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"
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.
I believe that understanding you and your world is critical in how we approach your counselling and coaching.
There is no "one size that fits all" approach to grieving and bereavement.
I believe grief and bereavement affects us holistically; the physical, mental and emotional aspects of ourselves and our life are connected, therefore my approach and support addresses the whole person.
Areas of practice to Adults only
Anticipatory Grief occurs before death; among people who are facing the eventual death of a loved one or their own death.
Grief after the death of a Family Member.
Disenfranchised grief, known as the hidden grief or sorrow that goes unacknowledged or unvalidated by social norms.
Grief caused by the death of a friend.
Grief caused by the death of a pet.
Successful therapy begins with a strong therapeutic fit.
Before we book your first session, I suggest we arrange a 20-minute consultation to understand if we are a good therapeutic fit. During this session we discuss what is important to you right now and what are your needs and circumstances.
Warm, compassionate, open-minded and inclusive
describe my approach and style.
I place high value on careful listening, responsiveness and professional ethics.
Something About Me
Malia C. Ronderos
CCC, CT, MCATD,RMT
I believe that experiencing grief and offering end-of-life care to others have deepened my understanding on how to be a more 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 lived through the immense tide of feelings experienced after being diagnosed with a life-threatening illnesses; and I also undertand and identify with the powerlessness and sentiments of a caregiver.
Apart from learning academic theories and approaches to grief and bereavement, I've offer support and guidance during the-end-of life stages and have provided emotional and practical support in the days and hours leading to the last breath. 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 long, diverse and has offered me the opportunity to work with people of all ages, backgrounds and situations. I studied Death, Dying 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, which I mainly applied when I worked with young adults at risk in that city. I also received a Masters Degree in Adult Training and Development from Schulich School of Business and I studied and received certification as a Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner with NLP Canada Training.
I have been a counsellor for over 20 years, during this time I've study other approaches to counselling which I believe complement my gentle approach to serve my clientes. More recently I trained to become a coach to serve patients and caregivers living with chronic cancer at Wellspring Toronto.
To my practice I also bring recognized complementary therapies which are very well received by clients and in the medical community. I practice Therapeutic Touch, Mindfulness meditation and Emotion-focused Therapy which help reduce stress, pain and ease anxiety.
I consider myself an enthusiastic learner so as often as possible, I visit other countries to volunteer and learn about their people and cultures. I speak Spanish, enjoy almost all types of music, love nature and have an affinity with dogs; for this reason and when appropriate, I welcome my client's four-legged companions to our Walk and Talk sessions.
Counselling & Complementary
Humanistic- Client Centered Counselling
Emotion-focussed Therapy EFT
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)
Mindfulness to Reduce Stress
Walk and Talk sessions
Registered Holistic Practitioner, City of Toronto