Dr. Stéphane Treyvaud

Founder and Director

1. A brief professional biography

Dr. Stéphane Treyvaud Founder and Director of The Mindfulness Centre

Dr. Stéphane Treyvaud
Founder and Director of The Mindfulness Centre

For mindfulness to become the determining force in our attitude towards life, we need to practice a purposeful kind of attention that we are not usually accustomed to.

Dr. Treyvaud is an adult, child and adolescent psychiatrist, who now only sees older adolescents and adults. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, of the equivalent college in Switzerland (FMH) and a full member of the Canadian Group Psychotherapy Association. He was also a member of the medical advisory board of the ILC (Improving the Life of Children) Foundation, bringing his expertise in mindfulness to the development of a treatment program for children with chronic pain.

His main interest lies in working with adults and adolescents both individually and in groups, providing psychodynamic psychotherapy and mindfulness meditation training. He practices and teaches an integrative approach to medicine, mental health and spirituality. He offers mindfulness meditation training through introductory and advanced meditation programs, retreats and individual sessions.

His medical training includes specializations in Mind/Body Medicine, Psychoanalysis, Jungian Psychology, Existential Psychotherapy, Developmental Psychology, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Interpersonal Neurobiology and sensorimotor psychotherapy. With Northrop Frye he studied matters of the imagination and spirituality.

His meditation experience goes back many decades and started in the German Black Forest with the first Westerner to become a Zen master and bring Zen to the West, Karlfried Graf Dürckheim. Later Dr. Treyvaud trained under Jon Kabat-Zinn in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as he incorporated mindfulness training in his psychiatric practice. He further deepened his mindfulness training with Shinzen Young in Vipassana insight meditation and with Helen Duquette in the Vanda Scaravelli tradition of Hatha Yoga . Most recently he also trained in Interpersonal Neurobiology with Daniel Siegel at the Mindsight Institute in Los Angeles. With thousands of hours of his own meditation experience spanning more than 40 years Dr. Treyvaud cultivates an active meditation practice of his own as he embodies mindfulness as a way of life.

Dr. Treyvaud has been running a private psychiatric/psychotherapy practice for over 30 years. 20 years ago he founded The Mindfulness Centre in Oakville, which incorporates a stress reduction clinic. He has developed an integrative approach to medicine and mindfulness, encompassing both psychotherapy and meditation. Awareness of the importance of mind/body medicine has spread like wildfire and become quite well established within the medical community. Dr. Treyvaud’s referral base has thus grown to include over 800 family physicians, medical specialists, pain clinics, psychotherapists and various institutions across the whole Golden Horseshoe from Niagara Falls to Belleville, as hundreds of patients have now been trained at the Mindfulness Clinic through regular mindfulness programs. He gives regular lectures, workshops and seminars at various institutions, and has presented yearly workshops across Canada at the annual meeting of the Canadian Group Psychotherapy Association.

His main focus is now the oversight of the Mindfulness Centre, as well as the Mindsight Intensive, a 3-year weekly program from September to June every year, that focuses on an in-depth exploration of mindfulness meditation practice, the brain and spirituality. He has developed a unique approach to mindfulness called Dynamic Mindfulness, which is based on both, the thousands of years old mindfulness meditation tradition, and our most recent knowledge of the way the brain works through Interpersonal Neurobiology.

2. Dr. Treyvaud’s clinical method

Interpersonal neurobiology has emerged as a leading discipline that integrates knowledge from a wide array of ways of knowing; these include the broad spectrum of scientific disciplines, the expressive arts and contemplative practice. In particular, brain science, attachment research and research in mindfulness meditation have converged to reveal unprecedented new insights into the mechanisms of interaction between the brain and the mind. With the help of brain scan techniques we have gained new knowledge about the correlation between objective neuro-firing patterns in the brain and the subjective experience of mind. It is now established scientific knowledge that not only does the brain give rise to the mind, but the mind changes and constantly rewires the brain this is called neuroplasticity. In addition, the mind can be trained to rewire the brain towards integration, which is the physical correlate to mental health and wellbeing. Dr. Treyvaud incorporates this knowledge from interpersonal neurobiology in the mindfulness meditation training of his patients and students, and in his method of psychotherapy, which spans the psychodynamic and sensorimotor spectrum.

By harnessing these new insights from brain science and various brain scan techniques, it is now possible to use a vast array of mindfulness meditation techniques in more refined ways. Symptoms patients present can be directly correlated with specific defects in the various neuro-circuitries of the brain, and specific meditation techniques can be correlated with specific neuro-physiological effects in the brain. Precise knowledge of how brain firing correlates to subjective experience allows Dr. Treyvaud to develop more focused, dysfunction-related and individually tailored meditation protocols that yield improved results. Dr. Treyvaud trains participants to develop a new and individually tailored relationship towards their minds and bodies in order to harness the potential for neuroplasticity and achieve neural integration. As a result of rewiring the brain towards integration, symptoms and suffering decrease while ease, wellbeing and health (including mental health) increase.

3. Spiritual/existential teachings

The embodiment of mindfulness has a long tradition of resulting in deep existential and spiritual transformation with a sense of liberation from human suffering and fulfillment of human potential. These meaningful consequences of mindfulness training are not separate from the scientific insights and clinical benefits described above. As these spiritual themes are bound to arise in any mindfulness training, Dr. Treyvaud has given this spiritual aspect of mindfulness training special attention. From a spiritual point of view the investigation of life spans the whole spectrum from dealing with the dance of all phenomena to the pregnant fullness of great emptiness.