A little about me…
My name is Joanna Rynska Simundic and I am sole founder, owner and psychotherapist at Embracing Change Therapy, a private psychotherapy practice I started in 2013. I support individuals in processing traumatic material using a variety of techniques such as: Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, Mindfulness, Internal Family Systems and various somatic approaches. I am registered as a Clinical Social Worker and Clinical Counsellor in the province of British Columbia.
I graduated from York University in Toronto, ON in 2006 with an Honours Undergraduate Degree in Psychology. I also completed my Masters of Social Work at Wilfrid University in Kitchener, ON in 2012. I have been in the helping profession serving various populations for the last 14 years. My main passion is working with trauma survivors as I have also overcome extensive traumatic experiences in my own life. Trauma work is my passion and calling in life as I support individuals in healing traumatic material and achieving post traumatic growth.
I am also trained as a psychedelic psychotherapist. I graduated from my training with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies in 2018. I was honored to be invited into the Vancouver MAPS team in early 2016 as one of the MAPS Therapists for the MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Clinical Trial Research Study in Vancouver, BC. I have since contributed to Phase II and III in helping MDMA become a legal therapeutic medicine in Canada. I have also been supporting the MDMA Therapy Training Program as a Teaching Assistant since 2020 in helping teach new psychedelic psychotherapists in preparation for the legalization of MDMA for therapy purposes in Canada, coming in late 2023.
I possess a wide array of experience working with trauma from my project Virtual Dialogue in Medellin, Columbia working with marginalized youth, working with First Nations communities in Northern British Columbia and also supporting at risk youth in Newfoundland and Toronto. Throughout my career as a helper, I have supported individuals and families in overcoming difficulties such as: developmental trauma, abuse and neglect, sexual trauma, first responders’ exposure to traumatic events on the job, domestic violence, adult children of caregivers abusing alcohol and drugs and various others exposures to difficult life events.
Since 2019, I have been involved in working with an Indigenous group in the state of Acre, Brazil named the Yawanawá people, who live on a large territory of the Amazon Rainforest. We have been working together to protect and uphold Indigenous traditional wisdom and protection of the medicinal plants of the Amazon. We have created a Canadian non-profit organization called the Amazonia Yurahu Alliance that first originated in 2019. We have been working together to help support the Nipei Garden of the Medicines Project, which works to help preserve the transmission of the ancestral knowledge of the use of medicinal plants onto future generations.
My other passion is my devotion to spiritual practice and personal transformation as well as being out in nature, hiking and exploring the beauty of British Columbia. I have an adult daughter, who is currently finishing off her post-undergrad schooling in microbiology to become a Lab Technician. I live with my partner in the city of Vancouver, who enjoys playing professional disc golf and is the founder of Disc Golf Brasil, the first person to bring the sport of disc golf to Brazil.