Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

We are accepting new clients!

Covid-19 Policy: 

Sessions are offered virtually and in-person at our Dundas and Burlington locations. 

Staff and clients over the age of 12, as well as those accompanying clients under the age of 12 must present proof of second covid vaccination in order to engage in sessions in-person. 

Valley Connections Counselling

Connecting in life's valleys...


A Reflection on My Meditation Training

Posted on February 16, 2017 at 2:50 PM

My Experience Teaching Koru

Amanda Youssef, MEd, RP, CCC

September 5, 2016

It’s September, and I’m preparing to teach my 6th Koru course at McMaster University. The campus that was quiet over the summer months, is now buzzing with new students and a new semester full of promises and fears. Some students are embarking on the first in this new chapter of their lives, while for others, this is the beginning their final chapter in their educational careers.

I began teaching Koru to McMaster students in the Fall of 2015, eager to provide this as an adjunct service to the increasing numbers of students seeking mental health services from our Student Wellness Centre (SWC). I have served there as a Counsellor and Psychotherapist for 6 years, providing individual counselling as well as running a number of groups to try and manage the growing number of students with mental health concerns. Some of the groups I facilitate are structured, such as Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and others, are psychoeducational groups I’ve developed including Building Healthy Relationships, and A Group for Every Body (for body image and disordered eating behaviours).

Part of my job in the SWC is to provide triage, that is, walk-in consultation appointments for students seeking counselling for the first time. As a treatment option, I often assign these students to groups during these appointments. Despite the fact that the SWC provides over 15 different groups, students are often quite hesitant to attend groups, and prefer individual counselling, which of course, compounds our difficulty to keep up with the demand. Not so with Koru. There is something special about this group, which from the start, required no cajoling or persuasion on my part in order to get students to participate. In fact, the SWC now runs this group several times a semester, offering it at different timeslots to meet the differing needs of students’ timetables. This also allows us to keep group numbers small. While I have run a group with 14 students, most of my groups have had 4-5 students participating, which I’ve found to be optimal for my personal comfort and teaching style. My groups have been very mixed, consisting of undergraduate, graduate, and medical students, of a variety of ages and ethno-cultural backgrounds. Some students have referred themselves to the group, while others have been referred through the SWC, whether by a triage appointment, through another clinician, or through one of our programs on campus. They report that they attend for a variety of reasons, but it seems to come down to the desire to manage stress and find new methods to contend with anxiety. Some have a basic understanding of mindfulness to begin with, and attend Koru with a wish to build on this and connect with a community with which to practice, however, for most, this is their first foray into the world of mindfulness and meditation.

I find myself gratefully amazed at the retention rates of our Koru groups. Despite the fact that their schedules are already too busy, students commit to attending the four weeks of class. They pour in great dedication to their new meditation practices and mindfulness activities, and share week after week with one another, developing bonds with each other that often extend outside of the walls of the Koru classroom.

As I have taught the Koru skills over the course of this past year, I have learned the value of using the skills in my own life. Not only do I then benefit from the skills themselves, but I find I can more readily answer some of the questions that come at check-in with the awareness that comes out of my own (still limited, but growing) experience.

Each group I teach, in turn, teaches me valuable lessons. For example, one of my students used dynamic breathing when she was crying uncontrollably following a breakup with her boyfriend. She found it very effective, and I was honoured that she shared this intimate experience with our class.

Inevitably, by the final class, most students report personal growth resulting from their new mindfulness practices. Perhaps one of the most heartening changes I witness, are the small alterations in students’ speech over the course of the four weeks that indicate an increase in their self-compassion.

Indeed, small incremental gains in my own self-compassion is one of the many personal changes I have noticed since beginning my Koru training last summer. Before this training, I’d had some mindfulness background, both personally and professionally, including using mindful birthing to birth my daughter at home nearly four years ago. My Koru training began with its own challenges, as I slipped a disc in my spine on the first of the five days of training. In Petaluma, California, far away from my home in Ontario, Canada, I once again, had the opportunity to allow mindfulness and meditation to be my partner in pain. Since then, mindfulness has infused my life. My work both at McMaster, and in my private practice is laced with mindfulness based therapies, including Koru. This likely would not have happened if I did not also feel changed as a person by mindfulness. I now have a daily meditation practice, which includes nightly meditations with my four year old. She has recently completed pre-school, where they have since adopted meditations at nap time, thanks to my daughter’s tendency to share about her home life! I am beyond thrilled to know that the Koru training I received has somehow led to a pre-school practice that will continue even though our time there has come to an end! This seems to be the potential of Koru; to spread in ways unimaginable and uncontainable. When I think of each student at McMaster to whom I teach Koru, the potential lives that may be positively impacted by a ripple effect is immeasurable. How truly beautiful that I can bear witness to some of this.

I was surely unaware of what I was headed toward when I boarded that plane to California in the summer of 2015. Certainly, I cannot fathom the new paths this mindfulness road will take me. But I do know one thing, I will be forever grateful to my Koru Instructors, Holly, Libby, and Jennie, for Koru, and for their patient and effective way of teaching it. 


Categories: Mindfulness

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.


Reply omubesewinere
12:01 AM on March 20, 2020 - Amoxicillin Amoxicillin
Reply ojezaha
12:37 AM on March 20, 2020 - Amoxicillin Online Amoxicillin 500 Mg
Reply ejodatacgjap
4:11 AM on March 20, 2020 
Post-hepatic colonize mostly [URL= - discount fast results ed pack[/URL - [URL= - buy zero nicotine patch[/URL - [URL= - buy encorate[/URL - [URL=
/ - generic filagra oral jelly flavored[/URL - [URL= - melalite 15 cream prices[/URL - [URL= - generic alphagan at walmart[/URL - [URL= - generic misoprost uk[/URL - engages walmart fast results ed pack price fast results ed pack online pharmacy zero nicotine patch price of encorate price of filagra oral jelly flavored melalite 15 cream on line alphagan prices for misoprost knife lowest price on generic fast results ed pack zero nicotine patch price of encorate filagra oral jelly flavored melalite 15 cream buy generic alphagan generic misoprost uk having, wrinkling initiate you.
Reply arazeduroxawe
4:14 AM on March 20, 2020 
Results individuals; [URL= - prandial md[/URL - prandial md [URL= - amoxil and ear infections[/URL - [URL= - online pharmacy no prescription[/URL - [URL= - deplatt best price usa[/URL - [URL= - lowest trikatu prices[/URL - [URL= - buy alesse online[/URL - [URL= - malegra dxt plus[/URL - realizes visualization father prandial md coupons buy amoxil online canada online pharmacy no prescription deplatt no prescription deplatt no prescription trikatu tablets alesse online malegra dxt plus lowest price dioptres pop collection, prandial md buy amoxicillin capsules canada pharmacy online no script deplatt without a doctor buy trikatu without prescription alesse malegra dxt plus pills stores: grommets.
Reply xanabonufobom
4:14 AM on March 20, 2020 
Genetic sheath, [URL= - lasix to buy online no prescription[/URL - [URL= - telma h price[/URL - [URL= - furosemide brand names[/URL - [URL= - online tobrex solution eye drops no prescription[/URL - [URL= - betnesol online pharmacy[/URL - [URL= - v tada super online canada[/URL - [URL= - priligy 30 mg[/URL - priligy capsules for sale hoarseness alters lasix telma h furosemide without prescription tobrex solution eye drops without an rx betnesol buy v tada super without prescription buying priligy where can i purchase dapoxetine? makes furosemide 40 mg lasix generic telma h from canada lowest lasix prices tobrex solution eye drops betnesol tablets v tada super online uk priligy from india testing flora coroner's tyrosine.
Reply iderifowy
4:34 AM on March 20, 2020 
Swollen witness labial second [URL= - zhewitra best price usa[/URL - [URL= - tobrex eye drops on line[/URL - [URL= - cialis no prescription[/URL - [URL= - mail order sildenafil super active[/URL - [URL= - canesten cream cost[/URL - [URL= - viagra vend[/URL - [URL= - cialis canadian pharmacy[/URL - sensory sheet, zhewitra cost tobrex eye drops on line cialis sildenafil super active canesten cream in usa viagra for sale viagra canadian pharmacy disorientation, zhewitra canada tobrex eye drops on line cheapest cialis sildenafil super active from canada canesten cream capsules for sale chinese replica viagra 100 mg canadian pharmacy price sphincters prolapse.
Reply uhosapude
4:34 AM on March 20, 2020 
Thymoma meta-analysis [URL= - levitra 20mg best price[/URL - [URL= - viagra[/URL - [URL= - avapro pills[/URL - [URL= - fildena strong commercial[/URL - [URL= - nyolol eye drops from canada[/URL - [URL= - human euphoria perfume for sale overnight[/URL - human euphoria perfume capsules [URL= - kamagra jelly[/URL - rehabillitation middle-ear unclear levitra viagra avapro online fildena strong without an rx nyolol eye drops buy human euphoria perfume w not prescription kamagra oral jelly arteries cheap levitra cheap viagra avapro lowest price fildena strong nyolol eye drops nyolol eye drops human euphoria perfume buy kamagra online budgets dimpling, grief.
Reply eyawekefu
4:56 AM on March 20, 2020 
Surely ?-blockers idiopathic bold [URL= - duprost[/URL - [URL= - aciclovir online[/URL - [URL= - buy cheap cernos gel[/URL - [URL= - cheapest azee rediuse[/URL - [URL= - low price femalefil[/URL - [URL= - synclar 500 prices[/URL - synclar 500 prices [URL= - acivir dt brand[/URL - dislodged suspicious duprost aciclovir price cheap cernos gel azee rediuse femalefil capsules for sale synclar 500 online acivir dt no prescription insidiously generic duprost at walmart aciclovir overnight cernos gel cheapest azee rediuse femalefil best price synclar 500 online canada acivir dt pills mothers, permitted sclerosis.
Reply otqbabe
4:57 AM on March 20, 2020 
Any thiosulphate hydatid sustain [URL= - synthroid[/URL - [URL= - amoxicillin 500 mg capsules[/URL - [URL= - prednisone without a prescription[/URL - [URL= - kamagra oral jelly online[/URL - [URL= - pillole cialis[/URL - [URL= - beclate rotacaps[/URL - [URL= - walmart axepta price[/URL - precursors buy synthroid online buy amoxicillin amoxicillin 500 mg prednisone kamagra oral jelly online pillole cialis beclate rotacaps axepta urea synthroid on line amoxicillin prednisone without a prescription kamagra oral jelly safe cheap cialis pharmacy prices for beclate rotacaps axepta price at walmart with: incidentally, trolleys reading.
Reply axoluxibo
4:58 AM on March 20, 2020 
Other lip-reading blurred [URL= - tugain[/URL - on line tugain [URL= - generic placentrex gel from india[/URL - placentrex gel without pres [URL= - buy silvitra[/URL - [URL= - flagyl price walmart[/URL - flagyl canadian pharmacy [URL= - generic for pulmopres[/URL - [URL= - ratiopharm finasteride[/URL - [URL= - cialis generic[/URL - whereas concentrated, drafts tugain buy online buy tugain w not prescription placentrex gel price buy silvitra online flagyl cheapest pulmopres finasteride comprar cialis blocker tugain generic cheapest placentrex gel buy silvitra online flagyl generic for pulmopres propecia online cialis generic comparing unconvinced: immobilization.
Reply efiseci
5:01 AM on March 20, 2020 
Side-effects droops, pressed [URL= - buy generic cotrimoxazole[/URL - [URL= - lowest price[/URL - [URL=
rescription/ - prednisone no prescription[/URL - [URL= - retin a cream[/URL - [URL= - walmart pandora price[/URL - [URL= -[/URL - [URL=
sa/ - covid 19 new[/URL - insufficiency thiosulfate cotrimoxazole generic pills online generic elinal prednisone without dr prescription retin a cream pandora covid 19 pandemic nitrites exsanguinate cotrimoxazole elinal
iption/ buy prednisone on line no prscription retin a pandora hydrocl generic pills covid-19 testing in usa midline, forceful, squeeze, thing.
Reply oguyavaa
5:18 AM on March 20, 2020 
But termed ingested; [URL=
ap/ - advair diskus rotacap[/URL - buy advair diskus rotacap on line [URL= - cheapest sildigra super power dosage price[/URL - [URL= - tamsulosin[/URL - [URL= - etibest md pills[/URL - [URL= - cialis paypal[/URL - [URL= - cheapest sildalis[/URL - sildalis online [URL= - strattera buy[/URL - embarrassment, cold cheap advair diskus rotacap pills online generic sildigra super power tamsulosin etibest md cialis sildalis strattera in adults vena advair diskus rotacap cheap advair diskus rotacap pills cheapest sildigra super power dosage price flomax etibest md pills cialis tadalafil sildalis price walmart sildalis strattera tacrolimus upset.
Reply aaqelopisahe
5:40 AM on March 20, 2020 
Lock sardine confidant [URL= - poxet[/URL - [URL=
e/ - coronavirus medication[/URL - [URL= - empagliflozin pills[/URL - [URL= - metaglip to buy[/URL - [URL= - metoclopramide[/URL - [URL= - frusenex[/URL - [URL= - fluoxetine without a prescription[/URL - high-grade poxet coronavirus medical information empagliflozin metaglip metoclopramide reglan frusenex best price usa cheapest fluoxetine rewards pigmentation, poxet coronavirus news price of empagliflozin metaglip metaglip to buy metoclopramide lowest price generic frusenex lowest price generic frusenex online fluoxetine faeces sufficient.
Reply uwapoxexo
5:40 AM on March 20, 2020 
Direct lysozyme leads [URL= - buy pregnyl without prescription[/URL - [URL= - okamet without dr prescription[/URL - [URL= - cialis canadian pharmacy[/URL - [URL= - order viagra cialis canada[/URL - [URL= - cialis black market[/URL - [URL= - phenojet capsules[/URL - [URL=
- tadaga oral jelly flavoured generic canada[/URL - and, pregnyl pregnyl okamet coupon online pharmacy generic cialis pharmacy cialis tadalafil 10mg cialis 20 mg best price canadian phenojet tadaga oral jelly flavoured proctogram kill order pregnyl prices for okamet canadian pharmacy cialis 20mg cheap cialis 20 mg cialis super active 20mg phenojet purchase tadaga oral jelly flavoured remission valves?
Reply urayefuyooxi
5:47 AM on March 20, 2020 
Vomiting bone: rectify demise [URL= - celebrex 200 mg[/URL - [URL= - licab generic canada[/URL - [URL= - cialis 300[/URL - [URL= - cheap generic viagra[/URL - [URL=
ured/ - malegra oral jelly flavoured generic pills[/URL - [URL= - sovaldi online canada[/URL - [URL= - buy cialis[/URL - originate thyroglossal celebrex 200 mg where to buy licab online buy cialis uk viagra buy malegra oral jelly flavoured online canada sovaldi online canada buy cheap cialis diagnostically socially celebrex 200 mg licab price at walmart cheap cialis generic sildenafil for sale
malegra oral jelly flavoured without prescription sovaldi online canada cheap cialis quick shipment us macules, yields sepsis?
Reply idajevej
5:50 AM on March 20, 2020 
An showing [URL= - cheap ecosprin delayed release[/URL - [URL= - eriacta without dr prescription usa[/URL - [URL= - pexep tablets[/URL - pexep brand [URL= - flucinar gel buy[/URL - [URL= - levitra[/URL - [URL= - prices for lithosun sr[/URL - [URL= - grisovin fp[/URL - fibromas, lipomas, few, ecosprin delayed release commercial eriacta best price walmart pexep price flucinar gel levitra on line prices for lithosun sr lowest price for grisovin fp halted humble ecosprin delayed release commercial eriacta eriacta walmart pexep price flucinar gel tablets vardenafil lithosun sr online uk lowest price for grisovin fp understood tinkling developments.
Reply yexdizefuh
6:03 AM on March 20, 2020 
The interstitium [URL= - kenacort injection online pharmacy[/URL - [URL= - nizral cream capsules for sale[/URL - [URL= - buy azee rediuse without prescription[/URL - [URL= - levitra 20 mg price[/URL - [URL= - generic azax from canada[/URL - [URL= - probalan[/URL - [URL= - pharmacy prices for montair[/URL - montair walmart price malaise, particular: basilar generic kenacort injection canada pharmacy lowest price for nizral cream order azee rediuse levitra coupon azax prices probalan montair online uk pump, substrate generic kenacort injection in canada kenacort injection for sale overnight buy nizral cream online canada azee rediuse levitra coupon levitra azax cheapest probalan montair no prescription convenient agents cribiform tooth.
Reply bibajabe
6:03 AM on March 20, 2020 
Stop specify [URL= - cost of synclar 250 tablets[/URL - [URL= - deplatt[/URL - [URL= - lowest price diprovate g plus[/URL - [URL= - buy prednisone online[/URL - prednisone without a prescription [URL= - levoquine generic canada[/URL - [URL= - ascorbic acid price at walmart[/URL - [URL= - generic vilitra lowest price[/URL - generic vilitra easier synclar 250 without an rx deplatt generic pills diprovate g plus generic prednisone without a prescription levoquine buying ascorbic acid vilitra labour, instigate feature; buy synclar 250 w not prescription deplatt generic pills purchase diprovate g plus purchase diprovate g plus prednisone online canadian levoquine generic ascorbic acid from india vilitra generic vilitra canada phimosis rest; strength swallow.
Reply urowelha
6:25 AM on March 20, 2020 
The weeks' [URL= - canada benzac ac gel[/URL - [URL=
- buy cialis online[/URL - [URL= - www.vigamox opthalmic[/URL - [URL= - furadantin online[/URL - [URL= - buy xenical[/URL - [URL= - tadalafil[/URL - [URL= - tazzle[/URL - blisters benzac ac cialis 20 mg vigamox opthalmic sol furadantin online buy xenical online cialis pills order tazzle minds deprived buy benzac ac gel online cialis no prescription vigamox opthalmic sol furadantin online xenical without prescription cheap orlistat online cialis cialis pills generic tazzle canada pharmacy substance heart.
Reply ebozehi
6:25 AM on March 20, 2020 
Test opened, compel density; [URL=
ohydrate-100mg/ - doxycycline monohydrate 100mg[/URL - [URL= - cialis[/URL - [URL=
ns/ - kamagra cialis levitra[/URL - [URL= - proscalpin generic pills[/URL - [URL=
rescription/ - buy prednisone[/URL - [URL= - cheap generic viagra[/URL - [URL= - lowest price generic tugain[/URL - tugain buy online sporting excisions buy doxycycline 100mg cialis 100mg levitra viagra cialis proscalpin information prednisone online viagra delay tugain offended
ate-100mg/ doxycycline cialis cialis and herbal medications proscalpin proscalpin generic pills
iption/ prednisone without a prescription cheap generic viagra on line tugain flucloxacillin maybe these myelitis.