Mandy Shewfelt, M.S.W., RSW, RCC

Founder, Clinical Leader

With 27 years experience as a relational psychotherapist and 16 years as a clinical supervisor, I offer both short and long-term counselling & psychotherapy to individuals and couples in Burnaby. My presence is grounded, knowledgeable, and caring.

Patience and energy to support you on your path come from both my extensive training and personal experience doing my own deep inner work in therapy. I’m honoured by the trust I earn from my clients. I’m told that being with me feels calming, empowering and safe and that my clients leave a session feeling supported, more connected with themselves and clearer on their needs.

“Being in Mandy’s presence is to experience the gift of being heard with deep respect and care – the very foundation of healing. Her dedication to doing her own work and to the study of relational neuroscience has allowed her to deepen into a rare kind of wisdom. Then, in a very humble way, she facilitates a safe, warm space for healing and learning.”

- Bonnie Badenoch, PhD, Author of “The Heart of Trauma: Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships"

Professional Experience

For 27 years I have been Holding Space by offering open minded, attuned presence as a psychotherapist and counsellor, and in 2002 I began my role as a clinical supervisor and team leader. I welcome anyone into my practice who needs support and wants to do their work. My experience includes a diverse array of clients from children to older adults, with extensive experience working with trauma survivors. My work includes experience in private practice, non-profit community based practice, education, and home healthcare settings.

Life Experience

I have the patience and fortitude to work with people who may be experiencing excruciating emotional pain because of my commitment to “walk the talk”. Having experienced and thoroughly processed trauma and loss myself, I’m fuelled by my trust and belief in the power of healing relationships.

My Teachers

I am deeply grateful and endlessly energized by the wisdom of my gifted teachers. Their perspectives are embedded in the way I think and work, resonating in my very being, and hopefully evident in the pages presented here. I am a lifleong learner, and as you will see it is a way of life for me.

RELATIONAL PSYCHOTHERAPY

After completing my Masters degree in Social Work, I trained for a year at the Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy in 1992-1993. In 2006 I began consulting in an ongoing way with Pat DeYoung PhD, a founder of that Institute, and author of Relational Psychotherapy, A Primer, and Understanding and Treating Chronic Shame: A Relational/Neurobiological Approach. I continue to consult with Pat DeYoung on a regular basis and the experience of this relationship and the learning within it sustains a rich, reliable practice foundation in me that is central to all of my work.

Relational Life Institute

Throughout 2017 and 2018 I have been participating in an intensive Couples Therapy training program with Terrence Real, the founder of  The Relational Life Institute, and New York Times best-selling author of "I Don't Want to Talk About It, Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression"  "How do I Get Through to You? Connecting Men and Women"  and "The New Rules of Marriage". 

Developmental Model of Couples Therapy

In 2017 I studied with Sue Diamonds Potts, who teaches the model founded by Ellyn Bader and Dr. Peter Pearson, from the Couples Institute.

The Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy

Throughout 2017 I did intensive immersion in this model founded by UCLA's Stan Tatkin

ATTACHMENT THEORY

From 2009 through 2011 I delved deeply into the world of attachment theory and its applications to psychotherapy. After reading Attachment in Psychotherapy, by David Wallin, I participated in workshops and a group clinical consultation process with the author. Integrating attachment theory at a visceral level was incredibly hard and deep work which has proved invaluable in extending my capacity for attuned connection with people who present with the full range of attachment styles.

INTERPERSONAL NEUROBIOLOGY

From 2015 - 2017,  I studied in the Schore Seattle Seminars, in which Dr. Allan Schore lectured on Relational Neuroscience applied to child development and psychotherapy. 

From 2013 - 2015 I participated in group and 1:1 consultation with Bonnie Badenoch, completing her Advanced Application Year-long intensive in Interpersonal Neurobiology, which attracted participants from across the United States, Canada, and South America.  Bonnie is an author whose writings exude a depth of wisdom and understanding so incisive, heartfelt and profound that I am routinely compelled to revisit and reflect upon her words. She offers an explanation for the complex dimensions within us, including managing states, protective/defensive states, and deeply vulnerable potentially dissociated states as parts of the ‘whole’ we know as the relational embodied self. Bonnie’s nurturing presence is always evident in her words as she insists that our own integrative development as therapists is paramount to our capacity to be present and attune with our clients. Her titles include “The Heart of Trauma: Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships", Being a Brain-Wise Therapist: A Practical Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, and The Brain-Savvy Therapist’s Workbook.

From 2010 - 2013, I completed immersive study and training with Daniel Siegel, MD., completing the foundation year offered by the Mindsight Institute, and the Siegel – Gottman Summit which integrated IPNB and Gottman Method Couples therapy in 2014. 

MBSR MINDFULNESS BASED STRESS REDUCTION

In 2014 I participated in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program taught by Dr. Stephane Tréyvaud. Dr.Treyvaud is a Swiss Psychiatrist with an inspiring 40 years of meditation practice, who integrates the wisdom of Interpersonal Neurobiology, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Yoga into his teaching of meditation practices.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.

- Rumi

PROFESSIONAL REGISTRATIONS

  • Registered Social Worker, RSW with the BC College of Social Workers.
  • Registered Clinical Counsellor, RCC with BC Association of Clinical Counsellors
  • The fees for my services are covered by many health care plans. If you have insurance benefits, check your coverage for Registered Social Workers or Registered Clincal Counsellors.

Education

I graduated with Distinction with a Master of Social Work degree in 1992 from Wilfred Laurier University, and earned my Specialized Honours BA in Psychology from York University in 1988.

Membership

I am a Member of the Board of Directors for GAINS, the Global Association for Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, and lead the GAINS website team.