MHASO, Mental Health and Addiction Services of Ottawa

Shontelle Prokipcak

I have been working for the past 23 years in community mental health and as a social worker for the past 20 years.  My area of focus has been trauma and addictions.  My work centers on impacts of building connections, empowerment, community and mindfulness into the healing process.

I draw on a variety of clinical and evidence-based approaches in my therapeutic work, including: Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness Integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Collaborative Problem Solving, Community Reinforcement and Family Training to name a few.  I use a tri-phasic approach to trauma treatment and have an assertive care approach that assists clients through rough patches on their recovery path.  My practice is highly client focused with the core belief that clients know themselves best and our mutual respect will facilitate effective treatment plans.

I was drawn to mindfulness in my early 20’s when I was struggling with anxiety and panic attacks while in university. (I actually had anxiety problems all the way back to primary school). I was introduced to it in the resource department of the university I attended and the facilitator at the time taught multiple approaches to calm the body and mind.  I was very grateful for the work Susan (cannot remember her last name) did and the positive impact it has had on my life ever since.

It did not happen quickly or magically, I had to practice regularly to reap the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. I found it helpful to reflect on my practice and to set goals.  Over time I have successfully used it in my day to day life as well as more challenging tasks such as public speaking, exams, painful medical procedures, panic attacks and childbirth. It has helped me in being able to process my childhood trauma and I use its methods in my therapy practice in helping guide my own clients through their work as well.

And I am blessed to be able to seek guidance from Lynette Monteiro of the Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic, Bruno Cayoun and Alia Hoffman from the MiCBT Institute (Australian and North American Chapters) as I continue to grow on my mindful path.

Reading and reflecting on mindfulness literature have been a large part of my journey.  Lynette’s book Mindfulness Starts Here, Bruno Cayoun’s books, Well-Being and Personal Growth and Mindfulness Integrated CBT Principles and Practice, and the Clinical Handbook of Mindfulness-Integrated Cognitive Behavior Therapy are some of my more recent reads on the topic of mindfulness.  Both authors also have audio guided mindfulness meditation practices you can use in your practice.

I will continue my practice of attending group formats as well as my individual mindfulness practice.  Each year I will attend a residential retreat to deepen my practice.

I will be opening a practice group for social workers, psychotherapists, psychologists and health professionals that use mindfulness in their clinical practice.  Keep an eye on our website for the start date.  This practice will be donation bases.

Outside of the group I teach mindfulness within individual psychotherapy sessions.  Clients can book these sessions via info@mhaso.ca