Dean Colford – Biography

DeanFor nearly 20 years, Dean has dedicated his life to helping those with intellectual and physical disabilities and being an advocate for those who have suffered from mental, physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Being a survivor of abuse himself, he understands the delicate balance needed to create a safe and trustworthy environment.

Dean’s training, along with his personal experiences in the mental health system, allows him to share survival techniques that combine conventional psychotherapy with other proven successful modalities. (Visit www.mindbodyandsoul.ca for more information on programs and classes that are currently being offered.)

One of Dean’s main goals is to assure others that there is hope no matter where life has taken them. His experiences are a testament to his passion for life and his belief that: “If I can do it, you can do it!”

Counselling and support programs

At Mind Body and Soul Self-Help Support Centre, the goal is to create an environment where universal acceptance, respect, and dignity are the norm as opposed to the exception. We use a proven holistic approach to create a well-balanced platform where individuals can begin to feel and communicate while building confidence and self-esteem.

Participants have the option of doing both personal and/or group work using modalities such as: music, intuitive art and dance, one-on-one counselling, role play, energy work, spiritual development classes, nutrition, healthy cooking classes and more. The key idea is to allow everyone access to these programs and opportunities in a safe, non-judgmental environment. This creates a consistent, positive, and healthy atmosphere for two-way dialogue with goals that are both measurable and realistic.Mike Lou and Dean

Through the Mind Body and Soul Self-Help Support Centre, Dean has helped countless individuals take back their power and rebuild their lives while making joy and happiness a priority. We have seen positive influences in areas such as employment, developing healthy family dialogue, and community interaction. We place strong emphasis on building solid relationships with spouses, one’s children, family members, and friends by providing and creating the necessary space and atmosphere for doing one’s personal work. Individuals are assured that all support is confidential and tailored to their specific needs.

Training

Dean’s training for meditation and relaxation massage has taken him to Beijing, Qingdao in Shandong Province and Shanghai. During his visit there, he travelled the mountains and the countryside. He studied Chinese philosophy and worked with families and practitioners who have studied Chinese medicine for centuries. In addition, he has taken both the Spiritual Psychotherapy and Spiritual Directors Programs at the Transformational Arts College. Dean attended countless seminars, classes and workshops where he continues to work on completing a host of programs and his Degree work.

For more than twenty years, Dean has been running support groups and counselling both individuals and families. His staple modalities are: intuitive art and dance, guided meditation, and relaxation massage.Dean's Massage

His education started at the Centre for Alternative Studies to Seneca College, Ryerson University, and then to China and throughout other parts of the world. Dean continues learning, practicing, healing, and living life to the fullest while working with some of the most dynamic holistic practitioners of our time.

He has received extensive education training through the Canadian Union of Public Employees in occupational health and safety, WSIB, human rights, race relations, harassment policies, negotiations, and collective bargaining. Furthermore, he has served several terms as an elected President of a local within the Canadian Union of Public Employees, using his skills in communication and management to counsel hundreds of unionized employees and their families, as well as to settle disputes and negotiate collective agreements.

Dean continues to work with community organizations of all types, along with various healthcare practitioners as he shares and develops his skills every day. In his ongoing commitment to the community, he started a pilot project at 751 Queen St for one year to study mental health in the downtown core. More new programs and services will follow in 2015-2016.

Family Life

Dean is a Christian, a father of four, a former athlete, and has managed a number of successful businesses. As the youngest of six children, Dean grew up being exposed to the streets of Toronto at a very early age and living in the projects, an experience that has allowed him to develop a keen sense of self-awareness and community.

His journey has not been an easy one and there were times he felt demoralized by some of the experiences and choices that he made in both his personal and professional life. He attributes his success and focus through prayer, meditation, continuing education, exercise, nutrition, cognitive behavior therapy, and the art of self-love. With the support, love and understanding from those who are dear to him, he has learned to take the journey one day at a time.Dean, Justin, and Tall Christie

Today, along with founding and running the Mind Body and Soul Self-Help Support Centre, he is writing a book called “Journey to Recovery” and is a keynote speaker conducting workshops on mental health, fitness, and nutrition throughout North America.

Of his experiences, he says:  “This very moment is my sworn commitment to live my life with integrity, honesty, compassion, truth, sincerity, and love — both for myself and for my fellow human beings. My goal is to do my very best each and every day. My objective is to help and give to those in need, unconditionally. My testimony is to follow my spiritual path: be humble, open my heart, and trust my intuition.”

Staying Healthy and Strong!

 

Building a solid foundation is imperative when maintaining overall optimal mental health and fitness. Spiritual balance is equally as important. Part of my weekly routine in order to maintain harmony within includes: praying, daily yoga, stretching, meditation, walking, swimming three times per week, volunteering, and giving back to the community. It is vital to eat fruits, vegetables, and fresh whole foods that are filled with nutrients.  Water is also important, and staying well-hydrated is critical when keeping all three elements of the Mind Body and Soul fully nourished. Finally, having a good amount of rest and sleep allows for replenishment, focus and healing.

Dean StrongMy wish is that you will share your story and journey with us! Please take a look at our website for programming details and join us! If you wish to volunteer, facilitate a workshop or run a class please contact us at: contact@mindbodyandsoul.ca or visit our website at www.mindbodyandsoul.ca.

Peace, Love and Blessings  🙂

Dean Colford

Founder and Executive Director – Mind Body and Soul