Hi! My name is Mel.

There’s something I’d like you to know about me: I absolutely love what I do. I love my clients, and I love the process of working with you, and seeing the transformations that happen in relationships. I’m committed to making space in the world for people to express their deepest desires, and to live and love in healthy ways. And I bring all my skills and experiences (everything from studying in yoga ashrams to management, to peer counselling and my own relationship learnings) to support you.

I’m a white-presenting 2nd generation settler of MENAHT and Celtic/Anglo descent; born in the UK (London), raised in the Middle East (Kuwait), I came to Canada in 2004. In my matrilineal line I am the first in six generations that has not been a refugee. I was raised with strong influences of Latinx, Mediterranean, and Arab cultures, woven with the philosophies and practices of Kashmir Shaivism. Since 2004, British Columbia, Canada, has been my home, and I live today on the unceded traditional territories of the K’omoks Nation.

 

I’ve had first hand experience of a wide spectrum of relationships.

Formerly monogamous, I came to explore non-monogamy as I sought out a more authentic way of living; I was tired of living by a default set of expectations for how my life was expected to unfold.

After a miscarriage in 2009 and struggling with depression, I began diving into the question of what I really needed, wanted, and desired in my life. I knew I wanted to have more than one partner, and I knew I didn’t want to have any dishonesty in my relationships. In 2012 I began writing my blog, Polysingleish; it was a way to explore and process the unconventional approach to polyamory I was finding myself drawn to.

I realised I enjoyed diving into the inner workings of relationships of all styles, and I chose to pursue my certification in Counselling for Intimacy in Relationships from the Vancouver College of Counselor Training, and am trained in Holistic Peer Counselling and ZEGG Forum facilitation. My current studies are focused on Somatics and Trauma-Informed approaches to healing: I am completing my training as a Somatic Movement Teacher with the Institute of Applied Somatics, and am a student with the Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education.

Prior to being a relationship coach, I enjoyed a career teaching acting and theatre skills, and for over a decade I was a professional bodyworker. I hold a BA(Hons) in Acting, a LAMDA Gold Medal for Acting with Honors, and a Diploma in Bodywork and Massage. I am also an artist, event producer, and occasionally a DJ for ecstatic dance events.

 

I bring the diversity of who I am to my practice.

I bring all my experience to the work I do and aim to meet my client wherever they are at, whatever their own background, without judgement.

 

Some important things to know about me:

I’m queer, and identify as a polyamorous relationship anarchist. I’m also dyslexic, experience misophonia, have arthritis, and am unable to differentiate between certain shades of teal and turquoise. I’m a survivor of sexual trauma, gaslighting, and complex PTSD.

I practice anti-racism, anti-oppression, and support decolonization. 

When I came to the lands known as Canada I was ignorant to the expressions of racism as it exists in North America, and stumbled in my ignorance. It has been an ongoing journey to unpack the layers of internalized white supremacy, and I don’t know if that journey has a finish line. I see anti-oppression as a practice, meaning there is always more to learn, and more to do.

I refute binary gendered scripts.

I support diverse gender expression and reject the idea that a person must behave according to a limited scope because of their genitals or endocrine system.

I support inclusion.

I am sensitive to the needs of the differently-abled, and am in an ongoing process to examine and improve the accessibility of my offerings, including adding subtitles to my video materials, providing transcripts of audio materials, and making graphics more user friendly. This is a time consuming process, so if you come across any materials you need alternative access support with, please send me a message and I will prioritize this material for you.

I support personal spirituality but remain skeptical of spiritual cliques and cults.

I have respect for diverse religious and spiritual practices that (a) do no harm , (b) support healthy relationships between all humans, and (c) are rooted in traditions and lineage.
I am a student of Siddha Yoga, and have also studied additional spiritual paths and practices that support my personal connection to spirit.
I encourage critical thinking and personal examination of belief systems.

I embrace both modern western medicine and traditional medicine and healing practices.

I listen to science and seek to understand the workings of the body. My experience has been that both allopathic and naturopathic paths for wellness have their merits and their drawbacks.
I support free choice regarding responsible, intentional, fully informed, respectful use of psychedelics as part of mental health healing, where plant medicines are gathered and other medicines created respectfully, with integrity for indigenous traditions, the land, and the people who participate in all steps of the processing of medicine from origin to student.
I am pro-choice, pro-vaccine, and pro measures that support the greater health of community.

I advocate for consent culture, feminism, and dismantling the patriarchy.

I see the mental health afflictions affecting many today as a consequence of oppression and dominance culture. My passion for consent culture and feminism extends from a firm conviction that by dismantling patriarchy, colonialism, and other forms of oppressive and dominating cultures, we may create healthier conditions where all beings (including non-human beings) may thrive.

I support accountability and compassionate community care.

I do not support Cancel Culture, but instead advocate for trauma-informed practices of accountability, healing, and repair (where possible). I pro-actively have an Accountability Pod.

I enjoy public speaking, teaching, and sharing my insights about relationships.

I have presented talks and workshops on the subject of relationships at Vancouver Island University, Douglas College, Bass Coast Festival BC, Vancouver Polyamory 101, Nanaimo Poly 101, Comox Valley Poly 101, Atlanta Polyamory, The Greater Vancouver Interactive Arts Society, Love Sex Intelligence Culture Labs, Modern Sex Talks, WestCoast Bound, ConvergeCon, PolyCon Canada, and more. In 2014 I co-founded the Solo Polyamory group on Facebook, which I was an admin of for 7 years, during which time I also co-produced the first International Solo Polyamory Unconference. I’ve been featured as an expert on non-monogamous relationships in Newsweek, Elle Magazine, Huffington Post, Vancouver Courier, CBC Radio Canada, Refinery29, The Greatist, Fatherly, and many others, and have been a guest on numerous podcasts. 

I enjoy nurturing joyful, fulfilling relationships within my local community and chosen family around the world.

Qualifications & Training

Core Course 2, Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education, 2021

Neurobiology of Safety, Academy of Therapy Wisdom with Julliane Taylor Shore, 2021

Wheel of Consent, with Helena De Felice & Robyn Dalzen, 2021

Foundations of Somatic Sex Education, Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education, 2019

Somatic Yoga Levels 1&2, Institute for Applied Somatics, 2019

Cascadia Holistic Peer Counselling, Living Love Revolution with Rev Teri Chiacci, 2017

ZEGG Forum Facilitator Training, Kelly Bryson, 2016, 2017

Counselling for Intimacy in Relationships, Vancouver College of Counsellor Training, 2015

Other Training

Gems of Awareness, Art Workshop with Alex & Allyson Grey, 2017

Joint Release for the Lower Back, Vancouver School of Bodywork & Massage, 2013

Teacher Training, Deep Flow Bodywork, 2012

Indian Head Massage, Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage, 2011

Spa Therapy Diploma, Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage, 2011

Gold Medal Acting (Honors), London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, 2004

BA(Honors) Acting, Rose Bruford College, London, 2003

Other Skills & Experience

10 Years as a Bodyworker in the Spa Industry, awarded Georgia Straight Best Massage in Vancouver, receiving multiple top reviews on Trip Advisor.
8 years as Event Producer and Facilitator/DJ for Sober Dance events
1 year as a Professional Matchmaker
6 years teaching youth & adults theatre skills
6 years in retail management
5 years coordinating yoga and meditation programs for children, youth, & adults

Speaking Engagements & Public Presentations

Grief & Non Monogamy, Polycon Canada, 2021
Considerations for Coaching & Counselling in Consensual Non Monogamy, Queering Mental Health: A Canadian Perspective, 2021
Landscapes not Escalators, Polycon Canada 2020
Navigating Complex Relationships, Converge Conline 2020
Honest Non Monogamy, Cumberland Wild Music Festival, 2019
Slow Dating, Radical Relating, The Haven, 2019
The Monogamy Hangover, Converge Con 2018
Honest Non Monogamy & Courageous Conversations, West Coast Bound, 2018
Winter Retreat co-facilitator, Star Community New Culture Community, 2018
Various Workshops, New Culture Northwest Summer Camp, 2017
Courageous Conversations, Douglas College 2017
Honest Non Monogamy, Blessed Coast Music Festival, 2016
Relationship Anarchy, Love Sex Intelligence, 2015
Honest Non Monogamy, Bass Coast Music Festival 2015
Myths & Misconceptions about Polyamory, Vancouver Island University 2015

Start Your Journey

Contact Me!

I just wanted you to know that our call helped me strengthen my relationships by thinking about and communicating my boundaries. So now I’m relieved AND more in alignment with my authentic self.
 
Jen
Nanaimo, Canada
Our session three weeks ago was absolutely amazing. You had so many helpful insights and really saw and understood what I am going through. It helped me so much!!
 
Anon
New York, USA
Our session was a game changer. It was like I found a rope in the dark to hold onto and slowly I will climb out of the deep well I've been in.
 
Anon
Pennsylvania, USA
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you SO MUCH for the absolutely illuminating, grounding and mind blowing session last night. I can't wait to integrate the awareness that emerged yesterday.
Your work is profound! Thank you so much! 
 
Anon
Vancouver, Canada
"This was one of the best workshops I have taken regarding polyamory and trauma informed agreements in twenty-five plus years of seeking to develop skills within myself and relationships."
 
Anon Workshop Participant
Seattle, Washington
Thank you for the space in which you held during the workshop, the skills that were taught, the emotions opened and above all the clarity it allowed in how I present myself to the world and areas in which I was holding back. Thank you! So much thank you and gratitude for this. This workshop was the beginning of a month of so much opening and healing and realizing potential, I am beyond grateful.
 
Hilary
Victoria, Canada
Thank you so much for yesterday's session. I think it was probably pretty obvious that it was a powerful and meaningful session for both of us. We feel very lucky to have found you, and we're very grateful for your support, acknowledgement and care of us.
 
 
Anon
California, USA
The Monogamy Detox course has been such a landmark in my life. You rock!
I've been able to articulate and communicate much better within my relationships and to create safe spaces.
 
Course Participant
Ireland

"I felt completely isolated and confused when it came to relationships when I first found Mel for coaching. After only one session, I knew she was a relationship mentor I could trust and wanted to learn more from."

Lindze
Atlanta, Georgia

Mel is an incredible listener and her attention to detail was crucial. I walked away with much more than I had anticipated: I came away with a lot of tools to work with, and also a comfortable understanding of who I am and how I present myself to others. Mel is nothing short of awesome at what she does, and I will continue to use her as a resource and recommend her.

Thank you so much Mel, you rock!!!
 
Anon
Colorado, USA
"Thank you so much for a wonderful workshop! Thank you for the space you held and your guidance. So enriching to spend time with good people on a path of evolution."
 
James
Victoria, BC, Canada
"My session with Mel went beyond value for money. She created an immediate sense of being seen and heard in non-judgmental space. Mel reflected accurate insights to me, and held space for me to explore things that were beneath the surface. I was moved by the integrity she worked from in our sharing. I felt great compassion and wisdom with her, and my thoughts and emotions  shifted to we worked. Mel is sharing a gift with her energy. "
 
Anon
Edmonton, AB, Canada

Thank you Mel for such an enlightening and helpful workshop! I thoroughly enjoyed all of it and look forward to continued learning from you. So grateful for all these extra resources. 
The work you are doing is changing the world in such positive ways, and helping people change their own worlds, both inner and outer. 

 
Anon Workshop Participant
BC, Canada

"It was so good for me to open up and a relief to see that things don't have to be so black and white but within this there is still the possibility of clarity and a more personal, creative and radical approach to relationships... Love what you are offering Mel. You are awesome at what you are doing! It was great for me to be out of my comfort zone and to hear from folks who appeared to be very much in theirs. Thank you!"

 
Anon Course Student
 
Mel has been an incredibly valuable asset to me in helping to evolve my relationship skills and helping me to empathize with my partners. Her workshops and her coaching have drastically improved the communication level and quality of my relationships.
 
Gabriel
BC, Canada

"I first took the class in spring 2020. The experience was like a seed planted in the garden that sprouted and continues to sink deeper roots and grow taller, reaching for the sun and remaining an important part of my relationship garden"

~ Paul, Monogamy Detox Course Student
USA

"I desperately knew in my bones there was another script out there for me but when I struggled to find a healthy version of one, I haphazardly began writing it myself. And now?! To come into an entire community of people actively peeling back the veil to reveal their own trauma and vulnerability?? I am over the moon and feel so enthusiastic all the time. It's the first time in the last several years where I have had such sustained joy and direction."

~ Anon Course Student
Colorado

"I receive so much incredible value from your work — I LOVE how you organize your rich information. You also have a knack for setting up a really safe, thoughtful, reflective container for learning. I really appreciate and admire your brain! Hoorah! In addition, your teaching brings together an amazing community of courageous humans that gather to learn and practice trauma-informed relating with ourselves and others!

Sunday's class was a deeply nourishing in ways I didn't know I missed / needed. THANK YOU!
I look forward to your next session!"
 
Joan Trinh Pham
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Mel is an exceptional communicator and listener. Having known her personally and attended several of her workshops I can attest that she has the rare combination of perspective and presentation that many more experienced facilitators lack. I highly recommend her offerings.
 
Anon
BC, Canada
Mel has been a tremendous source of inspiration for my relationships and my community at large. She presents with a combination of professionalism, knowledge and open-minded curiosity that makes her safe and approachable. My profound journey through love and relationships has definitely been helped through the time I have spent with Mel.
 
Erin
Rotterdam, Netherlands

"Your work has reminded me that perhaps there isn’t anything wrong with me at all. I am amazed at the deep levels of shame we carry as human beings because we don’t fit into the construct that is given to us as a model for our life. It feels exciting because I can now explore what I want for my life rather than be gifted something that just doesn’t feel right for me." 

Craig P

Australia
I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for your coaching yesterday. It really helped me to focus in on what mattered and what I want and to know where I stand in my relationship and with these shiny new polyboots!
The conversation with my partner went amazingly well. Like really really well. We found much common ground and even discovered our common kinks. I am feeling so loved and supported and ready for this next adventure. Thank you for being a part of that!
Anon
Vancouver, Canada
Mel maintains a calm demeanor with low pressure conversation. She's approachable and accessible. She cares. It shows. Her passion for intimacy and relationship actualization shines through. Sex positive, poly aware, and kink aware, Mel is a very versatile specialist and adviser - the perfect counselling choice no matter how simple or complicated your concern or situation is.
 
Victor
BC, Canada
"You've already made a VERY positive impact on me. It feels so much better to feel you in my corner. Thank you again and again and again..."
Anon
Alberta, Canada
Mel's skill and comfort with questioning and reformulating beliefs regarding relationships is contagious. If you want to open up to new possibilities, she can be a resource for you.
Nick
BC, Canada
"Thank you for your kind help and wisdom at such a fragile time - I appreciate it so much and it helped a lot."
 
Anon
Australia
"Your workshop was SO helpful and amazing. THANK YOU! Magnificent and earth-moving! Like moving things that have felt stuuuuuck!"
 
Anon Workshop Participant
Portland, Oregon
Just wanted to send my deep gratitude and appreciation for your workshop. I let go of some self-indictments around believing something "different" about love, and was able to move towards being more in integrity with myself (and those with whom I relate). I was also able to become really clear about my core "essentials" in relationships (whether monogamous or non-monogamous; romantic/sexual, emotional, social/community or other), and am certain these breakthroughs will only serve my own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those I have relationships with now and in the future more than I can even comprehend.
Anon
Victoria, BC, Canada

"After the workshop I felt like I could breathe again. I felt like my version of non-monogamy wasn't "wrong" and, even more helpful, my former partners wasn't either. I connected with people thinking of the same things as I was, struggling with the same things, and asking questions like me. I cried. I breathed. And for the first time in my life I didn't feel like a love alien dropped onto this planet."

~ Anon,
BC Canada

The Monogamy Detox

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Conversations about Men, Masculinity, and our relationships with them. 

Make an Appointment Today!

Get started on your Radical Relationship Journey!

I just wanted you to know that our call helped me strengthen my relationships by thinking about and communicating my boundaries. So now I’m relieved AND more in alignment with my authentic self.
 
Jen
Nanaimo, Canada
Our session three weeks ago was absolutely amazing. You had so many helpful insights and really saw and understood what I am going through. It helped me so much!!
 
Anon
New York, USA
Our session was a game changer. It was like I found a rope in the dark to hold onto and slowly I will climb out of the deep well I've been in.
 
Anon
Pennsylvania, USA
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you SO MUCH for the absolutely illuminating, grounding and mind blowing session last night. I can't wait to integrate the awareness that emerged yesterday.
Your work is profound! Thank you so much! 
 
Anon
Vancouver, Canada
"This was one of the best workshops I have taken regarding polyamory and trauma informed agreements in twenty-five plus years of seeking to develop skills within myself and relationships."
 
Anon Workshop Participant
Seattle, Washington
Thank you for the space in which you held during the workshop, the skills that were taught, the emotions opened and above all the clarity it allowed in how I present myself to the world and areas in which I was holding back. Thank you! So much thank you and gratitude for this. This workshop was the beginning of a month of so much opening and healing and realizing potential, I am beyond grateful.
 
Hilary
Victoria, Canada
Thank you so much for yesterday's session. I think it was probably pretty obvious that it was a powerful and meaningful session for both of us. We feel very lucky to have found you, and we're very grateful for your support, acknowledgement and care of us.
 
 
Anon
California, USA
The Monogamy Detox course has been such a landmark in my life. You rock!
I've been able to articulate and communicate much better within my relationships and to create safe spaces.
 
Course Participant
Ireland

"I felt completely isolated and confused when it came to relationships when I first found Mel for coaching. After only one session, I knew she was a relationship mentor I could trust and wanted to learn more from."

Lindze
Atlanta, Georgia

Mel is an incredible listener and her attention to detail was crucial. I walked away with much more than I had anticipated: I came away with a lot of tools to work with, and also a comfortable understanding of who I am and how I present myself to others. Mel is nothing short of awesome at what she does, and I will continue to use her as a resource and recommend her.

Thank you so much Mel, you rock!!!
 
Anon
Colorado, USA
"Thank you so much for a wonderful workshop! Thank you for the space you held and your guidance. So enriching to spend time with good people on a path of evolution."
 
James
Victoria, BC, Canada
"My session with Mel went beyond value for money. She created an immediate sense of being seen and heard in non-judgmental space. Mel reflected accurate insights to me, and held space for me to explore things that were beneath the surface. I was moved by the integrity she worked from in our sharing. I felt great compassion and wisdom with her, and my thoughts and emotions  shifted to we worked. Mel is sharing a gift with her energy. "
 
Anon
Edmonton, AB, Canada

Thank you Mel for such an enlightening and helpful workshop! I thoroughly enjoyed all of it and look forward to continued learning from you. So grateful for all these extra resources. 
The work you are doing is changing the world in such positive ways, and helping people change their own worlds, both inner and outer. 

 
Anon Workshop Participant
BC, Canada

"It was so good for me to open up and a relief to see that things don't have to be so black and white but within this there is still the possibility of clarity and a more personal, creative and radical approach to relationships... Love what you are offering Mel. You are awesome at what you are doing! It was great for me to be out of my comfort zone and to hear from folks who appeared to be very much in theirs. Thank you!"

 
Anon Course Student
 
Mel has been an incredibly valuable asset to me in helping to evolve my relationship skills and helping me to empathize with my partners. Her workshops and her coaching have drastically improved the communication level and quality of my relationships.
 
Gabriel
BC, Canada

"I first took the class in spring 2020. The experience was like a seed planted in the garden that sprouted and continues to sink deeper roots and grow taller, reaching for the sun and remaining an important part of my relationship garden"

~ Paul, Monogamy Detox Course Student
USA

"I desperately knew in my bones there was another script out there for me but when I struggled to find a healthy version of one, I haphazardly began writing it myself. And now?! To come into an entire community of people actively peeling back the veil to reveal their own trauma and vulnerability?? I am over the moon and feel so enthusiastic all the time. It's the first time in the last several years where I have had such sustained joy and direction."

~ Anon Course Student
Colorado

"I receive so much incredible value from your work — I LOVE how you organize your rich information. You also have a knack for setting up a really safe, thoughtful, reflective container for learning. I really appreciate and admire your brain! Hoorah! In addition, your teaching brings together an amazing community of courageous humans that gather to learn and practice trauma-informed relating with ourselves and others!

Sunday's class was a deeply nourishing in ways I didn't know I missed / needed. THANK YOU!
I look forward to your next session!"
 
Joan Trinh Pham
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Mel is an exceptional communicator and listener. Having known her personally and attended several of her workshops I can attest that she has the rare combination of perspective and presentation that many more experienced facilitators lack. I highly recommend her offerings.
 
Anon
BC, Canada
Mel has been a tremendous source of inspiration for my relationships and my community at large. She presents with a combination of professionalism, knowledge and open-minded curiosity that makes her safe and approachable. My profound journey through love and relationships has definitely been helped through the time I have spent with Mel.
 
Erin
Rotterdam, Netherlands

"Your work has reminded me that perhaps there isn’t anything wrong with me at all. I am amazed at the deep levels of shame we carry as human beings because we don’t fit into the construct that is given to us as a model for our life. It feels exciting because I can now explore what I want for my life rather than be gifted something that just doesn’t feel right for me." 

Craig P

Australia
I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for your coaching yesterday. It really helped me to focus in on what mattered and what I want and to know where I stand in my relationship and with these shiny new polyboots!
The conversation with my partner went amazingly well. Like really really well. We found much common ground and even discovered our common kinks. I am feeling so loved and supported and ready for this next adventure. Thank you for being a part of that!
Anon
Vancouver, Canada
Mel maintains a calm demeanor with low pressure conversation. She's approachable and accessible. She cares. It shows. Her passion for intimacy and relationship actualization shines through. Sex positive, poly aware, and kink aware, Mel is a very versatile specialist and adviser - the perfect counselling choice no matter how simple or complicated your concern or situation is.
 
Victor
BC, Canada
"You've already made a VERY positive impact on me. It feels so much better to feel you in my corner. Thank you again and again and again..."
Anon
Alberta, Canada
Mel's skill and comfort with questioning and reformulating beliefs regarding relationships is contagious. If you want to open up to new possibilities, she can be a resource for you.
Nick
BC, Canada
"Thank you for your kind help and wisdom at such a fragile time - I appreciate it so much and it helped a lot."
 
Anon
Australia
"Your workshop was SO helpful and amazing. THANK YOU! Magnificent and earth-moving! Like moving things that have felt stuuuuuck!"
 
Anon Workshop Participant
Portland, Oregon
Just wanted to send my deep gratitude and appreciation for your workshop. I let go of some self-indictments around believing something "different" about love, and was able to move towards being more in integrity with myself (and those with whom I relate). I was also able to become really clear about my core "essentials" in relationships (whether monogamous or non-monogamous; romantic/sexual, emotional, social/community or other), and am certain these breakthroughs will only serve my own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those I have relationships with now and in the future more than I can even comprehend.
Anon
Victoria, BC, Canada

"After the workshop I felt like I could breathe again. I felt like my version of non-monogamy wasn't "wrong" and, even more helpful, my former partners wasn't either. I connected with people thinking of the same things as I was, struggling with the same things, and asking questions like me. I cried. I breathed. And for the first time in my life I didn't feel like a love alien dropped onto this planet."

~ Anon,
BC Canada