Jacqueline is the founder and director of Breathe Mindfulness Centre. As a Clinical Psychologist, she has had the privilege of offering assessment, counselling, and other psychological services to her community within the Halifax Regional Municipality for more than 29 years. She is a Past-President of the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia (APNS) and is the Wellness Ambassador for the Keltic Lodge at the Highlands, Cape Breton NS. During her career, she has taught university psychology courses and provided interviews and articles for local and national television, newspapers, and magazines – including CTV and ATV News, Today’s Parent magazine, Chatelaine magazine and Parent-Child Guide.
Given the mounting scientific evidence regarding the therapeutic benefits of contemplative principles and practices on emotional and mental wellbeing, Jacqueline has undergone extensive personal and professional training in the areas of mindfulness, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, mindful eating, and mindful self-compassion – resulting in being amongst the very few in the Atlantic provinces to obtain certification in these areas. She is also an RYT200 Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher. Her study and training in these areas has ultimately deepened her understanding of the relationship between mind, body and spirit on individual happiness and overall wellness, allowing her to offer a tailored holistic approach to those she serves.
Since the inception of Breathe Mindfulness Centre in 2015, Jacqueline has expanded her offerings to include providing mindfulness, self-compassion, yoga and other wellness-based workshops, classes, retreats and programs to the public and to a variety of organizations across Nova Scotia, including but not limited to: the Government of Nova Scotia, the RCMP, Veteran’s Affairs Canada, Bide Awhile Animal Shelter, IWK and NS Health Authority, Keltic Lodge at the Highlands, Dalhousie Medical Response Team and the CNIB Foundation.
Although Jacqueline has been taught by some of the originators of Western mindfulness and self-compassion-based therapies including Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dr. Zindel Segal and Dr. Christopher Germer, her greatest inspiration and learning have come from her own personal practice of mindfulness, self-compassion and yoga. Her practice in these areas continues to positively transform her relationship with herself, others and the world. Her daily practise of mindfulness reinforces her intention to offer this extraordinary opportunity to others.
Dr. Michelle Tougas is a Registered Clinical Psychologist who works with youth and young adults, 12-25 years old. Michelle encourages her clients to build lives that emphasize caring for the mind and body. Her work focuses on striving toward value-based, mindful living.
Michelle aims to guide improvement in daily function and self-compassion for youth and young adults with Anxiety, Eating Disorders, Emotion Dysregulation, Depression/Low Mood, Interpersonal Communication Struggles, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Sleep Disruption, and Trauma. To support her clients and reach desired outcomes she draws from evidence-based therapeutic modalities, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), and Family-Based Therapy (FBT).
In addition to counselling and therapy, Michelle provides ADHD, Psycho-educational (Learning), OCD and Eating Disorder assessments for youth and young adults. With a focus on harnessing strengths, these comprehensive assessments are intended to gain personalized understanding and valuable insights into the unique challenges individuals face to develop meaningful strategies and effective interventions which foster academic success, a more engaged life and greater emotional well-being.
Michelle’s favourite sound is the rustling leaves on a windy day. Her calm place is down by the river, wrapped up in a cool breeze surrounded by forest. She enjoys crunchy foods and loves the smell of supper cooking.
Born and raised in the Annapolis Valley, Caitlin graduated from Acadia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Psychology. She completed part of her undergraduate degree at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Managing the administrative side of the Centre, Caitlin strives to make the centre’s first point of contact a welcoming and safe experience. Her compassion and kindness reflect her years of customer service experience, which facilitates putting those who reach out to Breathe Mindfulness Centre at ease. Caitlin’s ability to deeply listen and offer suggestions regarding the suitability of services or events is a genuine asset to the Centre.
A big fan of the East Coast, Caitlin loves spending time in nature, exploring the many beaches of Nova Scotia, and adventuring with her rescue dog. She embodies the values of the Centre with mindfulness, self-care, and self-compassion being at the forefront of her own personal everyday practice.