Dominika Kosowska, MA, RSW Emerging Trauma Steward
Before you read on, please go to a TESTIMONIALS tab to get "a feel" of how I am with people and whether you feel comfortable reaching out.
"Dominika...I cannot thank you enough. Your are dedicated, reliable, available and compassionate. You have helped me through a very traumatic event by listening to my stories and validating my emotions. You have been there for me when I needed you, gave me strength when I had none left and were able make sense of my situation when I couldn’t decipher it myself. Your experiences in life are a key asset to understanding and connecting with others...thank you! You really put your whole heart into your work. Amazing!" - Female 43
Whole Hearts Matter is a Peer Counselling Initiative that I started from all the love and passion I have for supporting people in their suffering and discomfort, because "I have been there and I can relate." I started my journey a few years ago when I immigrated to Canada from England where I was a teacher/educator for six years. The move across the world was very difficult and becoming a single parent due to escalating domestic violence soon after, brought me to my knees. The lack of help, resources and community was absolutely unbearable. My life was spinning out of control, my dreams crumbled into a million pieces and my heart was far from whole; it was broken, bleeding, crying for help in all the ways I knew. Then the diagnoses started coming out: post-partum depression, severe anxiety disorder, C-PTSD, autoimmune condition...the amount of piling-up stress was sucking all the joy out of me. The glow I used to have prior to all of this was gone. I started losing weight, my face was pale, I felt lifeless and with no reason to live. I did not know how to be there for my child, how to be there for myself. The darkest, scariest thoughts were creeping in often. Yet, I somehow managed to get up again and again and SEEK HELP by TALKING to people and for the first time in my life – SHARING my story and slowly RECOVERING. The healing started, the need to learn about my Mental/Emotional Health, the spark of unstoppable curiosity, the journey of discovering who I am started a new purpose in my life! The search took me all the way back to my childhood. Alcoholism, violence, emotional and verbal abuse, neglect, abandonment, lies... It all started to make sense. It all finally clicked. It opened my eyes to the fact that I do not have to repeat the cycle of my upbringing - so I decided to break it (or rather bend it to start with). It became my mission, my motivation, my determination, my drive. The more I was learning about myself, the more I was able to RELATE TO others. The more I was aware of my suffering, the more I could help those who were still suffering. I started to dive deep into Trauma Work, esp. Childhood Developmental Trauma, Domestic Violence/Abuse (verbal, emotional, physical, financial, sexual, etc.) and Sexualized Violence: reading books, participating in trainings, workshops, webinars, attending group meetings and therapy, gaining more knowledge, more experience, more language. In 2018 I started volunteering for Victim Services - right there and right then I knew that THIS IS HOW I AM GOING TO SPEND MY LIFE - helping, listening, holding space, validating, acknowledging, laughing and crying together. The Lived Experienced throughout my life have enabled me to relate to clients in a very raw, intimate way - different experiences yet the same pain. That is the gift I have received - connection on a heart level. On a soul level. Every client brings so many gifts to my life. Every client is of the same importance. Every client's experiences MATTER to me! All Hearts Matter. Mine as much as Yours and Yours as much as Mine.