Karen Day has always been fascinated by all things pertaining to mind-body-spirit wellness. As a child, she would spend countless hours writing poetry, songs and stories about rainbows and love, and magical forests. Growing up in a rural setting, surrounded by acres of actual forest as her playground, she would often be caught talking to trees. When asked by a parent “Why do you talk to trees?”, she patiently explained how the trees have lots to say to people, and sometimes they need human friends to give them hope.
The creative spark in her dimmed for a while (like a few decades) so that she could become a responsible adult, and be taken seriously. In 1986, as an anxious social work student at Ryerson University, Karen found sanctuary in a first-year class taught by the late Professor Connie Cassis who introduced Karen to the power of meditation.
Using mindfulness and meditation, she taught herself how to overcome insomnia and excessive worry. Her deep inquiry and interest into formal mindfulness studies and mind-body medicine as an adjunct to social work, began at this point. She carried this passion with her to the University of Toronto master’s degree (MSW) program, with a focus in empowerment-based mental health. She went on to work for almost twenty years in both community and institutional-based mental health services.
In 2003, Karen began teaching social work at the college level. Following in the footsteps of a teacher who had sparked change and inspiration so many years prior, Karen introduced mindfulness to students. She also received funding to carry out applied research on the impact of mindfulness in post-secondary social service students.
This research was expanded into cross-disciplinary areas, and kept Karen busy exploring the power of the mind to heal. Around this time, Karen also started taking courses in clinical hypnosis, and began practicing hypnosis with her children, family, friends, and just about anyone who would volunteer. Eventually, she gained the confidence to share this healing art with private-practice clients. The results were so miraculous, that by 2007, Karen decided to open up a clinic to teach people about the power of hypnosis, mindfulness and integrative psychotherapy.
For over 10 years, she ran the Daybreak Clinic – a centre for holistic psychotherapy and mental health services. During this time, she developed the Clinical Counselling Hypnotherapy (C.Hyp™) Practitioner training program which has grown into an international network of hundreds of like-minded therapists who are dedicated to mind-body-spirit interventions in psychotherapy. Karen is Past President of the Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis (Ontario Division) and enjoys travelling around the world to teach mental health professionals about clinical hypnosis and integrative psychotherapy.
As the founder and President of Daybreak Therapy and Training, Karen is so happy to be part of a thriving and growing community of counselling professionals offering excellence in mind-body therapies. In her full-time private practice, Karen specializes in anxiety issues including: panic, fears, phobias, OCD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She is also the author of Breaking the Worry Trance, an online educational program teaching mindfulness-based approaches to healing anxiety. Along with her Daybreak colleagues, she is committed to the integration of evidence-based psychotherapy and conventional counselling with the ages-old wisdom of ancient psycho-spiritual healing traditions.
Having taught mindfulness and meditation practices along with self-hypnosis strategies to thousands of individuals, Karen’s approach to life and work is one that nurtures mindfulness, inquiry and compassion. These days, her favourite thing to do is simply marvel at the beauty and keen intelligence of her two adorable daughters who became young adults in the blink of an eye.
Karen continues to write poetry, refuses to give up on her belief in magical forests, and still talks to trees. Guess what? They really do have lots to say.