I attained a Graduate Degree in Art Therapy from the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute in 2012, and am a member of the Canadian Art Therapy Association. My work in mental health has brought me into many different settings with a variety of populations over my years of practice, and I have witnessed over and over again how resilient and adaptive we are as humans.
Art therapy is usually something most people have questions about – let me tell a little about art therapy and my personal approach.
Art has always been a part of my life; it has been the tool I have reached for since childhood to create space for myself, find expression, and healing. Art therapy is the combination of traditional psychotherapy and the expressiveness of the arts. I truly believe in the restorative and enriching power of art as a tool in therapy. Through art making, clients are invited to express their feelings and give voice to their inner conflicts. My role as your therapist, as in traditional counselling, is to be your support and guide. Art therapy is for anyone at any stage of life, and it's versatility is something that continues to inspire and motivate me with my clients. No experience in fine arts is necessary to engage in art therapy.
The invitation, and often the challenge, in art therapy is to let go of the expectations we have of ourselves in creative areas and to be open to exploring the art materials as a means of expression and connection with the self. I am constantly amazed at the deep wisdom we all have, and how powerful it can be to give shape and form to the things we can not always find words for. For many, art therapy is a means to make way for that deep wisdom to express itself.
This means that my work is rooted in the belief that we all have an innate ability to flourish, and the therapy space is a way for individuals to move forwards towards growth and wholeness. You are the expert on you, and truthfully, you will be the one doing the hardest work in our sessions.
Being trauma-informed means that my work takes into account past, current, systemic, historical, and inter-generational experiences of violence and trauma. Trauma can affect individuals in all aspects of life, and by giving that pain a place for expression and growth, we have the opportunity to make meaning.
A holistic approach is vital to all of this – exploring the mind-body connection and seeing a person as a part of an interconnected whole with complex needs and bonds. We do not exist in isolation, and a foundational aspect of our well-being is based on connection and relationship. I am passionate about community and encouraging clients to cultivate a rich, diverse support system. The work of therapy is part of the solution but rarely is it the whole answer. A community-based, holistic approach acknowledges that reaching our best self includes a multitude of people, supports, environments, and chances to learn and grow.
I am endlessly fascinated by the world around me, and love the challenge of a new opportunity – especially when it comes to learning about our brains, bodies, and ways of being. I value humour, good food, people, nature, and while relationship is such an integral part of my being, I also enjoy solitude.
Healing is a process, and I would be honoured to walk along side you for part of it.