Matthew William, MA, RPQ
Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)
Perhaps you have recently undergone a challenging, profound, destabilizing, incomprehensible or otherwise ineffable experience (or multiple). Or perhaps it was blissful, euphoric and transcendent. You may be struggling with how to make sense of what you experienced, what it means for your life and self, or how to fit it into the rest of reality. You may feel destabilized, afraid, or unfamiliar, or vaguely like something has shifted in your experience in a way that feels challenging after your altered state of consciousness experience. I've been there too. My psychedelic integration approach is informed by my training at MIND Foundation in Berlin. It is influenced by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and is science based and spiritually informed. In other words, I strive to hold and honour the sacred aspects of these experiences and our lives, while grounding them in science and values. Together, we will aim to help you to draw meaningful connections to your experience(s) that lead to self-directed eudaimonic (human flourishing) growth. This is accomplished through one-on-one talk therapy, through various exercises (some somatically based) and through exploring, committing to and practicing your values. I work primarily with one-on-one psychotherapy, supervised by Dr. Joseph De Leo, and within the Centre for Compassionate Care team. I also will be offering men’s groups as well as groups for psychedelic integration therapy.
I write the following in the hopes that if we end up connecting with one another, you have some understanding about why I am there sitting across from you. I quit a career in aerospace engineering with the promise to myself that my life would be dedicated to making the world a better place. Many years, and grand 'world changing' plans later and I have come to the understanding that what is mine to do in this life is to simply and uniquely practice being human. For me this means learning how to have more fulfilling relationships, how to be a better friend, how to find and nurture what wants to come forth from my being creatively (and how to express that), and most importantly: how to be here, really here, so that I can truly appreciate and dance with the rhythms of life. I want to see more connection, more trust, more joy and more reverence in this world, and so here I am as a psychotherapist practicing those things. My own journey has been a long self-research project in meaning and fulfillment. Like many therapists I have overcome my own significant mental health hurdles, and believe that they have informed my ability to empathize and to understand the meaning of care on a deep level. Some important teachers for me along the way have been relationships (above all), meditation (Vipassana primarily), awe (in the form of togetherness and nature), the wisdom of elders, pain and darkness, and altered states of consciousness. I have always been interested in consciousness and the mind and have been drawn to psychedelics for many years. While I've had many experiences with psychedelics, the absolutely soul-wrenching and utterly terrifying ones I believe uniquely inform my ability to serve people in this domain. I am a cosmic optimist. I believe humans and all creatures are fundamentally innocent. At the core I believe this universe is a safe place, and my life is in service to contributing to that.