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Feb 19
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Therapy and Counselling Program for Shambhala Community Members Seeking Assistance

Dear Shambhala Community,

The Shambhala Board acknowledges that healing and repair is an imperative for our community, and we aspire to do what we can to repair past and current harm, particularly for those individuals who have experienced harm due to aggression, failings on the part of the organization, or actions within the Shambhala community. We are absolutely committed to changing our culture in a way that ensures care, accountability, transparency and inclusivity in all our actions and programs.

We are pleased to announce, as part of the Reparative Process for Shambhala, we are partnering with Robert Wright, MSW, RSW, Executive Director of the People’s Counseling Clinic (PCC), to pilot an ongoing therapy offering and counseling program for Shambhala. You might already be familiar with Robert from the course on Shambhala Online, “Sexual Harm Trauma and the Healing Journey” offered to the community in 2019.


Therapy and Counseling Program Description

Several types of support are available to current or past Shambhala members in English, and we will work to develop country- and language-specific supports for non-English speakers as resources allow. We hope that an offering of counselling and therapy will contribute to a healthy and vibrant Shambhala community, as well as provide individual support for community members in their healing journey. This offering was designed with the valuable input from community members with a trauma and therapy background.

Shambhala’s Therapy and Counselling Program for community members offers the following supports:


A Counseling Service: Individuals wishing to access a single-session, 90 minute, confidential counselling service can contact the Peoples’ Counselling Clinic voicemail at 1-902-832-1593 or [email protected] Individuals will be contacted to schedule an appointment with a therapist from the PCC, who will provide immediate support, information about the therapy offering, recommendations and referrals.

Therapy Subsidy: After accessing the counseling service, individuals may be referred to therapy. A one-time subsidy of up to $500 is available to help cover the cost of therapy sessions with a licensed registered therapist. The PCC will provide a form to the referred individual to submit to a registered therapist, who can apply directly to the PCC to cover the costs of therapy provision.

Leadership Support: A counselling service for leaders in Shambhala looking to support others in their healing, and seeking support themselves. To access the Leadership Counselling Service, contact the Peoples’ Counselling Clinic voicemail at 1-902-832-1593 or [email protected] Individuals will be contacted to schedule an appointment with a therapist from the PCC.


To access these services call 1-902-832-1593 or write [email protected] Leave a message with your name and phone number or email address, as well as identify that you are calling regarding the Shambhala program. You will be contacted within 1-2 business days by the PCC secretary to schedule a 90 minute phone or zoom call with a PCC therapist.


Informational Webinar Recording 

On December 3rd, 2020, the Shambhala Board and the PCC held a call with leaders in Shambhala to explain this one-year pilot program. The intention of the call with Robert Wright and James Dubé (Clinic Manager) of the Peoples’ Counselling clinic, a Shambhala Board Member and Tara Templin, Director of Community Care and Conduct was to present an overview of the program and answer questions.

If after viewing the recording, you have specific questions about the therapy and counselling offering, we encourage you to contact [email protected] or [email protected]

Click here to view a recording of the Informational call


About Robert Wright and the Peoples’ Counselling Clinic


Robert Wright, MSW, RSW, Executive Director of the Peoples’ Counseling Clinic, offered the Sexual Harm, Trauma, and The Healing Journey course in 2019 for the Shambhala community in collaboration with Noel McLellan, and Basia Solarz. Robert is a social worker and sociologist known best for his work in the fields of sexual abuse, child welfare, trauma, cultural competence, and education. His extensive pro bono work gave birth to The Peoples’ Counselling Clinic, a non-profit mental health clinic. His pioneering work with colleagues in cultural competence and conducting cultural assessments has received national attention. For more on his work see http://www.robertswright.ca/ and for information on the Peoples’ Counselling Clinic see http://thepeoplescounsellingclinic.ca/.


In the Vision of the Great Eastern Sun,

The Shambhala Board of Directors

Mark Blumenfeld

John Cobb

Phil Cass

Susan Engel

Lilly Gleich

Peter Nowak

Tai Pimputkar

Susan Ryan

Paulina Varas


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1 response to “ Therapy and Counselling Program for Shambhala Community Members Seeking Assistance ”
  1. Charles Marrow
    Feb 21, 2021

    First of all I would like to express my appreciation to the Shambhala Board for their commitment to keeping the organization functioning. A very important part of that is the ongoing effort to work to heal the harms caused by sexual harm.
    Having said that, my feeling is that a very difficult issue not sufficiently dealt with is the spiritual division of the sangha that has caused many of us to feel the organization has effectively divorced itself from our Kagyu and Nyingma lineage traditions. The manner of teaching, shrine room liturgies and symbolism that is amply manifest in the shrine rooms feels foreign and spiritually irrelevant to many of us. Trying to ‘unify’ the whole mix into a tradition named ‘Shambhala – Buddhism’ is too forced and never has worked for me.

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