through fears, relationship issues, LGBTQ issues, and of course anything related to aging, illness, death, & dying. 

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing)
I am EMDR trained now and have begun accepting new clients specifically looking for EMDR for PTSD and trauma. I also am finding it helpful for a wide range of issues related to anxiety, anger, and overwhelm. I often add a few EMDR sessions to our usual talk-therapy and it is transformational. I love having a body-centred psychotherapy to help people access their feelings and stored negative memories. I am specifically hoping to offer it in coming months for persons interested in applying it to a fear of death. 

Village Healing Centre Website

Death Cafe #15
Date: September 24, 2019
Time: 7:00-9:00pm
Location: The Bluebird, 2072 Dundas Street West at Howard Park Avenue

We had a lovely turnout for our last Death Cafe on June 11, and enjoyed wonderful weather on the patio. It was delightful to hear the many stories and information related to death and dying, and watch all the great connections between participants.
This upcoming informal gathering is for persons interested in telling stories and asking deep and profound questions related to death and dying. We sit in small groups of 4-5 and share as much as each person wants. Cost is free to join us, but you are responsible for paying for your own drinks.

RSVP is necessary to save a space at a table (

Death Cafe Website

Death Cafe - Leaside
Date: Monday, October 7, 2019
Time: 6:00-8:00pm
Location: Humphrey's Funeral Home, 1403 Bayview Avenue at Eglinton

With the success of our first one behind us, I have been invited to host another Death Cafe at a new location that is again being sponsored by Better Living Health & Community Services. Please consider joining us at this new site as we continue to encourage more conversations on death and dying.  RSVP is necessary to save a space at a table (

Death Cafe - Leaside Flyer
CBC Radio Podcast about Death Cafes

Teaching Schedule for Awaken in Toronto

We've got things going on every week at the Village Healing Centre, 240 Roncesvalles Avenue, with the following schedule. I will be leading the classes, with support from the rest of the AIT group. All group classes are offered on the basis of Dana, which means "pay what you choose", as an opportunity to put in the bowl what you value and can afford to keep the learning accessible.

Weekly Meditation Classes- Wednesdays, 7:45-8:45 pm 
Meeting Room: Boomerang Pilates Studio, 3rd floor
Will include a short dharma talk, followed by 30 minutes of meditation. Each week we will explore a given Buddhist concept or principle, and then join in a variety of different meditation practices. There will be time to ask questions related to meditation practice each week. 

Death, Dying, & Community - 4th Thursday of each month- 7:00-8:30pm
Dates: Sept. 26, Oct. 24, Nov. 28

Meeting Room: Corner office #5 on the 3rd floor
Will continue the exploration of death and dying, and the various decisions one makes to prepare for death. The aim is both practical and existential, and is discussion based. There is an opportunity to share information amongst the group if you have your own area of expertise. A theme will selected for the evening, with relevant materials and handouts provided. Sure to be thought provoking. The idea is that the more you prepare for death, the more joyful your life becomes. The Sept. topic will be Burial and Cremation Options, and the Oct. topic will be Recognizing the Final 21 Days.
Awaken in Toronto Website
Awaken in Toronto Facebook
Awaken in Toronto Meetups

Meditation Retreat - Regulating Wild Feelings & Emotions: Learning Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Self-help Strategies to Calm Your Emotional Reactions
Dates: November 1-3, 2019, with an option to stay till Nov. 4
Time: Begins Friday at 8pm and goes till Sunday at 3pm
Place: Dharma Centre of Canada (2.5 hours north of Toronto near Kinmount)
Instructor: Linda Hochstetler

As many Dharma practitioners know, sitting on a meditation cushion can unleash some wild and crazy feelings and emotions. Meditation isn't always relaxing, and it doesn't always feel good. It's considered a positive step in the awakening process when negative memories surface, or when the body releases some of the pain and suffering that it's been holding from traumatic experiences in the past. Learning to calm the overstimulated mind and body requires mastery of specific techniques borrowed from trauma-informed psychotherapy.

This retreat will introduce students to several different self-help EMDR techniques that they can apply to their own emotional disturbances. Retreatants will be encouraged to apply these techniques throughout the weekend, and also later during meditation sits and retreats, as well as in response to stressful situations in life. Weekend activities will include group classes to learn and practice the techniques, as well as meditation sits.

For students wanting to experience EMDR psychotherapy with a trained psychotherapist, there will be individual sessions available to persons extending their retreat an extra day and pre-booking for a Sunday afternoon or Monday session.

To view the Dharma Centre Website
To Register

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Take a moment to be generous to someone or something that matters to you. As Anne Frank said, No one ever became poor by giving. 

Linda Hochstetler

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