MHASO, Mental Health and Addiction Services of Ottawa

Nicole LeBlanc

Psychotherapist/Social Worker, Qualified Mindfulness Teacher 

 

I have been working in the field of community mental health for the past 8 years, specializing in working with stress anxiety, depression, binge/emotional over-eating, trauma and addictions.  I draw on a variety of therapeutic techniques when working with individuals, including: Compassion-Focused Therapy, Acceptance-Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Strength-Based Approach, and mindfulness interventions.  I did my formal education in Criminology (BA, MA) and Social Work (MSW). 

 

I am particularly passionate about the mindfulness work that I do with individuals and groups, and have done extensive training in this field over the past 5 years. Namely, I have travelled both nationally and internationally to become qualified in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) (University of Massachusetts, School of Medicine), Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) (Center for Mindful Eating, NH, USA), and am working towards my qualification in Mindfulness-Self Compassion Training (University of San Diego, School of Medicine).  I am also working toward my qualifications in teaching Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (Center for Mindfulness Studies, TO, Canada).

 

My passion for mindfulness practice stems back to my childhood years, finding a sense of refuge and peace in the present moment while going for nature walks with my dog in the woods located behind where I lived.  Being the youngest of 3, I recall savouring the simplicity and connectedness offered in nature; hearing the birds sing and the leaves crunching beneath my feet as I walked through the trails throughout the changing seasons in eastern Canada.  It was during this time that I could find balance within myself, connecting with the simple pleasures that life has to offer amidst the ups and down that life presents.

 

It was during my mid-20s that I began my formal mindfulness practice, integrated through the therapeutic interventions I received to work with chronic anxiety and bouts of depression.  Fed up with the feeling of spending most of my time hung up on the past and ruminating about the future, mindfulness allowed me to re-learn my own innate capacity to find refuge and balance in present moment awareness.  Since being introduced to formal mindfulness practice, I have attended over a dozen silent retreats in the Vipassana tradition (3-7 days in length) both nationally and internationally, and have participated in a number of mindfulness groups.

 

I feel very honoured to have the opportunity to share the knowledge I have learned through my mindfulness training and personal practice with the community of Ottawa.  Although I facilitate a number of groups and workshops, I continue to recognize myself as a life long learner, deepening my own wisdom and practice through the knowledge and wisdom shared by all those I practice with.