Studio Coordinator

RE-create Outreach Art Studio has a part-time, one-year contract for a Studio Coordinator, beginning in September 2017. The responsibilities of the Studio Coordinator will be to facilitate an open arts studio for street-involved, at-risk youth. For more information and to view the complete posting, visit this link.

LGBTQ+, Mental Health and Faith Conference

Join with Generous Space Ministries and Shalem for a joint conference on LGBTQ+, Mental Health and Faith.

Luis F Goncalves, an experienced therapist who has navigated his own LGBTQ+ journey, will give the keynote presentation on LGBTQ+ and Mental Health. In the afternoon, there will  be a panel of experienced partitioners and a panel members of the LGBTQ+ community.

You can expect a day of dialogue and co-learning with LGBTQ+ individuals and practitioners, a better understanding of the complexity of mental health challenges for LGBTQ+ indviduals, a sharing of the unique challenges and opportunities for building support systems and an exploration of the distinctions between mental illness and orientation/gender realities.

For more information, view the complete flyer here.

To register, please complete the form below:

Annual General Meeting

Join us for our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Come and engage with the Shalem Board and Staff as we look back and celebrate all of God’s gifts in 2016, and brainstorm strategies for embedding Shalem’s ministries even more deeply in communities. We will begin our meeting at 3 pm at Ryerson United Church (842 Main Street East, Hamilton), after the business portion of the meeting, guests are invited to tour our new office building at 875 Main Street East. PLEASE JOIN US!

For more information about the membership at Shalem, visit our membership page. Or contact us via email or toll free at 866.347.0041.

FaithCARE: Learning How to Grow Restorative Churches

Join us in Ajax, ON for Learning How to Grow Restorative Churches: a three day classroom training in growing restorative congregations. This training will be on April 25, 26 and 27, 2017. This training is offered in partnership with the IIRP and the Eastern Canada District, Christian Missionary Alliance Church.

For more information please view this flyer.

To register, contact Danielle VandenAkker.

DDP Study Day 2017

Join us in Ottawa, ON on May 26, 2017 for a Study Day focused on Dyadic Development Psychotherapy. Come refresh your DDP skills and learn how DDP can be effective with families who have experienced great stresses, including relationship trauma. This study day is for those interested in learning more about Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP – Dr. Daniel Hughes’ Attachment-Focused Family therapy model) as well as people already trained in DDP who want to refresh their skills.

Betty J.B. Brouwer, Michelle Hogeterp and Sian Phillips will lead the conversations and presentations. The day will consist of presentations, case studies, and opportunities to practice PACE. Attendees are encouraged to come with with related questions about using the model in their practice.

Registration begins at 8:30 and the day will wrap up by 3:30. For more information, view this flyer.

To register, please complete the form below

The Shack – Opens in Theatres March 3!

Shalem is excited to share with you the following video with Paul Young, author of the Shack.  The Shack opens in theatres on March 3rd!

SHALEM from Shalem Mental Health Network on Vimeo.

The Shack shares the story of a father’s uplifting spiritual journey. After suffering a family tragedy, Mack Phillips [Sam Worthington] spirals into a crisis of faith. After receiving a mysterious letter, Mack journeys to the shack and encounters an enigmatic trio of strangers led by a woman named Papa [Octavia Spencer]. Through this meeting, Mack finds important truths that will transform his understanding of his tragedy and change his life forever.

Hold Me Tight – Couples Weekend Workshop

Shalem facilitates Hold Me Tight weekend workshops. We have two weekends to choose from in each year. The Hold Me Tight Workshop, developed by Dr. Sue Johnson is a weekend workshop designed for couples around seven conversations based on the new science of love and the wisdom of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT). The Hold Me Tight is appropriate for couples who:

  • want to connect more deeply
  • want to get “unstuck” from their patterns
  • are in established or new relationships

March 31 – April 2, 2017 will be facilitated by Jennifer Bowen and Susan Winter Fledderus

The workshop will be held in Hamilton, Ontario.

Registration fees for the weekend are $550 and include refreshments and materials for the three days, including lunch on Saturday. Please contact us for fee options or to discuss how you could use extended health coverage or other benefits to help with the fee.

To register, please complete the form below:

For complete details view the workshop flyer. Contact us for fee options or to discuss how you could use some CAP sessions or extended health coverage to help with the registration fee.

REcreate Studio Volunteer

We’re currently looking for volunteers to help out during studio time at REcreate Outreach Art Studio. Studio times happen 3 times a week and are times when at-risk, street-involved and homeless youth can come to the studio and make art. As a studio volunteer, you’d be responsible for assisting the studio coordinator to make sure all the youth have the supplies that they need, giving youth positive feedback on their work, encouraging youth and spending time, listening to them and being someone who cares about them and their lives.

A criminal reference check (vulnerable persons), through your local police station, will be required to volunteer in the studio.

Currently open studio is offered on:
Monday from 12:30-3:00pm
Tuesday from 7:00-9:00pm
Thursday from 4:00-6:00pm

You would not need to be available for all those times in order to be a volunteer, but we’d like to have you there at least once a week. We find that it takes the youth a long time to build rapport with volunteers who are present less than once a week.

To apply, please contact Meghan Schuurman, Studio Coordinator at REcreate.

Bringing Restorative Practice into Congregational Life


Using the Restorative Questions: Let us Pray

Faith communities offer unique opportunities for introducing explicit and intentional restorative practices to build healthy communities.

Here’s one practice you can try using the restorative questions.

This practice could be used in a meeting, a workshop, a retreat or during a worship service.

The leader asks those present:
(The questions can be provided so people can jot down their thoughts.)

  • Think of a situation in your life that needs healing. (Period of silence*)
  • Who has been impacted and in what ways? (Period of silence)
  • How have you been impacted? (Period of silence)
  • What’s the hardest thing for you? (Period of silence)
  • What needs to happen to address the situation and move forward? (Period of silence)
  • What are you willing to do to address the situation and move forward? (Period of silence)

* The period of silence depends on the circumstances. For example, if you use this practice during a workshop or retreat, you may wish to have a the period of silence for 1-3 minutes. In a church service you may wish to limit the silence to 20-30 seconds

The leader prays, asking that all that has been named in silenced be infused with love and understanding as people find the courage to move forward in ways that bring healing creating bonds of understanding, dignity and respect.

If the church has a restorative team, the names of the members of the team can be made available if people need help to address the named concern.

The benefits of the practice:

  • People will become familiar with the restorative questions and begin to incorporate them into their lives.
  • There will be an explicit expectation that broken relationships should be addressed restoratively.
  • The practice will provide the opportunity for the congregation to develop a restorative practice culture and an explicit way to provide support for restorative practice through the congregational restorative team.

Attachment, Trauma, and the Brain – 2016 Conference

Shalem is thrilled to host an attachment conference in November 2016! Join us on November 28 and 29 with Dr. Sue Johnson and Dr. Janina Fisher, leading experts in the field of attachment and trauma recovery. The speakers will draw connections between attachment, trauma and the newest insights into the neurobiology of relationships, with a focus on effective clinical interventions.

For more information, view the conference flyer here.

This conference registration is now closed.

FaithCARE training in Grand Rapids

Mark Vander Vennen and Anne Martin will be conducting FaithCARE’s three-day Restorative Practice training from October 4 to October 6, 2016 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, sponsored by the Office of Social Justice of the Christian Reformed Church of North America. For more information and to register, click here, or contact Kate Kooyman at [email protected] or 616-241-1691 ex 2120.

The Sights and Sounds of Where We Belong at the CATA Conference

Betty Brouwer and Meghan Schuurman will be leading a workshop at the 2016 OATA/CATA conference: Art Therapy & Anti-Oppressive Practice. The conference is from Friday, October 14 – Sunday, October 16, 2016.  Betty and Meghan will share their Lessons Learned from the Sights and Sounds of Where We Belong Project at RE-create Outreach Art Studio.

For more information on this conference and to register, visit the CATA website here.

2016 Battle of the Brushes

Join with us on Friday, September 23, 2016 for Battle of the Brushes! This event to support RE-create Outreach Art Studio will be held at the Spice Factory in Hamilton (121 Hughson Street North). This is a live art making competition and promises to be an exciting evening. For more information, please contact Meghan Schuurman, Studio Coordinator. To RSVP, visit the Facebook event page here.

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Study Day

Join with other DDP practitioners for this study day. This day is for those interested in learning more about Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP, Dr. Dan Hughes, Attachment Focussed Therapy model) as well as people trained in DDP. The focus of this study day will be working with parents. Betty J. B. Brouwer and Dr. Sian Phillips will be leading the conversations and presentations. Michelle Hogeterp will present “Nurturing Attachments – Parenting Group”, and Annette Kussin will present on “Adult Attachment”.  The day will consist of presentations, case studies and opportunities to practice PACE through role-play. Attendees are encouraged to come with related questions about using the model in their practice.

The study day is scheduled for Friday, November 11 in Hamilton. To register visit the Attachment Association of Canada’s website here.

Dyadic Development Psychotherapy Training: Level 1

The Attachment Association of Canada Presents Dyadic Development Psychotherapy Training: Level 1. Betty Brouwer will be leading this training on November 23 – 26, 2016 in Oakville.

This course is suitable for parents, social workers, child and youth workers, caregivers or teachers working with children with attachment issues. This training is also relevant for therapists and clinicians who want to increase their skill set of attachment focused treatment. The model is relevant for those working with children aged four through to adult years. This is phase one of certification in DDP Training and is limited to 24 participants.

To register contact the Attachment Association of Canada here.

A Dynamic Blended Family: When Restorative Practice Marries Family Therapy

Jennifer Bowen and Anne Martin are presenting at the Restoring Community 21st World Conference, hosted by the International Institute for Restorative Practices. The session is on Thursday, October 24, 2016 and is about “A Dynamic Blended Family: When Restorative Practice Marries Family Therapy”.

For more information on the World Conference, visit the IIRP here.

2016 Special Education Conference OACS

Shalem staff will be presenting at the 2016 Special Education Conference on October 3, 2016, hosted by the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools. The focus for the day will be “Learning through Relationships: Attachment, Interventions and the Developing Brain”. Mark Vander Vennen and Betty Brouwer will begin the day with the Plenary Session: Attachment and the Developing Brain. Shalem staff presenting throughout the day are Mark Vander Vennen, Betty Brouwer, Michelle DeBoer, Anne Martin, and Shawn Groen.

For more information on this event and to register, visit this page.

4th Annual Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) Conference

Betty Brouwer will be co-presenting at the 4th Annual Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) Conference in Stony Point, NY. The conference will be on October 31, – November 2, 2016. Betty will present with Charlie Melendez on “Nurturing Attachment Support Groups for Parents“.

For more information and to register for this conference, visit the DDPI conference page here.

Annual General Meeting

Join us for our Annual General Meeting on Thursday, May 26, 2016. Come and hear from Shalem Board and Staff about exciting developments in 2015, and what we anticipate with God’s grace, lies in store for 2016.

We are meeting at 11 am at First Hamilton CRC (181 Charlton Avenue West) in Hamilton. A light lunch will be served. To become a member of Shalem, please visit our membership page. You can view our 2015 Annual Report here.

Andrew Debicki

Andrew Debicki — November 25, 1954 – February 10, 2016

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our treasured colleague, staff member and friend, Andrew Debicki. Andrew passed away suddenly at Hamilton General Hospital, surrounded by the care of his wife Wendy and their children.

Andrew was Shalem’s WrapAround Development Director and the National Development Director for Wrap Canada. He has been a leading figure in the development of WrapAround across Canada, traveling to support WrapAround initiatives across the country. Andrew was passionate about WrapAround and the impact it has with families who have complex needs.

His loss is keenly felt by the WrapAround community across Canada and by the Shalem staff. All of us will be honoured to carry his work forward, built upon the remarkable legacy that he has left.

Andrew was an extraordinarily generous, kind and gifted man. Our thoughts and prayers are with Wendy (his life-partner for over 40 years), his children, and his grandchildren. A private family funeral will take place, and a “Celebration of Life” event is currently being planned. When the details of that event become clear (including the date), we will post them. To view the notice in the Hamilton Spectator, click here.

The family has requested that donations made in Andrew’s honour go to the charity of your choice. Our WrapAround colleague Cathy Blocki-Radeke from Oolagen in Toronto has begun a “GoFundMe” campaign in support of Wendy and their family–please consider this opportunity to support them in Andrew’s memory. The National WrapAround Initiative in the United States, has posted a beautiful tribute to Andrew - you can find that notice here. We will also be pleased to pass along to the family any expressions of sympathy you would like to make. Please contact us here.


WrapAround Facilitator Training

Elske de Visch Eybergen will be leading three days of Wraparound Facilitator Training. The training will take place at Stoney Creek United Church on the following three Saturdays:

April 2, April 9 and April 23, 2016.

With the completion of all sessions totalling 18 hours, plus five hours of live coaching, participants will receive a WrapAround Facilitator Certificate.

For more information, view this flyer.  To register, contact Elske.

Clergy Wellness Webinar

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada hosted a webinar on January 20, 2016, with Wanda Malcolm and Mark Vander Vennen. The webinar focussed on what is the state of mental and emotional health of our clergy in Canada? What does wellbeing look like in a busy pastoral life that is often full of demands and ripe for burn-out? How can churches care better for their ministry leaders? To listen to the full webinar, visit this link.

For more information on Shalem’s Clergy Care program click here.

Men and Depression Podcast

Shalem’s Mark Vander Vennen was interviewed by Kirk Giles, Executive Director of Promise Keepers Canada, for a Promise Keepers podcast about “Men and Depression”. You can listen to the podcast hereThe interview is a follow-up to Mark’s recent Shalem Digest article entitled “What’s Going On With Men Today?”, available here.

Mark Vander Vennen appears on “Jim Cantelon Today”

Executive Director Mark Vander Vennen has made two recent appearances on the television show “Jim Cantelon Today”. Mark’s interview about “Christmas and Depression”—the reality that for many people Christmas is not a happy time—aired on November 30. On the show which aired on January 5, Jim has a conversation with Mark about Mark’s co-authored book Hope in Troubled Times: A New Vision for Confronting Global Crises, Foreword by Desmond Tutu.

The Little Book of Restorative Justice for Sexual Abuse: Hope Through Trauma

Shalem’s FaithCARE (Faith Communities Affirming Restorative Experiences) program has been extensively profiled in a major new book! The book, called The Little Book of Restorative Justice for Sexual Abuse: Hope Through Trauma, is the newest addition to the internationally regarded “Little Book” series on restorative practice and conflict transformation. Written by Shalem colleague Judah Oudshoorn, with support from another Shalem colleague, Michelle Jackett, FaithCARE’s work is used as a primary source for the book’s chapter entitled “Communities: A Case Study”. The book itself is an outstanding addition to the restorative justice literature and helps to fill a gap in that literature. We highly recommend it!

Restorative Theory In Practice: Insights Into What Works And Why

Shalem’s Executive Director Mark Vander Vennen has just had a chapter published in a new landmark book about restorative justice.  The book is called Restorative Theory In Practice: Insights Into What Works And Why, edited by internationally renowned restorative justice practitioner Belinda Hopkins. Mark’s chapter, called “Towards a Relational Theory of Restorative Justice”, explores how “attachment theory”, which undergirds our attachment psychotherapy work at Shalem, can enhance the theoretical understanding of why restorative justice is effective. The chapter represents a milestone in both our attachment and restorative practice activities at Shalem—and especially at understanding the deep the links between them. It is also a reflection of the increasing hearing that Shalem is receiving in the mental health world.

Day of Encouragement: Ancaster 2015

A number of Shalem staff will be participating in the Annual Day of Encouragement in Ancaster on October 17, 2015.

  • Susan Winter Fledderus will speak on “When Marriages Fall Apart: How Churches can support couples and their families”.
  • Jennifer Bowen will lead a workshop entitled: “Mental Health in Our Churches: Let’s Talk About It”.
  • Anne Martin will present on “Going Forth Creating Healthy Relationships: A Restorative Response to the Great Commission”.

For more information and to register for this event, visit Diaconal Ministries.

Edifide 2015 Convention: Purpose, Power, Potential

Several of Shalem’s staff will be presenting at the 2015 Edifide Convention on Friday, October 30, 2015.  Here are the workshops offered by Shalem staff:

  1. Anne Martin will lead a workshop on “Boundaries, from a Restorative Practice Perspective.”
  2. Betty Brouwer’s workshop is on “Protecting Student’s Potential”.
  3. Shawn Groen will present “Protecting Your Potential through Mental Health”.

For more information visit Edifide’s website.

5 Means I Love You

5 Means I Love You is written by Shalem staff member Anne Martin, and beautifully illustrated by Geoff Bateman, the book tells the story of “Tom”, a foster child who is adopted by two loving parents. The story traces their sometimes challenging journey into loving attachment.
5 for web
Written in comic book form, “5 Means I Love You” is suitable for all ages, from young children to adults. The book supports Shalem’s “Linking Lives/Building Attachment” program and is endorsed by Dr. Dan Hughes, our mentor in attachment.

The book was printed by Print Ninja, and we were thrilled with their professional service. We highly recommend them!

This is available for purchase through Shalem’s office for $10 a copy plus shipping. Please complete the form below to order a copy today!


Recreate Art Exhibit is Featured in the Hamilton Spectator

RE-create Art Studio had a fantastic art exhibit opening on Friday, June 12. “The Sights and  Sounds of Where We Belong” was a project that stemmed from a research project where the youth identified places in Hamilton that they felt were welcoming and youth friendly and spaces that were not welcoming. This initial research was in partnership with the Resilience Research Centre, and Dr. Linda Liebenberg. RE-create is grateful to the Laidlaw Foundation for funding for “The Sights and Sounds of Where We Belong” project.  Check out this link to read the full story in the Hamilton Spectator.

Annual General Meeting

Join us on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 for our Annual General Meeting. Come celebrate with us a strong 2014 for Shalem, with a look-ahead to 2015 and beyond! There will be a presentation of WrapAround Live Theatre: watch our WrapAround Team as we do fun live role plays demonstrating how WrapAround works, why it’s effective and how you can participate. You may view our 2014 Annual Report here.

The meeting will be at First Hamilton CRC, 181 Charlton Avenue West, Hamilton from 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm. A light lunch will be served. For more information on membership, view this link. For more information, please contact the Shalem office at 866.347.0041.

Andrew Jacob Memorial Foundation

Shalem is honoured to partner with the Andrew Jacob Memorial Foundation. We are grateful for their recent support of Shalem’s WrapAround program. The Andrew Jacob Memorial Foundation “aims to improve the quality of life for LGBTQ individuals and those living with mental illness by increasing mental health awareness and spiritual health reform.”  Shalem is proud to be associated with the Foundation, we commend them to you for your support, and we look forward to continued ways to partner together in this crucial work.

Youth, Depression and Suicide

June Zwier and Winnie Visser will be presenting a webinar on April 22, 2015, titled:  Youth Depression and Suicide. The World Health Organization has reported that globally, depression is the number 1 cause of illness and disability in the 10 -19 year old age group, and suicide ranks 3rd among causes of death. For more information on this event, visit this link.

An Elephant in the Pew: Understanding Anxiety and Depression

Jennifer Bowen will be the morning key note speaker on Saturday, April 25 in Woodstock. Jennifer will speak on Understanding Anxiety and Depression, looking at both disorders—their causes, symptoms, treatments—and their impact on the individual and his or her relationships. Jennifer will also address how faith communities relate to these issues as a community, and where there is room for growth. This event is hosted by CRC Disability Concerns, to register and for more information visit this link.

Canadian WrapAround: A Case Study of A Volunteer-Driven, Community-Based Approach for Families, Children and Youth with Complex Needs

A milestone journal essay about Shalem’s WrapAround work has just been published. Called “Canadian WrapAround: A Case Study of A Volunteer-Driven, Community-Based Approach for Families, Children, and Youth with Complex Needs in Hamilton, Ontario”, the essay shows that a community-based volunteer WrapAround program can achieve research-validated outcomes with families that are as strong as professional staff-driven WrapAround initiatives. The article is published in the journal Relational Child and Youth Care Practice (Vol. 27, #4). Congratulations to our partner, WrapAround Hamilton, on these outstanding results. Congratulations also to lead author Lauren Wallace (volunteer chair of WrapAround Hamilton) and Shalem staff co-authors Andrew Debicki, Elske De Visch Eybergen and Mark Vander Vennen.

WrapAround Facilitator Training

Join us this Spring for WrapAround Facilitator Training. This training is in partnership with Stoney Creek United Church, and Elske de Visch Eybergen and Jacqueline Jean-Pierre will be leading the training.  With the completion of the 18 hours of training and five hours of live coaching, the participants will receive a “Foundations” WrapAround facilitator Certificate. Visit here to view the flyer with the complete details.

To register, contact Elske de Visch Eybergen, or complete the form below.

FaithCARE: Learning How to Grow Restorative Churches

Join us for a FaithCARE training: Learning How to Grow Restorative Churches. This training is scheduled for April 21 – 23, 2015 and offered in partnership with the Eastern Canada Christian and Missionary Alliance. This training is open to anyone.  For more information and for the complete conference brochure, visit this link.

This training can also be applied to the IIRP Masters Degree in Restorative Practice.

For more information and to register please contact Danielle VandenAkker or complete the form below.


FaithCARE article in SAGE: CCJC’s e-bulletin

FaithCARE was featured recently in the e-bulletin for the Church Council on Justice and Corrections (CCJC). In the SAGE e-bulletin, Anne Martin reflections on how conflict isn’t optional when it comes to human relationships, but we can decide on how we respond to that conflict. Anne describes how churches can respond to conflict and gives examples of how FaithCARE has worked in church settings. Read the full article here.

The Congregational Assistance Program: Bringing Occupational Assistance to Faith Communities

Dr. Rick Csiernik along with Mark Vander Vennen, Marg Smit-VandeZande and Ken Van Wyk were authors in Workplace Wellness:  Issues and Responses. Their chapter was titled: The Congregational Assistance Program: Bringing Occupational Assistance to Faith Communities.  (Csiernik, R. (2014). Workplace Wellness:  Issues and Responses. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.) To read the chapter, visit this link.

Advent 2014

Immanuel, God with us. Read some of Mark’s reflections on celebrating Advent with the new story of “God with us”, the old story of failures and despair no longer have the upper hand. Also included are some highlights from 2014, including stories of change and hope for those we work alongside. Blessings for this Advent season, and thank you for what you do in your communities to live out the hope we celebrate this Advent: Immanuel, God with us.

The Advent of Justice

In 1993 Mark Vander Vennen, now Shalem’s Executive Director, co-authored a book of Advent meditations entitled “The Advent of Justice”.  The devotional has recently been printed for a third time!  Co-authors with Mark are noted Biblical scholars Sylvia Keesmaat (who also served as editor), Brian Walsh and Richard Middleton, with illustrations by Willem Hart.  They and Mark are thrilled that this little book continues to have a life and be in demand.
The back cover states, “In this book of reflections, four friends come together to lead us more deeply into Advent as a time of profound hope for the coming of God’s good kingdom of shalom while also a time of lament and anguish in the face of injustice.”
Check it out here.

Fostering Restorative Workplaces: A Framework Approach

On October 27 staff members Mark Vander Vennen and Anne Martin will co-present with Bruce Schenk, Director of the International Institute for Restorative Practices—Canada, a workshop called “Fostering Restorative Workplaces: A Framework Approach”, at the 17th World Conference of the International Institute of Restorative Practices in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

When Marriages Fall Apart

Susan Winter Fledderus will be presenting at the Annual Day of Encouragement, hosted by Diaconal Ministries on Saturday, October 18, 2014. Susan’s workshop is titled “When Marriages Fall Apart”.  At this workshop, we will explore how to minister to couples with relationship troubles, creating space for them to seek help. We will also discuss how we can journey with families experiencing separation or divorce, and respond to each family members’ needs.  For more information and to register, please contact Diaconal Ministries.

Just Say Know: Information on Drugs for Counsellors

Join us on October 7, 2014 for an interactive workshop: Information on Drugs for Counsellors.  This workshop will provide a base of technical drug information for those in the helping profession who do not have a background in biology and whose work would benefit from a basic understanding of psychoactive drugs and how they produce the behaviours they do.

This workshop will be facilitated by Dr. Rick Csiernik, from King’s College at the  University of Western Ontario.  Rick has written and edited eight books, as well as co-authored three professional journal essays about Shalem’s CAP program.

For more information on this workshop, view this flyer.

To register, call 905.528.0353 or 866.347.0041 or complete the form below:

Learning How to Grow Restorative Churches: September 9 – 11, 2014

FaithCARE presents a three-day training on how to nurture a relationally healthy, connected congregation.  A restorative congregation lives out the belief that every person has God-given worth, no one is disposable and conflict and harm can be most effectively addressed by attending to the healing of all persons affected. The training will be led by Rev. Bruce Schenk from the International Institute of Restorative Practices ( and hosted by Shalem.   The conference will be at Kanata Community CRC on September 9 – 11, 2014.  Classis Eastern Canada and Safe Church Ministry endorses and recommends this training.  For more information and to register, view this flyer, or contact Shalem at 866.347.0041 or by email at [email protected].

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP): International Advances in Research and Clinical Practice

The Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Institute will be hosting their International Conference in Kingston, Ontario this year. This is the first time the DDPI International Conference has been held in Canada. Betty J.B. Brouwer, Shalem’s Director of Attachment Services will be presenting at this exciting conference.  For more information and to register please visit Attach Canada’s website.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to attend this three day event! A group of international speakers with leading expertise in trauma, attachment and brain development will be on hand to present.

Annual General Meeting – Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Join us for our Annual General Meeting on June 10, 2014! Come and hear real-life stories of faith in action as Andrew Hawkins from Chatham-Kent Neighbourlink will speak on how to get “Out of the Pew and Into the Action“. Explore how you and your church can effectively care for people with significant needs. Come and be inspired!

The meeting will be held at First Hamilton CRC at 12 noon. For more information, please view this notice. Visit this link to view our 2013 Annual Report.  Please RSVP to the Shalem office at 866-347-0041 or by email to [email protected]

Restoring Relationships–what churches can do, an interview with Bruce Schenk

One of our key partners in our FaithCARE work (restorative practices in faith communities) is the International Institute for Restorative Practices-Canada and its Director, Bruce Schenk.  Don’t miss this new, in-depth interview with Bruce in Christianity Today.  It provides an excellent description of what drives his and our work.  A big congratulations to Bruce!

Outdoor Pizza Evening

Join us on Saturday, June 7th, 2014 for an evening of celebrating Recreate with pizza made in outdoor stone ovens, art, stories and music. Tickets are $35 each ($20 is eligible for a tax receipt). For more information, please visit this flyer, and to reserve your ticket call 905-528-0353.

New DDP Network

A congratulations to Dan and all of the DDP practitioners around the world, with the launch of their new DDP network. The DDP network is a worldwide body that promotes Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and support professionals, parents, and caregiver in finding out about the therapy and parenting approach.  The DDP network involves the process of “creating connections for developing relationships”.  Shalem’s Attachment Director, Betty J.B. Brouwer is a registered DDP practitioner (and listed on the website); she is close to becoming a consultant.

the LYRICS show

Join REcreate Outreach Art Studio in celebrating an exhibition of artwork, created by REcreate youth that is inspired by song lyrics and the power of musical self-expression.  The opening reception is on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 6 pm at the Freeway Cafe in Hamilton.  Musical entertainment and light refreshments will be provided.  For more information, please view this postcard.

Deepening Community Book Launch

Join us for an afternoon of fun and celebration! Listen as Paul Born shares why we need a deepened sense of community today, what inspired him to write, hear stories from the book, and learn about the key actions for ways we can (and already are) deepening our sense of community. We are thrilled to partner with Tamarack for this event on May 27th, 2014 from 4:30- 6:00pm at Melrose United Church, Hamilton. We hope you can join us!  For more information and to RSVP to this event, please visit this page.

Community shapes our identity, quenches our thirst for belonging, and bolsters our physical, mental, emotional, and economic health. But in the chaos of modern life, community ties have become unraveled, leaving many feeling afraid or alone in the crowd, grasping at shallow substitutes for true community.  In this thoughtful and moving book, Paul Born describes the four pillars of deep community: sharing our stories, taking the time to enjoy one another, taking care of one another, and working together for a better world. To show the role each of these plays, he shares his own stories—as a child of refugees and as a longtime community activist.

It’s up to us to create community. Born shows that the opportunity is right in front of us if we have the courage and conviction to pursue it.

A Mental Health conference with Dr. Grant Mullen

Faith and Hope Ministries is partnering with Living Hope CRC to host a conference on April 25 – 26, 2014.  This conference is titled:  “Emotionally Free”.  Dr. Grant Mullen takes a very balanced perspective, recognizing how the physical, spiritual, and emotional all potentially impact our mental health.  This conference is suitable for those who work in the mental health field, those suffering from mental illness, depression, and mood disorders, and those who live with or care for those struggling with mental illness

For more information on this conference and to register, please visit this link.

Solution-Focused Therapy Workshop: Working with Varied Clients and Settings

We are pleased to offer a Solution-Focused Therapy Workshop: Working with Varied Clients and Settings on Thursday, May 15, 2014 in Hamilton. Susan Winter Fledderus, M.Ed., RMFT, R.S.W., CSFT will lead the workshop. This workshop is appropriate for counsellors, social workers, and couple and family therapists who want to increase their skill in applying the Solution-Focused model in their clinical practice.

This training is part two of a two-part training, the first of which was held in the Fall of 2013. These two days of training can be used together in place of one of the modules in the University of Toronto’s Certificate program in Solution-Focused Counselling.

For more information, please view the workshop flyer here.

Restorative Justice: Reconciliation in the City

On February 20 Shalem’s Executive Director Mark Vander Vennen will offer a plenary address at a conference at the University of Toronto called “Peace In the City“. Mark will speak on “Restorative Justice: Reconciliation in the City”. The conference is put on by Wycliffe College, World Vision Canada, Conrad Grebel (Peace and Conflict Studies), and Urban Remixed. You can register here.

Attachment Conference: Cradle to Grave

Intimate and interactive conversations with Dr. Sue Johnson and Dr. Dan Hughes. Early Bird Date approaching – register soon!

Join us for two exciting days of learning about Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFCT) and Dyadic Development Psychotherapy (DDP), including two panel discussions led by Dr. Jean Clinton. Come and hear both presenters speak into each other’s model.

This conference is scheduled for March 3 and 4, 2014 at Carmen’s Banquet Centre in Hamilton, ON.  For more information, please view the conference flyer.

To register for this conference, please submit the form below:

The National Restorative Justice Symposium 2013

On November 18, Anne Martin and Mark Vander Vennen are doing a workshop at “The National Restorative Justice Symposium 2013″, entitled “Center for Workplace Engagement: Building the Social Capital of Workplaces Using Restorative Practice“.  The conference will be in Toronto, for more information and registration information please visit this link.

“Who I’m Not”: A New Book of Canadian Fiction

Congratulations to Ted Staunton, a friend of Shalem’s Executive Director, Mark Vander Vennen. Ted, a noted Canadian author of books for children and young adults, has just published a work of fiction called “Who I’m Not”. The main character, “Danny”, negotiates life as a young man with an attachment disorder–the type of issue and young person that Shalem works with in our “Linking Lives/Building Attachment for Children and Youth” counselling program. Ted consulted with Mark throughout the writing of the book on how a young person with that attachment profile would see and experience the world, and he references the Shalem Mental Health Network in his Acknowledgements. It’s a rollicking great read–and one that tells the story in a way that no amount of clinical reports ever could.

Learning How to Grow Restorative Churches

FaithCARE presents: Learning How to Grow Restorative Churches. The conference was held in Mississauga, ON on November 5 – 7, 2013. At this conference you will explore, learn and practice what it means to be a restorative church. The conference fee also includes Individualized Field Coaching. For more information and to register, view the conference brochure.

Facilitating Healthy Attachments between Young Moms and their Children

Betty Brouwer will be presenting at the Ontario Association of Child, Youth and Young Parent Centres Conference: Building Resiliency through Collaboration on Monday, November 4th, 2013.  Betty’s workshop is entitled:  Me2you2we-Facilitating healthy attachments between young moms and their children.  For more information on this conference, visit the Ontario Association of Child, Youth and Young Parent Centres website.

Solution-Focused Couple Therapy: Working with Emotion, Attachment and Power

Susan Winter Fledderus will be presenting the above workshop on November 8th at the 2013 Conference on Solution-Focused Practices:  “One Heart, Many Hands“. Couples seeking therapy are often caught in highly emotional and distressing negative interaction patterns.  At this workshop, we will explore how therapists can apply the basic assumptions and interventions of the SFBT model as we seek to facilitate couple solution-building and growth in the areas of emotional closeness, attachment experiences, meaning-making and power-negotiation.

For more information on this conference and workshop, please visit: the Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Association website.

Attachment Focused Parenting: Connecting, Nurturing and Restoring Hope

Betty Brouwer will be presenting this workshop on November 7, 2013 for Family and Children’s Services Niagara.  Betty will give an overview about attachment and explore the impact of attachment disruptions.  Betty will discuss ways to support parents as they seek to build, nuture and repair a healthy and secure attachment for children who have had a difficult start.

For more information on this presentation, please contact Anita Foran and FACS Niagara.

Solution-Focused Therapy Workshop

We are pleased to offer a Solution-Focused Therapy Workshop: Assumptions and Interventions that Support Short-Term Work on Thursday, October 10, 2013 in Hamilton. Susan Winter Fledderus, M.Ed., RMFT, R.S.W., CSFT will lead the workshop. This workshop is appropriate for counsellors, social workers, and marriage and family therapists who want to increase their skill in applying the Solution-Focused model in their clinical practice.

This training is part one of a two-part training, the second of which will be held in the Spring of 2014.These two days of training can be used together in place of one of the modules in the University of Toronto’s Certificate program in Solution-Focused Counselling.

For more information, please view the workshop flyer here.

To register for this conference, please complete the form below.

Art and Healing: Incorporating Creativity and Wellness

Michelle DeBoer and Betty Brouwer will be presenting at Diaconal Ministries’ Day of Encouragement on Saturday, October 19, 2013.  At this workshop, you will come and explore the basic principles of art therapy.  You will be experience how art-making gives expression to our own emotional and spiritual health, and together with prayer, can also deepen our relationship with Christ.  For more information and to register visit

When Marriages Fall Apart: How Churches can Support Couples and Their Families

Susan Winter Fledderus will be presenting this workshop at Diaconal Ministries’ Day of Encouragement on Saturday, October 19, 2013.  At this workshop, you will explore how we can minister to couples dealing with relationship troubles, creating space for them to seek help and support.  We will discuss how we can journey with families who are experiencing separation or divorce, responding to the needs of each family member. For more information and to register visit

WrapAround Relational Ministries Presentation

Elske de Visch Eybergen and Andrew Hawkins will be presenting at Diaconal Ministries’ Day of Encouragement on Saturday, October 19, 2013.  They will address the question How can we answer Christ’s calling to walk alongside our neighbours while avoiding burnout?  At this workshop, hear success stories and learn how to take steps towards starting a WrapAround Relational Ministry. For more information and to register visit

Depression: Walking Alongside Without Falling In

Jennifer Bowen will be presenting at Diaconal Ministries’ Day of Encouragement on Saturday, October 19, 2013.  Jennifer will teach and discuss strategies to support loved ones who are struggling with depression.  At this workshop, gain insight into this disorder and how caregivers can position themselves in a helpful and hopeful stance, avoiding the pitfalls of helplessness, anger or despair.  For more information and to register visit

Healing Conflict with Restorative Justice Workshop at the Outreach Networking Conference

Mark Vander Vennen will be presenting at the Outreach Networking Conference 2013 on October 5, 2013.  The conference theme is “Where is the Spirit Leading?”, and is put on by the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. The workshop will cover how we can have difficult, challenging conversations in a safe way in our parishes and communities? How can we deal with conflict so that we repair harm, restore relationship and build stronger, more connected congregations? In this workshop, learn how faith communities are embracing restorative practices as a way of moving forward and of providing opportunities for reconciliation. Learn how restorative justice also provides a healing alternative to standard approaches to crime and punishment. For more information and to register, please visit the Anglican Diocese of Toronto website.

The Gospel and Mental Health – Shalem’s 50th Anniversary Celebration: Refreshing Hearts in Christ

On October 5th, Shalem celebrated 50 years of restoring hope. Our special guests for the evening were Author Paul Young of “The Shack” and Singer, Songwriter Jacob Moon. Paul Young spoke to us on the topic “The Gospel and Mental Health“.  We celebrated hope found even in the midst of pain.

North American Council on Adoptable Children – 39th Annual Conference

Betty J.B. Brouwer will be presenting a workshop at the North American Council on Adopted Children’s (NACAC) annual conference in Toronto on August 8th and 9th, 2013.  Betty will co-present a workshop titled “Beyond PRIDE:  Next Steps in Pre and Post Adoption Training and Support” on August 8th.  Then on August 9th, with Lisette Heleno, Betty will present “Attachment -Focused Parenting: Connecting, Nuturing, and Restoring Hope”.  For more information and to register, please visit NACAC.

Annual General Meeting

Please join us for our Annual General Meeting on Monday, June 10, 2013.  Rev. Bruce Schenk from IIRP Canada will speak on the topic of Building Health Relationships in Workplaces. The meeting will be held at Faith Christian Reformed Church in Burlington at 7:30 pm.  Please see this file for complete details. You can view our 2012 Annual Report here, please contact our office if you would like a hard copy of this document. Join us to hear exciting details about Shalem’s 50th Anniversary and current programs.  We will also launch the Centre for Workplace Engagement!  We would be honoured if you could join us!

Bringing EAP to Faith Communities: Genesis of a Canadian Congregational Assistance Plan

Mark Vander Vennen and Marg Smit-VandeZande together with Ken Van Wyk and Ric Csiernik recently had the following professional journal article published in the Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health.  The article titled:  “Bringing EAP to Faith Communities: Genesis of a Canadian Congregational Assistance Plan can be found here.  

The Church and Sexual Addiction – Clergy Care Conference

Many clergy joined us on April 11, 2013 as we learned from Dr. Marta Durski about sexual addiction and the church.

Those who attended gained a better understanding of:

  • The nature and prevalence of sexual addiction
  • How sexual addictions can impact a church
  • How the church can respond when a member discloses a sexual addiction
  • How to support spouses/ family members/ congregations affected by sexual addiction
  • How to protect pastors and church members from sexual addiction

A Tale of Two Churches: The Development of a Congregational Assistance Program

Shalem’s CAP program has been featured in the Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health in the an article titled “A Tale of Two Churches: The Development of a Congregational Assistance Program”.  Both Marg Smit-VandeZande and Mark Vander Vennen are two of the authors of this piece, along with Ken Van Wyk and Rick Csiernik.  To read the full article, visit this link.

Launching 50th Anniversary Celebrations

Shalem is celebrating God’s faithfulness over the past 50 years!  Please join us in a service of celebration, praising God for 50 years, and commending Shalem to God for this Anniversary year and beyond.  Rev. Henk Bruinsma will lead us in a service of celebration and worship to launch the anniversary celebrations on Thursday, January 31st, 2013 at 7 pm.  The service will be held in Heritage Hall at Holland Christian Homes, 7900 McLaughlin Road South, Brampton.  For more information, view this link or please contact the Shalem office at 866-347-0041.


Learning How to Grow Restorative Churches – FaithCARE Conference

On February 5 – 7, 2013, Shalem hosted a conference on “Learning How to Grow Restorative Churches”.  Bruce Schenk from the International Institute for Restorative Practice (IIRP) led us through 3 days of classroom training in growing restorative congregations.  Also included in this training was individualized field coaching from FaithCARE practitioners for individualized mentoring in implementation. For more information, please download the conference brochure.

Resilience in Action with Youth and Young Parents at Risk

Shalem was thrilled to offer a one-day workshop with Dr. Linda Liebenberg of Dalhousie’s Resilience Research Centre (RRC) on Tuesday, January 22, 2013. This workshop was for professionals working with youth and young parents and for researchers interested in resilience.  Dr. Liebenberg is the Co-Director of the Resilience Research Centre along with Dr. Michael Ungar at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, and a leading researcher in the field of youth resilience.

Perspectrum — November Art Crawl in Hamilton

Perspectrum is a collaborative art project between students from RE-create Outreach Art Studio, Hamilton District Christian High School, and Notre Dame House School. The art from this project will open with a reception on November 9, 2012 from 7 pm – 9 pm for the Art Crawl in Hamilton.  The art will be displayed from November 9 – 30.  For more information, contact RE-create’s Studio Coordinator: Meghan Hers.  Please join us!

A Justice That Transforms

Mark Vander Vennen will lead a workshop on “A Justice That Transforms” on October 20, 2012 at the Day of Encouragement.  As churches, how do we deal with “wrongdoing”, whether it is done in the community (crime), in schools and workplaces (bullying), or in congregations?  Is there a justice that transforms?  How does Scripture talk about justice?  Learn a framework and some practical tools for repairing harm and doing “justice for all.”  For more information and to register for the Day of Encouragement, please visit:

Caring for Those Experiencing Depression

On October 20, 2012, Susan Winter Fledderus will present this workshop at the Day of Encouragement.  In this workshop, Susan will present about depression and how it affects individuals and their families.  Exploring how to support those experiencing depression, paying attention to risks for suicide, developing safety plans, and holding hope for those who are feeling hopeless.  For more information and to register for the Day of Encouragement, please visit:

Caring for the Caregiver

Michelle DeBoer will present Caring for the Caregiver at the Day of Encouragement on October 20, 2012.  Knowing the roles, challenges, and supports of the caregiver helps to recognize signs of  compassion fatigue and caregiver burnout. Through interactive dialogue, participants will examine various approaches to caregiving, understand limitations, and develop realistic expectations. Participants will gain practical guidance and tips for their role as caregiver.  For more information on this workshop, please contact Diaconal Ministries Canada

Understanding and Change in Parental Influence in the 21st Century

On September 28th, 2012, Mark Vander Vennen will present the workshop above at the Christian Schools Canada in Cambridge, ON.  For more information on this conference visit Christian Schools Canada.

The dynamics of parental influence in schools appear to be shifting in the 21st century.  One example is the emergence of “helicopter parents”.   These shifts seem that much more pronounced in “parent-led” Christian schools.  Are they a bane or a blessing?  How do we work with them?  In this interactive workshop we will listen to your stories and focus on strategies and approaches that seek to develop genuine collaboration between parents, students and teachers.

Annual General Meeting

You are invited to join us for our Annual General Meeting on June 11, 2012.  View our Annual Report for 2011 here.  Come, view art created at REcreate and hear stories from individuals and churches who have been involved with Shalem.  For more information, view this invitation or contact our office.  For directions and information on parking, etc for this meeting, please view this map.

Workshop at the Annual IIRP Conference

Anne Martin will be co-presenting with Bruce Schenk at the 15th IIRP World Conference “Building a Worldwide Restorative Practices Learning Network” in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on August 1 – 3, 2012.  Anne and Bruce will present on Responding to Harm in Faith Communities: Two Case Studies.  For more information on the conference please visit this link, or contact Anne Martin.

Conference: Restorative Congregations for Safe Churches

Mark Vander Vennen will be giving the opening keynote at the Safe Church Conference in Grand Rapids on April 27.  The theme for this conference is Restorative Congregations for Safe Churches. Anne Martin will also be presenting at this conference on Circles and other Transformative Techniques. For more information on this conference contact Safe Church Ministries.

Clergy Care conference: Spring 2013

We have unfortunately had to postpone the Clergy Care conference due to some health issues experienced by our presenter.  Given the positive feedback and interest that we received with regards to the topic of “Sexual Addiction and the Church“, we will be rescheduling this conference for the Spring of 2013.  We will be updating this information and posting a new date, as soon as we have the information confirmed.