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 and sadness; you may feel numb, alone and isolated. You may have difficulties coping and wonder if you will ever be happy again.
Thanatology and Grief Counselling is a form of therapy that helps the bereaved to explore the distressing and confusing feelings. My sessions facilitate your grieving process, appease the fear that you are going crazy and familiarize you with the nature and dynamics of grief. I aim to promote healing and open windows for personal growth.
My guiding principles:
All individuals are worthy of respect. In my space, you are safe to speak and express your inner thoughts. Everyone is welcome, all genders, races, cultures, sexual orientations, family constellations and relationships.
There is no "one size fits all" approach to grieving and bereavement.
I believe grief and bereavement impact our physical, mental and emotional aspects of ourselves; my approach and support address the whole person.
I believe grief is a form of love and part of life, not a problem. My aim is not to try to take your grief away. Instead, I am here to listen, validate, encourage, help you feel safe, and integrate the losses into your life.
Areas of practice
- for Adults -
Anticipatory Grief occurs before death; among people who are facing eventual death of a loved one or their own death.
Grief experienced after the death of a family member.
Disenfranchised or hidden grief. Referring to the unacknowledged or unvalidated grief by social norms which includes the death of a special companion, a pet.
Grieving the loss of a friend.
Successful counselling begins with
a good fit.
After a new client has contacted me, and prior to booking an initial session, I will be in touch to arrange a 15-minute consultation to help ensure that we are a good fit. While most seekers prefer in-person sessions, telephone, Zoom, Skype and FaceTime sessions can also be arranged. I love welcoming new clients to my practice and responding to their questions.
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
Experiencing grief and offering end-of-life care to others have deepened my understanding on how to be a better and more compassionate and sensitive Thanatology and Grief Counsellor. I have personally experienced profound grief, have struggled with the death of a loved one and lived through the colossal windstorm of being diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. As a daughter, friend, neighbour, I can identify with the powerlessness and sentiments of a caregiver.
Apart from my personal experiences with the different types of grief and learning academic theories and approaches to thanatology, grief and bereavement, I've been counselling clients during their-end-of life stages and provided emotional and practical support to their relatives in the days and hours leading to the last breath. I also volunteer at Wellspring, an organization supporting cancer patients, their family and caregivers.
Malia C. Ronderos
CCC, CT, MCATD,RMT
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 hold witness some 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 Thanatology and Grief Counselling. More recently I trained to coach patients living with chronic cancer at Wellspring Toronto.
In addition, I offer complementary therapies recognized in the medical community known to reduce anxiety, improve sleep and mood, relax and a generate a sense of wellbeing: Therapeutic Touch, Mindfulness meditation and Emotion-focused Therapy.
I consider myself an enthusiastic learner so as often as possible, I visit other regions to volunteer and learn about their inhabitants, plants, animals 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