We are thrilled to have the wisdom of our professional advisors to help inform the Living Well, Dying Well program. Together they bring decades of experience in hospice work, in somatic therapy, and deep knowledge of cross-cultural practices to end-of-life issues. Best of all, they are a joyful team that inspires our work. We invite you to explore their gifts.
Heather has worked more than 40 years in front line Social Work and Health Care, including child protection, work with pregnant teens, persons with disabilities and counselling on the Palliative Response Team at Victoria Hospice. She is Self Care and Support Counsellor for staff at Hospice, and has a Private practice in counselling and Therapeutic Touch, specializing in grief and loss, end of life issues, major illness, life transitions and care for the caregiver.
Heather has also been a consultant and speaker on Grief and Self Care for front line health professionals. She created the ‘Heartometer’, a playful yet profound tool for teaching the importance of caring for our own hearts when immersed in other’s pain. She attended a two-year program entitled the ‘Sacred Art of Living and Dying’ through the Sacred Art of Living Centre in Oregon, and recently completed the two year program ‘Art of Spiritual Guidance’, with Thomas Atum O’Kane.
Helene is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Vancouver Island University where she co-teaches a course on death and dying with Rachel Cooper, Dept. of Psychology. Helene’s research interests include the history of assisted dying in the Netherlands, the social movement Out of Free Will, and linking objects: the role of material objects that belonged to the deceased in mourning and memorialization. She has published on music thanatology and co-presented with Rachel Cooper on the use of PhotoVoice in exploring themes of dying and death.
Frances is a Registered Clinical Counsellor specializing in body-focused psychotherapy. She uses several types of bodywork combined with talk therapy to deal with developmental issues as well as trauma. The galvanizing experience of her life that set her on this particular path was that of being physically disabled for a few years in her 30s. This inspired in her, as well, the development of a spiritual practice that is largely body-based.