"You must be the change you wish to see in the world"
- Mahatma Gandhi
Heather o'donnell, NHC, C.HT., CBT, Reiki master
licensed holistic practitioner
For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in spirituality and the meaning of our existence. I knew at a very young age that we were more that just this physical body; I started meditating, playing piano and keeping a dream journal at the age of 10. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home that nurtured spiritual growth and creativity. My mother was a spiritual counselor, a therapeutic touch worker, as well as a Hospice counselor, providing bereavement support. My father was always a seeker, well read in multiple religions and someone with whom I had many deep philosophical conversations. My parents were very involved with our spiritual community and invited me to many satang’s & group meditations. They both held degrees in Horticulture and taught me about herbs, plants, and food. This environment shaped me into the healer that I am today.
Body & spirit
I have been studying in the Health & Wellness industry for over a decade now. I started in a two-year diploma program in Natural Health which provided an excellent foundation that included naturopathy, nutrition, digestive health, health counseling, and a basic understanding of alternative healing methods in the field. From there, I chose to study Anatomy and received my certification in personal training & multi-sport coaching. This lead me to work in several gyms and wellness centres in the greater Toronto area, including a boxing studio where I taught weekly boot camp classes.
I completed a professional certificate program in Integrative Mind-Body medicine; Mindful Healing: Connecting the Cell and the Self, at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Mindful healing included biography & biology, the art of listening to symptoms, childhood trauma & adult disease, neurobiology, meditation, guided imagery and clinical application.
Energy medicine has always been of interest to me. I used to practice on plants and my dog in my bedroom when I was younger before I could academically understand what I was doing. I researched bio-field healing when I got older and came across Reiki; it changed my life. Reiki raised my vibrational frequency and healed me; body, mind and spirit. I have completed my Masters in Reiki and am a registered practitioner with the Canadian Reiki Association. My training took me two years and allowed me to travel and study at the Glastonbury Abbey, a Monastery in England. I was privileged to attend a Spiritual ceremony at Stonehenge inside the ancient ruins with other Masters; an experience I will never forget. Throughout my spiritual journey I have worshiped at churches, temples, and sacred places all over the world.
Throughout my years in health counseling I began to see more and more complex issues with my clients. It was a natural progression for me to study psychology, and it became a personal interest of mine. I completed a post-graduate certification in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at the University of Toronto where I developed strong CBT case conceptualization skills for effective interventions, thought records, cognitive reframing and strong problem-solving skills. I have found CBT very useful in everyday life.
To complement my study of the conscious mind, I studied the unconscious mind through the Krasner method of clinical hypnotherapy. I am a board certified Hypnotherapist through the American Board of Hypnotherapy. Hypnosis is a very relaxing and powerful tool in behavioural change and self exploration. I have experienced the benefits of exploring and communicating with the unconsciousness mind. It is an integral part of mental health and healing.
I have had many teachers and mentors along the way in my career, and I am grateful to them all.
I dedicate my life to practicing holistic medicine; healing for the body, mind and spirit.