5 Reasons why I teach Meditation to clients who struggle with Anxiety

Meditation has been an important part of my personal and my professional journey. I have found it to be a natural companion to my psychotherapeutic work with clients. I especially love teaching meditation to my clients who experience anxiety. Here is why…

  1. Meditation helps us learn to be present in the moment. Anxiety is often associated with focusing on the future and a disconnect from what is currently going on. Practicing meditation helps us learn to be in the here and now and this can ease anxiety.
  2. Meditation helps the body to relax. Think of anxiety as a fear response. Our bodies go into overdrive getting ready to take action. When there is no physical threat and no need for heightened activity, these sensations are experienced as uncomfortable and even frightening. Meditation gets our parasympathetic nervous system going and helps our body to relax. The more often we help our bodies to relax the better it gets at being in that beautiful, relaxed state.
  3. Meditation helps us build awareness. A lot of people experience anxiety, and often panic attacks, as “coming out of nowhere” or “having no cause”. Meditation practice helps us to tune into ourselves and as we learn to do so, we get better at knowing what is going on for us, what is working in our lives and what feels out of alignment. This kind of knowledge and self-awareness is empowering! It helps us to heal, grow and change.
  4. Practicing meditation helps us to learn acceptance. Learning to tune-in, in a compassionate and non-judgmental way, helps us to create space to really feel what we are feeling and experience what we are experiencing. We unintentionally create so much stress and suffering in our lives because we are busy resisting, denying, avoiding and judging our experiences. Allowing what is, to simply be, is powerful.
  5. Its all natural and anyone can practice meditation. All we need to meditate is already inside of us. With a little guidance, anyone can practice meditation.

Kristy Kirby, Registered Psychotherapist & Meditation Guide

Keep well this season with Holiday Singles

The holidays can be an extremely difficult and sensitive time for many people. I’ve created this seasonal offering to help you survive & thrive the holidays. All through December and January I will be offering single session therapy. This means that you can get support without having to sign up for or commit to long term therapy. These sessions are 90 minutes long and give you an opportunity to check in, vent, create a plan to help you move forward and get support around what matters most to you right now.

“I love doing single session therapy. It has a really unique energy and it is really amazing to see how much can be accomplished in such a short period of time.” Kristy Kirby R.P.

“Single session therapy is amazing for people who are not interested in starting short or long term therapy. The relaxed, single session format allows mental health support to be more accessible and less intimidating.” Kristy Kirby R.P.

Registration is now open! Meditation for anxiety: Creating space for calm

6 week group
40 minutes per week
Small group size
Held virtually

            I know how difficult anxiety can be. Sometimes it is the low-lying hum, ever-present in the background. Other times it is the sudden woosh of panic that rises up hot in the body. The worry…the racing heart…the desire to get away…to hide…

It is with great compassion that I have created this group for people like you, who are experiencing anxiety on a regular basis.

There is hope for relief and for change.

In this group you will learn to move through anxiety and to build compassionate self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-confidence.

            Just as the body can be a place of discomfort, stress and worry, it can also be a refuge of calm, centeredness and relaxation. In my experience, meditation is an incredible tool for accessing these states. In this group, I will teach you how to use meditation in your everyday life to invite calm, relaxation and peace. I will also provide you with information that will help you to look at and interact with your anxiety in an entirely different way. I hope that this information will help you put an end to the ongoing “battle” with anxiety.

            If you feel drawn to this course, I invite you to reach out to register or to learn more. I would be so glad to have you in the group.

What to expect
  • A safe place with a small group of other people who experience anxiety
  • Education and information about anxiety and how to cope from a Registered Psychotherapist
  • Unique guided meditations designed to help you feel calm, relaxed, grounded and safe.
  • In class support and opportunities to ask questions. Note: group discussions are optional and you are not required to speak in class.
  • Access to pre-recorded guided meditations to use outside of class.
  • Walking away each week with increased confidence in your ability to stay centered in the face of anxiety.
Time and dates
  • Sunday evenings 7p.m.
  • October 3, 2021- November 14, 2021 (no class on Halloween)
  • Classes will be held via zoom.

Registration is now open for The Connected Self guided meditation series

You are invited to register for our new guided meditation series!
This course begins in just a few weeks. You will find everything you need to sign up, below.

Think of how you go through each day. Are you so busy that you don’t stop to take a breath? Are you always focused on what’s next, forgetting the moment you are in? Do you forget to eat or go to bed on time? Do you ever feel kind of grey, empty, blah or numb? Do you find it difficult to make decisions or to figure out what you really want? Are you just going through the motions? If you find yourself answering yes, this series is made for you.

In this series, I’d like to focus on the ways in which meditation can be used to help us move into a deeper state of connection with ourselves.

We will focus on creating awareness of breath, of body and of inner dialogue. We will learn to foster a connection between our awareness and our emotions facilitating a relationship of ease and acceptance with our emotional self. We will also utilize guided meditations to creatively connect with our inner voice.

It is my hope that, with each passing week, you will feel more grounded and more aligned with who you are; that you will feel more like your authentic self. I hope that you will experience your life with a renewed perspective, one that feels focused, serene, accepting and open.

I hope that this course will inspire you and teach you how to use meditation to help you experience wellness each and every day.

The details
  • No experience needed
  • Held via Zoom
  • 6 sessions
  • Monday nights at 7
  • $70.00
  • May 3rd-June 14th 2021
  • Note: There will be no session on May 24

Open Skies Psychotherapy

Free virtual Event: Meditation Circle

Winter is just about over and spring is on the way!! Come join me for a free morning meditation on the first day of Spring: March 20, 2021.

Fill out the form below to save your spot!

Recommended reading for trauma recovery

A review of “Healing Trauma” by Peter A. Levine, PhD.
Written by Kristy Kirby, Registered Psychotherapist

If you are looking for a book that will help you understand your trauma and show you what practical steps you can take to recover and regain resilience, this is the book for you. A quick read that is infinitely practical, Peter A. Levine PhD has taken the complex topic of trauma and created a manageable guidebook featuring a “12 phase healing program”.

This short book (less than 100 pages) and audio companion, will empower you by helping you to understand your trauma and to look at your symptoms with a new perspective. This book is full of exercises that you can practice to help you heal from trauma.   

The author, Peter A. Levine, PhD is a leader in the field of trauma. He is the founder of thepopular approach “Somatic Experiencing” and he has taught all over the world, mentoring countless therapists. He has written several other books including “Freedom from pain” and “Trauma and memory”.

Levine’s approach to trauma is body-oriented. He traces the origin of trauma to a physiological state in which a person’s attempt to protect or defend themselves from a perceived threat was overwhelmed, interrupted or unsuccessful. The energy that the body generated to protect itself then becomes stuck in the body.

Levine’s approach, and other body-based methods, focus on working with that stuck energy. In “Healing Trauma” Levine introduces his 12-phase program which includes 4 major stages. The first is a preparatory phase designed to help restore connection and resources, the second is to build awareness of the body or the “felt sense” and the third stage is to release stuck energy. In the last stage of this healing process, Levine provides exercises to help you adjust to the new way of being.

The book is capped with a chapter on trauma prevention, including tips for emergency situations as and parenting children who have experienced trauma.

Note: Trauma work is difficult. This book offers a variety of exercises that you can do on your own to work through your body’s response to trauma but, you do not need to walk the path of trauma recovery alone. If you find that these exercises are overwhelming to you or if you have the sense that it would be helpful to talk to a professional, I encourage you to do so.

Kristy Kirby is a Registered Psychotherapist and the founder of Open Skies Psychotherapy.

What is Open Skies Psychotherapy all about?

Welcome. My name is Kristy and I am here to help you connect to your inner self, heal from your past and reimagine your future!

We are all here for a reason. Each of us has an abundance of value to offer the world. The trick is in gathering all of those talents, passions, interests and hard-earned life lessons and bringing them into the world to create something good for the people around us.

Today I want to tell you all about my creation “Open Skies Psychotherapy” and what I hope to encourage in the lives of my clients.

Hello friends! My name is Kristy and I am here to help you connect to your inner self to heal from your past and reimagine your future. I want to tell you exactly what I mean and how we can work towards these three goals together.

I want to help you connect to your inner self.

When we experience struggle, when we get overwhelmed by the flurry of the day to day, when we spend all of our energy on others, when we experience a profound loss or major life change- in all of these situations we may find ourselves feeling lost, uncentered, off balance and disconnected from our selves. We may feel a lack of purpose or meaning in our lives. Sometimes it is difficult to find our way back.

Whatever your situation, I believe that finding your way back to yourself is the first and most important part of your journey towards feeling better, feeling good, feeling empowered. I believe that each of us has a strong inner voice that is our truth and our greatest guide. My goal is to help you sift through the layers and begin to, bit by bit, hear that voice again. I want to support you in being present with yourself. I want to empower you to reclaim your voice.

I want to help you heal from your past.

            I believe that becoming truly present with our inner self requires that we meet not only our joy but also our pain. It is hard and it can be exhausting but so is ignoring it, fighting it off and feeling stuck within it. With compassionate presence these emotions and memories held in our hearts, minds and bodies can begin to shift and release. We may begin to find some relief and our relationship with the pain of our past may begin to change.

            I hope that my clients will find that they are held back by their past less and less, and that they will move forward with intention and self-compassion.

I want to help you reimagine your future.

            This is the fun part! This is all about opening up to new possibilities! When I named my practice “Open Skies” I did so with a particular feeling in mind. For me, open skies symbolize freedom, infinite possibilities, spaciousness, room to explore, creativity and imagination (remember looking up at the clouds as a child). Open skies offer space to heal and room to grow. It is my hope that my clients will experience renewed energy and a desire to play, imagine and create.


What would it mean for you to connect with your inner self, heal from your past and reimagine your future?

Crisis Support Resources

The following is a list of Crisis Support resources for the Kitchener-Waterloo area.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911

Please remember that you matter and that you are valuable beyond comprehension. Thank you for choosing safety.

HERE 24/7
1 844 432 3247
Mobile Crisis Services can be contacted through Here 24/7.

The Distress Centre
24 hour helpline 519 745 1166
Youth Line 519 745 9909

Kids Help Phone
1 800 668 6868

Mental Health Helpline
1 866 531 2600

The Hope Line
1 800 273 8255

The Lifeline Canada
National Suicide and Prevention Awareness App.

Grand River Hospital
835 King Street West, Kitchener, Ontario. N2G1G3
519 749 4300

Grand River Hospital: Freeport Campus Mental Health Unit
3570 King Street East Kitchener, Ontario. N2A2W1
519 749 4300 X7165