About me

Welcome to Embodied & Connected. I’m Lindsay Elin (she/her). I provide somatic trauma, attachment, and nervous-system informed psychotherapy, family therapy and clinical consultation from an intersectional lens. I also provide gender-affirming counselling / psychotherapy / parent coaching to parents of trans/non-binary young people. I hold somatic group practice space for other white somatic therapists around healing the traumas and attachment woundings of patriarchal white supremacy/healing the relational patterns of patriarchal whiteness.

I am a mid-40s, white, queer, cis settler of English/Germanic ancestry. There are other aspects of my identity (related to gender, spirituality, disability, neurotype and more) that I share within the container of relationship – feel free to ask me more. I started working as a counsellor 21 years ago and as a psychotherapist 15 years ago and I am trained as a death doula. My background is in intersectional/anti-racist feminist community work and education and anti-transphobia/transmisogyny work.

I lived and worked in Tkaronto/Toronto for 15 years until recently, however I now live in the Kjipuktuk/Halifax area. My child and I have found refuge during the pandemic in forests and on the beaches of Mi’kma’ki – the unceded and current homeland of the Mi’kmaq. I hold the sacredness of this land, my responsibility to it and to its inhabitants, and the horrors that led to my people being here in my heart and in my view as I move through my days. My work is rooted in my love for queer/trans cyclebreakers and parents who are interrupting intergenerational legacies of domination and disconnection, and is one way I try to account for the harms of my people in this lifetime.

I am invested in collective liberation and decolonization and consider my own healing, spiritual growth, embodiment and expanding capacity for self-reflection, discernment and repair – as a white person, a settler, a parent, a loved one and as a therapist – a small step of many towards those goals. My engagement in long-term somatic psychotherapy, personal and collective grief work and somatic healing from the traumas of patriarchal white supremacy culture are foundational in my life. Daily ritual, relationship-centred parenting and embodied, reciprocal relating with the land the holds me, my ancestors and with the people around me are sacred and life-affirming practices that nourish me and support my work.

I receive on-going clinical consultation from leaders in the fields of trauma and attachment healing, parts work, family therapy and politicized somatic healing. I am particularly grateful to Ava Rose for invaluable clinical mentorship and friendship and to Jan Ohm for life-changing healing work and consultation that sustains my practice. I consult and conspire regularly with brilliant peers who specialize in somatic trauma and developmental therapy and grief work using an embodied anti-racist, anti-oppressive, feminist, sex positive, neurodiversity-affirming, harm reduction lens.

In addition to private practice, I provide consultation and clinical supervision/consultation to a number of organizations and therapists and I give lectures, trainings and conference presentations on trauma-informed and attachment-focused clinical work.

Current interests, projects and gratitudes

Growing new heart muscles: Healing the relational patterns of patriarchal whiteness together

Engaging with what it means to be white on Turtle Island – in an embodied way – is trauma healing work, attachment healing work (in the very broadest sense, including with our ancestors and our other-than-human kin) and deep, collective remembering, grief and repair work. This is life/love work I will forever be devoted to and a learner of. I strongly believe that shame- and appeasement-based anti-racist education strategies for white people – which are themselves features of patriarchal white supremacy culture and are perpetuated in families by behaviourally-focused parenting strategies (ie: expectations of submission/appeasement enforced through shaming, conditional warmth and intellectual strategies that are not rooted in an understanding of the nervous system/attachment system) – do not create the necessary container for embodied learning and healing from the relational patterns of patriarchal whiteness.

Due to horrors that some of our people inflicted on others in order to be here, to the traumas that were already in our ancestors’ bodies prior to arriving here (from many centuries of wars and attempts to eradicate earth-honouring, embodied knowledge through the burning alive of women and others deemed “witches” in many parts Europe, to name only a few), and to the conditions of living under late stage capitalist / patriarchal white supremacy culture, many of us have experienced the absence of secure and nurturing attachment relationships with healthy-enough adults capable of safe relating, consistency, repair, co-regulation, supporting our differentiation and mirroring back our inherent goodness. In addition to this, many of us were raised ‘ahistorically white’ (without knowledge of our own embodied, precolonial histories or understanding about the ways patriarchal white supremacy culture has been constructed / what has been severed in that process and at what cost to whom) and some of us were raised ‘aculturally white’ (without connection to our ancestors, to our people’s own rites of passage, songs, rituals and blessings, and in disconnection from the land / the earth-honouring traditions of our ancestors). Given these wide-reaching severings and disconnections, many white people enter social change and/or healing work without previously having experienced the following: 1) a sustained, embodied sense of deep and cherished belonging to and with a people / to a family / to an ancestral tapestry of connection; b) an embodied sense of strength and dignity that comes from belonging with a people one is proud of, which goes along with a felt, relational sense of one’s rootedness in history and place. This vast ‘cultural spiritual neglect’ becomes quickly revealed through a lack of capacity to withstand the historical and in-the-moment trauma/attachment charges of working cross racially and with each other around highly-charged issues such as racism in social change work and in healing work.

My healing and training as a somatic psychotherapist has taught me that sustained, embodied relational experiences that reflect our intrinsic worth and unconditional belonging with each other as well as our boundaries within ourselves and between each other create powerful neural networks that inform our capacity to tolerate shame/activation and ‘hold ourselves steady’ as we move through the world. These developmental experiences are integral ingredients for ‘building strong enough heart muscles’ to engage with the violent ways patriarchal white supremacy culture lives in our bodies – despite our best intentions – and is expressed through our relationships with each other, ourselves, our children and our clients. Cultivating these ‘heart muscles’ is what allows us to act with integrity and discernment, to stay embodied, dignified and soft vs. going into appeasement, attachment panic, superiority/defensiveness, flight or submission/collapse, and to steady young/wounded parts of ourselves without reaching to people of colour to caretake us.

Over the past few years I’ve been experimenting with holding small, somatically-oriented group space with other white somatic therapists to nurture an embodied sense of belonging within which the healing, learning, grieving and sturdiness needed for working in our current violent cultural climate can be fostered and deepened. Holding this space draws from my own experiences with holding “unlearning” group space around highly-charged issues (with parents of trans/non-binary youth, since 2012), background in anti-oppressive/anti-racist education in the community sector since 1998, training as a somatic, trauma and attachment therapist for the past 15 years, recent learnings from Somatic Abolitionism (SA) and invaluable learnings about the creation of whiteness from White Awake. I am grateful for the work and leadership of Karine Bell and Weena Pauly-Tarr (during the first iteration of the Rooted Global Village’s “My Grandmother’s Hands Book Study”), Resmaa Menakem, Carlin Quinn, Rachel Martin/Cultural Coherence, Susan Raffo and Eleanor Hancock; for learnings with and from Marika Heindrichs; for mentorship from Samantha Wehbi in the late 1990s to explore my whiteness and discover anti-racist feminism; for deep nourishment and grief work through somatic practice and SA triad work with Kira Page, for generative friendship, collegiality, group healing-related scheming, sacred space-holding and care in many forms from Karishma Kripalani, Linda Thai and Mariya Javed-Payne. I’m also deeply and forever grateful to my child, who, at four years old, asked me: “mama, what is beautiful about being white?” It’s my heart’s longing to discover answers to that question with him and with other white people committed to gender and racial justice, as a small but essential step towards collective healing and social change.

I am currently exploring clinical interests related to appeasement as a dissociated state/”part of self” conditioned by patriarchal white supremacy culture parenting and education strategies, and working on resources for other parents committed raising kids with a deep sense of belonging and relational sturdiness. I’m also exploring grief-tending/’heart muscle building’ as a daily family practice, and planning for ‘unplanned’ parent death / collective-liberation-focused legacy planning for our children and future generations.

Prior Community-based experience

From 2012-2019 I worked at a downtown accredited Children’s Mental Health Agency in Tkaronto/Toronto in their LGBTQI2S+ program, providing individual, group and family therapy to youth and their caregivers around issues related to gender identity, self harm, depression and anxiety. In this capacity, I reimagined and redeveloped the Families in TRANSition program (a psycho-educational group for parents of transgender/non-binary youth) by weaving in an attachment and trauma-focus and somatic components aimed at strengthening the relationship between trans youth and their parents, promoting youth mental health, and building caregiver knowledge and self-regulation skills to support youth in this crucial time in their lives. In 2016 I was a contributing author for the 2nd Edition of Families in TRANSition: A Guide for Parents of Trans Youth, which can be downloaded for free : https://ctys.org/wp-content/uploads/CTYS-FIT-Families-in-Transition-Guide-2nd-edition.pdf

Prior to becoming a psychotherapist, as of the late 90s I became involved in counselling, frontline community work and social justice organizing/education work, first in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal and later in Tkaronto/Toronto around issues related to intersectional feminism, anti-racism, anti-oppression, creating gender-affirming spaces and services, sexual health, and HIV/AIDS. Between 2007 and 2012 I was involved in a number of academic research projects at Women’ College Hospital, the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, and School of Social Work at Ryerson University.

Schooling & College Registration

I am a Registered Social Worker (RSW) in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) and a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW). I completed my Masters of Social Work (MSW) in 2010 at the Factor-Inwentash School of Social Work at the University of Toronto.

Formative learning experiences & professional development trainings



  • A Year to Live, Wilka Roig, January 2022 – January 2023
  • End of life doula training (40 hours), INELDA, Wilka Roig and Nicole Heidbreder, Online live training with practicums, April – May 2022
  • Foundations in Somatic Abolitionism for White Bodies (14 hours), ERE, Resmaa Menekam and Carlin Quinn, Online live training, April 2022
  • Assistant for Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for Trauma Themes, Dr. Kekuni Minton, Online live training, November 2021 – June 2022


  • Small group consultation in Trauma Informed Stabilization Treatment with Dr. Janina Fisher, January 2021 to October 2021.
  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for Developmental Injury – Level 2 (126 hours), Online live training with practicums, January 15, 2021 – November 2021.
  • Brainspotting and Addictions (18 hours), Roby Abeles, Online live training with practicums, January 22 – 30, 2021.
  • Safe and Sound Protocol Certification, Online training, January 2021.
  • Brainspotting Certification with Mariya Payne-Javed, November 2020 – March 2021
  • Assistant for Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for Trauma Themes, Kekuni Minton, Online live training, September 24, 2020 – May 20, 2021.
  • Somatic Abolitionism – My Grandmother’s Hands Guided/Embodied Study Group, Karine Bell, July 2020 – July 2021


  • Small group consultation in Trauma Informed Stabilization Treatment with Dr. Janina Fisher, September 2020 to December 2020.
  • Certificate in Somatic Embodiment and Regulation Strategies, Linda Thai, MSW, Online training (10 hours), October – December.
  • Brainspotting Phase 3 (25 hours), Online live training with practicums, Dr. David Grand, November 20-22, 2020.
  • Brainspotting Masterclass (20 hours), Online live training, Dr. David Grand, November 6-8, 2020.
  • Advanced Training for the Treatment of Complex Trauma and Dissociation (50 hours), Dr. Janina Fisher for the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, Online live training with practicums, May 22, 2020 – November 1, 2020.
  • Brainspotting Phase 2 (25 hours), Online live training with practicums, Katherine Allan, October 17-19, 2020.
  • Brainspotting Phase 1 (25 hours), Online live training with practicums, Dr. Jane Evans and Dr. Marjorie Robb, September 11-13, 2020.
  • IFS Circle: Foundations of the IFS Model, IFS Institute, Online training, April 2020 – ongoing
  • Three-Day Intensive Internal Family Systems (IFS) Experiential Workshop (18 hours), Dr. Frank Anderson, Toronto, ON, January 9 – 11, 2020
  • Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Course, Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Project and CAMH, online training, January – February 2020
  • Trans Health Connection Professional Mentorship Program, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO), May 2014 – ongoing


  • DARe Module 4 – From Wound to Wellness: Victim-Perpetrator Dynamics and Disorganized Attachment, Diane Poole Heller, PhD, online training (9.25 hours), December 2019
  • Trans Health Connection Professional Mentorship Program, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO), May 2014 – ongoing


  • Two-Spirit Cultural Safety Training, Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council (TASSC), Toronto, August 3, 2018


  • Working with the Neurobiological Legacy of Trauma, Janina Fisher, PhD, webinar series, September 2016 – December 2017
  • Trans Health Connection Professional Mentorship Program, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO), May 2014 – ongoing
  • Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) Certification process, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, Suzanne Levy, PhD, 2016 – in-progress


  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Level 1 (80 hours): Affect Regulation, Survival Defenses and Traumatic Memory, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, Toronto, ON,  May 2015 – December 2016
  • Coordinating and Completing Referrals for Gender Affirming Surgeries – A pilot training and feedback session, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO), August, Toronto, ON, 2016
  • Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) – Advanced , Level 2, (18 hours), Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, Suzanne Levy, PhD, and Guy Diamond, PhD, March 16 – 18, 2016


  • What Counsellors Need to Know About Hormone Therapies and Trans Surgeries, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO), December 12, Toronto, ON, 2014
  • New Directions in Child and Adolescent Trauma Treatment: A Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Approach (12 hours), Toronto Sexual Abuse Treatment Programs, Anne Westcott, M.A, LICSW, October 23 – 24, 2014
  • Providing Counselling and Support to Clients who are Transitioning, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO), August 12, Toronto, ON, 2014
  • Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TFCBT), Medical University of South Carolina Web-based Learning Course, completed June, 2014
  • Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy Externship (28 hours), Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work Continuing Education, University of Toronto, Sue Johnson, PhD and Gail Palmer, MSW, Toronto, ON, May 27-30, 2014
  • Challenging Teens, Struggling Parents — Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Sian Phillips, PhD, Student Focused Worker Initiative, MCYS, Toronto, ON, May 22, 2014
  • Teaching Affect Regulation Skills to Traumatized Adolescents and Adults, Ontario Association of Social Workers, Lisa Ferentz, MSW, Grimsby, ON, May 8, 2014


  • Mindfulness for Health Care Professionals, The Neuronova Centre for Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management, Dr. Jackie Gardner-Nix, October – December, 2013
  • Attachment-Focused Family Therapy (12 hours),  Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work Continuing Education, University of Toronto, Annette Kussin, MSW, November 15 – 16, 2013
  • Attachment-Based Family Therapy, Level 1 (18 hours), Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, Guy Diamond, PhD and Suzanne Levy, PhD, October 23 – 25, 2013
  • Supporting Gender Independent Children and their Families, Rainbow Health Ontario, Toronto, ON, Hershel Russel, M.Ed., September 25, 2013
  • Certificate in Trauma Counselling for Front-Line Workers, CTYS, Toronto, ON, Natalie Zlodre, MSW, March-April, 2013
  • Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (Attachment-focused Family Therapy)  Level 1 (24 hours), Theraplay Institute, Chicago, IL, Daniel Hughes, PhD, February 12-15, 2013


  • Emotion-Focused Therapy for Complex Trauma (EFT-CT) (12 hours), York University, York, ON, Dr. Sandra Paivio, May 3-4, 2012


  • Radical Acceptance: Buddhist Meditations That Heal and Awaken the Heart, Omega Rhinebeck Campus, Rhinebeck, NY, Tara Brach, PhD, July 8-10, 2011.
  • Engaging Traumatized Clients who Avoid Attachment, Closeness and Painful Feelings, Dr. Robert Muller, Hincks Dellcrest, Toronto, ON, January 31, 2011
  • Watch Wait and Wonder (12 hours), Hincks Dellcrest, Toronto, ON, Dr. Mirek Lojkasek, January 20-21, 2011


  • Motivating Clients to Change Addictive Behaviour (12 hours), TAPE Educational Services, Toronto, ON, November 19-20, 2010
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Frontline Workers: Essentials for Anxiety, Depression and PTSD (12 hours), Hincks Dellcrest Centre, Toronto ON, September 27-28, 2010
  • Toronto International Summer School of Narrative Practice (33 hours), Narrative Therapy Centre, Toronto, ON, July 5-9, 2010


  • Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (12 hours), Leading Edge Seminars,Toronto, ON, Dr. Sue Johnson, June 4-5, 2009
  • Narrative Therapy Intensive (25 hours), Hincks Dellcrest Centre, Toronto ON, David Epston, May 4-8, 2009

I would be honoured to support you and/or your family through life’s challenges and transitions. Please do not hesitate to contact me for a free telephone consultation to discuss how I can be of support to you.

Lindsay Elin (she/her)