Education and Publications


  • Ph.D., East-West Psychology, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco
  • M.A., Consciousness Studies, University of Philosophical Research, Los Angeles
  • B.A., Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Professional Development

  • Advanced Somatic Transformation: Healing the Traumatic Wounds of the BodySoul, Dr. Sharon Stanley, Bainbridge Island
  • CSTP, Certified Somatic Transformation Practitioner
  • Somatic Transformation: Healing Trauma Through and In Relationship, Dr. Sharon Stanley, Victoria
  • The Somatic Narrative: A Sensorymotor Psychotherapy Approach to Child and Family Treatment, Dr. Pat Ogden, New Westminster
  • Art Therapy: Tending Psyche, Tending Soul, Dr. Judith Bertoia, Vancouver
  • Step to Leadership program, Psychology of Vision, Dr. Chuck Spezzano, Vancouver
  • Conflict Resolution Training, Justice Institute of British Columbia, New Westminster

Memberships and Affiliations


developing-emotional-competenceStella, M. (2018). Developing Emotional Competence through Embodiment to Facilitate Learning: An Educator’s Journey. International Body Psychotherapy Journal, 51-65. This article provides an account of how I incorporate teaching practices and social emotional neuroscience findings. The main objectives are to understand the role of emotion in teaching, identify strategies to cultivate emotional competence, and propose interventions for educators. To download the article, click here.

Befriending Death: A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Cultivating Self-Awareness in Counselling Students - Stella 2015Stella, M. (2015). Befriending Death: A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Cultivating Self-Awareness in Counselling Students. Death Studies, 1-7. This article provides theoretical constructs and practical suggestions to promote self-awareness in master’s level counselling students. Firstly exploring four theoretical constructs: mindfulness, emotional regulation, death anxiety, and relationship dynamics. Then, outlining a practical learning activity on the topic of death. To download the article, click here.

cultivating_presenceThis article combines research data and professional experience in exploring the importance of counsellor presence in therapy and provides suggestions for practical application and further exploration.
It explores the power and the value of therapeutic presence in client-therapist relationships. It is my desire to increase awareness of the concept, practice and research on therapeutic presence research, and to develop further ideas to improve a therapists’ quality of presence. To download the article, click here.

This book investigates the theory, practice, and transformative benefits of a Shambhala Buddhist approach to working with afflictive emotions. A PhD dissertation, it uses a descriptive phenomenology research method in a contemplative psychology frame. Available through:
Barnes & Noble

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