Matthew Ramsay Bio

Dedicated to facilitating personal growth and development experiences for over 20 years

Having personally travelled the terrain of the ‘dark night of the soul,’ and also witnessed firsthand miraculous transformations of hundreds of people, I can attest to the capacity of the human soul to transform traumatic losses, transitions, or crises into greater wisdom, compassion, empowerment, and passion when these are met with pure presence and unconditional acceptance.

I personally know the possibility and promise of living with an open heart: open to the flow of life-energy that leads to deeper connection with ourselves, our soul, spirit, other people, and the more-than-human community of nature that sustains us every breath of the way.

My personal journey started young; I was born on the land where transcendentalism took root in North America, at (Ralph Waldo) Emerson Hospital, near Walden Pond, in Concord Massachusetts, where Henry David Thoreau conducted his famous ‘experiment in living deliberately.’ I was born to a father that was a former Catholic priest turned guidance counsellor who had been passionately involved in the Liberation Theology movement in Bolivia the decades before my birth, and to a contemplative Catholic mother with mystical sensibilities, who together inspired me to trust myself and life itself, no matter what! Today, I honor my father and mother, for their gift of life, their wisdom and compassion, and their courageous authenticity.

From the start, these things have remained constant for me: a reverence and deep curiosity about nature, consciousness, spirit, and how to contribute to a more socially- and ecologically just world.

The experiences and education that follow reflect how my soul has led me to this calling, sometimes sweetly, sublimely, and at other times through truly-wrenching passages. As a result, I offer you a courageous-yet humble-heart, and compassionate companionship for the journey:

I am a registered therapeutic counsellor (RTC) with the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada (ACCT), having completed my three-year training in transpersonal counselling psychology at the Clearmind International Institute in Vancouver, BC.

I weave together a unique combination of training and life-experience into my practice of counselling psychology: 

  • Over 20 years of Soto Zen Buddhist meditation practice and study, including five years immersed in traditional monastic training, and receiving lay ordination, which includes formally taking refuge in the three treasures, the lineage, and vowing to practice and sustain the 16 Bodhisattva precepts
  • Certified NVC Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication with >10 years of leadership training and integration
  • Systemic Constellations Facilitator; having completed Family, Organizational & Natural Systems Facilitator Training with Francesca Mason Boring of All My Relations Constellations
  • Intensive training with Gordon Neufeld and faculty of the Neufeld Institute on attachment-based developmental theory and approach to child/youth development and parenting
  • Clearmind International Institute Men’s Support Group-Therapy facilitator
  • Former Outward Bound Instructor; facilitating wilderness based rites-of-passage, personal growth, leadership and team-building experiential programs, and adventure based counselling using William Glasser’s Choice Theory and Reality Therapy
  • Wilderness-based rites of passage facilitator; apprenticed to Roshi Joan Halifax at Upaya Zen Center
  • Ordained minister and life celebrant
  • Master’s degree in restoration ecology with >16 years professional experience as an ecologist having worked in all sectors: federal government, non-profit, and private consulting
  • More than 20 years living in intentional communities practicing consensus decision making and sustainable community development
  • Devoted parent and husband
Unique among counselling therapists, personal development trainers, and educators, I offer:
a rare quality of presence that influences the quality of attention and listening that I can provide, promoting greater self-awareness (of body-sensations, thoughts, and feelings) in you, which in-turn supports your capability to transform difficult emotions.
exceptionally-attuned empathy, listening, and compassion so that you truly experience being seen, heard, understood, and accepted, which cultivates self-compassion within you and increases your compassion for others; both of which improve your relationships with self, other and the sacred dimension of your life.
the ability to educate in the classical Latin sense of the word: ‘to draw out from within you’ your own innate wisdom and self-compassion.


a wide frame of reference that is both systemic and spiritual: a spiritual view (inclusive of all traditions) supports the development of a deep abiding trust, known by many as ‘faith’, while a systemic view incorporates modes of transgenerational and transpersonal healing that transcend the perceived boundaries of the individual self.

ACCT – Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada

To learn more about my approach, philosophy and services follow the links below:

Nonviolent Communication workshops & trainings for individuals and groups

Counselling services
for individuals,
couples and

Systemic Constellations workshops & private sessions for individuals and groups