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Mark talks to day about shame versus guilt, mental health issues and how we are all wired for relationships. Listen in to hear his thoughts on desperate and difficult issues of our time. Mark tells us why we need to listen more, how we should reflect on despair and why we all need to look beyond ourselves.


Mark Vander Vennen is Executive Director of Shalem. He has been a marriage and family therapist since 1988 and came to Shalem in 2004. He has worked in child welfare (Northumberland Children’s Aid Society) and in children’s mental health (Kinark Child and Family Services). Until 2004, he served for almost 15 years as the Coordinator of what was then called Children’s Case Coordination Services for Northumberland County, an advocacy position which that involved him directly in the child welfare, children’s mental health, health, adult mental health, youth justice, developmental, medically complex, and education systems. Throughout that period he maintained a private practice in marriage and family therapy. From 2004-2008 Mark served on the Inter-Ministerial Provincial Advisory Committee of the Office of Child and Family Service Advocacy at Queen’s Park.  He is the Board Chair of Wrap Canada and Co-Chair of Wrap Canada’s Training and Technical Support Institute.  He is a certified Restorative Justice Facilitator trainer.   He has worked extensively with both perpetrators and victims of violence, and is the co-author of Hope in Troubled Times:  A New Vision for Confronting Global Crises, Foreword by Desmond Tutu (Baker, 2007). Mark loves camping with his family in Algonquin Park, baseball, and his environmentally friendly, waste vegetable oil-powered car.