Marlene Van Esch, MSW
Marlene is a Psychotherapist in private practice, and a mindfulness and yoga teacher.
Marlene holds an MSW and is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) and is accountable to the ethics and standards set forth by the OCSWSSW. She attained her BA from the University of Toronto, and her MSW from Wilfred Laurier in 2001. She is also a level one graduate of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (Pat Ogden).
Marlene works with clients to increase understanding, mindful somatic awareness and the practice of body-based skills to safely manage the intrusive effects of trauma and the ways in which the fearful state of our bodies interfere with daily life. This method draws upon the natural wisdom of the body (posture, movement, and the nervous system) to tap into the innate drive in all of us to heal, adapt, and develop new capacities. Marlene also incorporates attachment focused adult psychotherapy to increase understanding of problems clients are experiencing in their self-perception and in intimate relationships from a new and optimistic paradigm. This aids in discovering a new perspective on their problems that is non-judgmental and hopeful for positive change.
Marlene brings a unique combination of 10 years’ experience in the corporate, legal and information technology fields, and over 15 years of social work practice. Over the past decade, she introduced yoga and meditation to her personal life and found so much equilibrium in these practices that she decided to blend them into her social work practice.
Marlene began her professional career in corporate, working in the information technology field in legal environments, and almost didn’t see the damage this choice was having on her life until it was too late. Stress was high in this environment, as it is in others, and after ten years realized she’d be more fulfilled if she were in a profession that helped reduce the stress in the lives of others. This resulted in a choice to go back to University to get a Masters in Social Work.
Since then, most of her social work career was in parenting, where she provided an outreach program to counsel parents in effective parenting. She spent over 10 years working with at The Peel Family Education Centre, facilitating parenting courses and workshops in the Peel Community, Children’s Aid Society, Vanier Centre for Women, and Corporate environments, to assist parents in learning effective parenting skills. She also spent just over a year as Interim Executive Director with this agency. Finally, she spent a short amount of time at Invest in Kids managing the Professional Education team to ensure implementation of contracts to deliver training and/or develop resources for professionals who support parents.
Marlene incorporates mindfulness in her therapy practice. She’s currently enrolled in a two-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program through the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley, and attends Dr. Treyvaud’s Mindsight Intensive program.
Marlene is grateful to her teachers, Beverly Yates and Jim Bean, and over her mindfulness journey, has listened to Pema Chodron, Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. She’s currently job shadowing Dr. Stephane Treyvaud and Dr. Linda Macdonald at The Mindfulness Centre to increase her psychotherapy and mindfulness practices.
Marlene is a true visionary and has contributed enormously to the smooth running of The Mindfulness Centre behind the scenes. She is the glue that gives the many moving parts direction and purpose. Both patients and students alike, deeply appreciate her kind and empathic approach, as she gently guides them towards their goals of integrated health and wellness.