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Gord Alton

Clinical Supervisor

Gord’s psychospiritual therapy ministry has grown out of many key strands of his life. One key strand was having two two hemophiliac brothers who constantly needed medical care and parental support. Another strand was having a mother who struggled with depression. Due to hemophilia, both his brothers contracted HIV/AIDs and eventually died from AIDS in the 1990’s, 5 years apart. These personal family factors have shaped him and how he approaches psychospiritual therapy.

In terms of spirituality,Gord was raised in the United Church but found his religious home in the Mennonite Church. His first career was in computers with Canada Trust but after a profound mystical experience during university, he left Canada Trust to follow his longing to understand better the mysticism of Christianity by getting a Master of Divinity and becoming a Christian pastor.

Since he was a part-time Mennonite pastor in Markham-Stouffiville, he got involved in volunteer community work. Because his brothers contracted HIV/AIDS, he became a founding member of the AIDS Community of York Region and began a support group in his church. This was his first exposure to the LGBQ+ community and he had many profound experiences in this context, like visiting a very spiritual man with HIV/AIDS who looked beautiful in his drag queen outfits and in the end asked him to perform their funeral.

Based on his reputation in this HIV/AIDS ministry, the Community Care Centre of York Region asked him to become a part-time pastoral counselor to visit clients with palliative and mental health conditions. He soon realized he needed more training and so he got 2 years of spiritual direction training. This spiritual direction training caused him to see a spiritual director monthly in 1998 and Gord has seen a spiritual director or been part of a spiritual work school ever since. This spiritual direction training whetted his appetite for more training and so he spent 4 years earning his certification in psychospiritual therapy from Canadian Association of Spiritual Care (CASC) in Toronto. He learned about Self Psychology, Solution-focused therapy, focusing and many forms of family therapy as well as theological reflection.

However, he still felt that there was much more integration needed between his Christian faith and the many psychotherapy models he had learned in his CASC training. During a sabbatical in 2006, he discovered the Diamond Approach, a spiritual psychology that integrates the insights of western psychology with the mysticism of the major religions. It was here that Gord found another spiritual home and Gord has been part of this spiritual work school ever since. Here, he found language for the different dynamics of Spirit and how the insights of the various western psychologies provide tools into working at transforming the many psychological structures that block or distort these essential energies like compassion, strength, truth, grace, joy, love, will, determination, peace, and power that emerge from our soul.

Over the past 15 years, as Gord did his personal spiritual work within the Diamond Approach School, Gord has worked through many attachment wounds and trauma events in his childhood. Gord has been also applying these insights into his spiritual direction, psychospiritual therapy, and pastoral ministries. Many of these insights he has written about in his monthly blog (

During his time in his last Mennonite Church, he helped form a spiritually-based peer support group for people living with mental health like depression, anxiety, and dissociation, and this group still meets monthly now some 9 years later. He facilitates this group on a volunteer basis.

Between 2017 and 2020, Gord went through training to be a CASC Supervisor. Upon deciding to step-back from pastoral ministry in 2020, the opportunity arose again to become a spiritual care provider for palliative care clients in the community, This ministry, based at the Lisaard and Innisfree Hospice, involves visiting palliative clients of the Home Community Care Support Services (HCCSS) of Waterloo and Wellington Regions, and their families in their homes as they wrestle with and work through the realities of life, dying, and death. This has been very meaningful work.

One of the realities Gord quickly found from his palliative care visits was how people’s past trauma was playing such a big part in shaping their living experience as they approached death. This insight caused him to get training in Internal Family System (IFS), a psychological modality that is very trauma-based but also very spiritual in flavor, a training which he continues. As a result, Gord has found a strong resonance between IFS and the Diamond Approach which is allowing him to find an even further integration between spirituality and psychotherapy.

In May, 2023, Gord became a CASC and CRPO supervisor within Alida van Dijk’s CASC PTE training centre. .


Gord Alton
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