Shauna Kormendy, PhD student

Recipient of ICHR's Grant for Education in Health Studies 2021-2022

Clinical Therapist, Shauna Kormendy (she/her), is Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in from Dawson City, Yukon and Yup’ik from Alaska. She completed her Bachelor of Social Work and Advanced Master of Social Work in Vancouver, BC and is currently in the second year of her Doctorate program at the University of British Columbia.

As Shauna is an intergenerational survivor of residential school, she built on her family, community and life experiences to direct her research to focus on healing intergenerational trauma and symptoms of trauma, such as addictions and mental health. In her Master’s thesis, she worked with residential school survivors and intergenerational survivors. She is continuing and expanding on this research for her doctorate.

Shauna learned the disproportionate rates of addictions, self-harm, violence, disease, and suicide for Indigenous communities. The importance of community and the connection to land is essential to her well- being for building and maintaining a healthy balanced life. Shauna integrates her Indigenous ways of healing (such as land-based healing and other Indigenous spirituality) with various clinical interventions (such as psychotherapy and expressive arts therapy) with other modalities (such as yoga and breathwork) to provide culturally safe ways of healing.

Shauna has worked in and with Indigenous communities for over 25 years in various capacities, such as youth support, human resources management, mental wellness support programs, clinical therapy for children, youth and families, with a specialization in complex and intergenerational trauma.

Shauna’s areas of specialization include:

  • Complex, intergenerational, historical trauma & colonial violence
  • Little ‘t’ trauma
  • Substance use & behavioural addictions
  • Concurrent disorders
  • Attachment, dissociative, impulse control disorders
  • Grief, loss & sadness
  • Mental health & wellness
  • Compassion fatigue, burnout & spiritual exhaustion
  • Anxiety & depression
  • Mood disorders (bipolar, postpartum, seasonal affective disorder)
  • Couples, codependency, conflict & communication
  • Domestic abuse & sexual violence
  • Self-worth, self-harm & self-destructive behaviours
  • Children & youth
  • Emotional regulation and co-regulation
  • Life changes (positive and negative)
  • Infertility & pregnancy loss (unexpected or chosen)
  • Transitions and/or transformations
  • Supporting family or friends struggling with any of the above
  • LGBTQ2S+

When Shauna is not working, you will find her on mountain ranges, rivers, and lakes in the Yukon, near the ocean searching for sea glass in Vancouver, or playing with her many nieces and nephews.