Meditation for Health is a medical clinic located in downtown Toronto. We serve the community by providing programs of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to patients referred by their family doctor or psychiatrist. Our programs are attended also by healthcare providers and other caregivers.
Since we opened in 1997, more than 4500 people have attended our mindfulness programs. Our patients are referred by family doctors and psychiatrists from across Toronto and south-western Ontario.
All our programs are instructed by Lucinda Sykes, M.D., in collaboration with Liz Creighton, M.S.W., Channa Verbian, R.S.W. and other experienced facilitators from the disciplines of social work or nursing. Our clinic’s longtime administrator and program coordinator is Diana Wilson.
Lucinda Sykes M.D. has taught Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in Toronto since 1997. She is the founder and director of Meditation for Health clinic.
Dr. Sykes received a B.Sc. (with distinction) from the University of Alberta, and an M.D. (with honors) from the University of Toronto. She began general practice at a family medicine clinic in Toronto, but she has limited her medical practice to GP Psychotherapy since 1982.
Dr. Sykes has participated in 20 educational and training events sponsored by the Center for Mindfulness (CfM) at the University of Massachusetts — beginning with 2 residential programs of professional training conducted by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Dr. Saki Santorelli. In 2011, she participated in the CfM’s Teacher Development Intensive, a 9-day residential training conducted by CfM teachers, Melissa Blacker and Florence Meleo-Meyer.
Dr. Sykes regularly attends residential retreats of mindfulness meditation — most recently, in 2015 and 2016, two 7-day silent vipassana retreats with Steve Armstrong, and in 2013, a 6-day Mindfulness Retreat for Educators with Thich Nhat Hanh.
Dr Sykes has a special interest in the psychology of CG Jung. She has studied and taught at the CG Jung Institute in Zurich. After attending 6 semesters at the Institute, she qualified for the Institute’s Certificate of Theoretical Knowledge in Analytical Psychology. As well, she has presented seminars at the Zurich Institute on topics of body awareness in symbol amplification, and body awareness in trauma recovery. Her background includes over 10 years of classical and training analysis in Toronto, with Jungian psychoanalysts, Marion Woodman, Fraser Boa, and Daryl Sharp.
Dr. Sykes is a former board member of the General Practice Psychotherapy Association – now the Medical Psychotherapy Association Canada. She was also active in the GPPA’s professional education and conference committees, and she presented on topics of mindfulness and medicine at the GPPA’s annual conferences. Her contribution to the organization was recognized when she received the GPPA’s 2010 Theratree award.
Liz Creighton, MSW, has more than 30 years experience in health care as a counselor and teacher. She has taught in the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, and has extensive counseling experience with individuals, couples and families. In past years, Ms. Creighton has facilitated stress management groups at a teaching hospital in Toronto. She has facilitated Meditation for Health groups since 2003.
Channa Verbian, M.Ed. RSW, is a registered social worker and certified Focusing Oriented psychotherapist. Ms. Verbian’s mindfulness training includes a 7-day residential training program, sponsored by the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts conducted by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Dr. Saki Santorelli; and a 6-day inter-professional training in Mindfulness-Based Group Practice at the Mount Sinai Hospital Psychotherapy Institute.
Ms. Verbian has a private practice in midtown Toronto. Her practice is client-centered, incorporating mindfulness and focusing techniques to help clients access and process their emotions. Ms. Verbian has facilitated Meditation for Health groups since 2006.
Our Program Coordinator
Diana Wilson has been the program coordinator at Meditation for Health since 1999. Prior to that, she managed community-based medical and holistic health clinics for over 20 years.
Ms. Wilson completed a program of relaxation massage at Kikkawa College, and has had a private practice of massage since 1997. She has a special interest in the application of mindfulness practice to massage.