Forest

Trying Times Call for Gentle Support

"Grief is a way of loving, love is a way of grieving.
They need each other in order to be themselves" 

Stephen Jenkinson

My Approach

If you or someone dear has been diagnosed with a terminal illness or a loved one has died, you are probably experiencing a combination of fear, anger, sadness; a feeling of numbness, loneliness and isolation. You may be having difficulties coping and wonder if you will ever be happy again.   

 

Counselling and grief support are a form of therapy that help the bereaved to explore and process distressing and confusing feelings. My sessions are designed to facilitate your grieving process; to appease the fear that you are 'going crazy'; - and to familiarize you with the nature and dynamics of grief. I aim to help normalize your experience, and to promote bereavement as an opportunity for personal growth. 

I am guided by the following principles:

  • All individuals are worthy of respect. I strive to cultivate spaces that are safe for all genders, races, cultures, sexual orientations, family constellations and relationships.

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  • I believe that understanding you and the world that you live in is critical in how we approach your counselling and coaching.

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  • There is no one size that fits all approaches to grieving and bereavement. My approach is guided by who you are and what you identify as important.

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  • I believe in the holistic approach to grief counselling so I focus on you as a whole person, on your entire wellness and not just on your physical, mental and emotional reactions to grief.

Psychologist Session

Areas of practice

  • Anticipatory Grief occurs before death; among people who are facing the eventual death of a loved one or their own. 

  • Loss of a Family Member 

  • Disenfranchised grief known as hidden grief or sorrow, refers to any grief that goes unacknowledged or unvalidated by social norms.

     - Death of a friend

     - Still birth

     - Death of a pet 

Getting started

Successful therapy begins with a strong therapeutic fit.

When you first contact me and before we book your first session, I would like to arrange a 20-minute consultation to help us know if we are a good therapeutic fit. During this session we discuss in more detail what brought you to A Place to Grieve, what is important to you, and what are your needs and circumstances. 

Something About Me

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Malia C. Ronderos

CCC, CT, MCATD,RMT

I believe that my personal experience with grief and with end of life have taught me how to be a more understanding, compassionate and sensitive counsellor. I have experienced the confusing emotions of grief, and the long struggles that come with the death of a love one; I have also been through the profound sadness and emotional rollercoaster that results from the diagnosis of a life-threatening illnesses; and know intimately the powerlessness and sentiments of a caregiver.

 

As part of learning academic theories and approaches to mourning, grief and bereavement, I have stepped outside from my comfort zone by helping others prepare for the-end-of life of a loved one; and have provided emotional and practical support in the days or hours leading up to the final moment.  I also volunteer at Wellspring, an organization supporting cancer patients, their family and caregivers.

I understand how culture, spiritual beliefs and identity influence the way we grieve.  I was born in South America and was educated in Canada. During my adult years I've had the privilege to live in various cultures where I had the honour to attend  various end-of-life rituals and ceremonies to honour the death. Through these experiences, I have learnt that grief is universal and complex; and that is not necessarily experienced in sequential stages as we are led to believe.  I’ve also learnt, that social expectations often dictate how we “should grieve” so instead of following our own process, we end up hiding and pretending.

My formal academic training is diverse and 'well-rounded'. I studied Mourning, Grief and Bereavement at Wilfrid Laurier University and have a BA degree in Sociology and Psychology from Simon Fraser University. I completed my studies in Counselling at Vancouver Community College, and also received a a Masters Degree in Adult Training and Development from Schulich School of Business. I am certified as a Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner with NLP Canada Training, a Therapeutic Touch practitioners and a Reiki Master.

I have been a counsellor, a cancer coach and worked in community development projects . When possible, I travel to other countries to learn about their people and cultures. I  am a life learner, I speak Spanish, enjoy almost all types of music, love nature and all animals and have a special affinity with dogs; for this reason and when appropriate, I welcome my client's four-legged companions to our Walk and Talk sessions.

Counselling skills

  • Narrative therapy

  • Humanistic- Client Centered Counselling

  • Mindfulness-Based Counselling

Complementary Techniques:

  • Neuro-linguistic programming

  • Therapeutic Touch and Reiki

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Walk and Talk Sessions

Registered Holistic Practitioner, City of Toronto

Warm, compassionate, open-minded and inclusive

describe my approach and style.

I place high value on careful listening, responsiveness and professional ethics.