Art Therapy (art psychotherapy) supports you to express your inner world for the purpose of strengthening your self-awareness, reduce anxiety, increase self-esteem and resiliency, to support integration of a life experience or trauma that may be unresolved, and/or to make meaning of a present life challenge.
What is it? For many of us, no matter our age or what life challenges we are facing it can feel scary or difficult to open up and express ourselves verbally within a therapeutic setting. Simply using a crayon to mindfully scribble one's energy, thoughts or feelings on a piece of paper can be a non-threatening, and playful way to bring attention to the issues one is facing in the moment and act as a jumping off point for therapy.
As an art psychotherapist I combine psychotherapy and creativity within the context of a therapeutic relationship to support children, youth & adults who are experiencing a wide range of concerns including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, trauma, relationship issues, stress from living with cancer and/or being a cancer caregiver, fertility issues, pregnancy loss, postpartum depression/anxiety, birth trauma & disordered eating. With a specialized interest in grief therapy I support adults and children facing the death of someone close to them, their own end of life, or grieving the death of loved one.
What I love about art therapy is that you do not have to be a trained artist to benefit from it! It's actually not really even about the finished artwork itself -- it's about being open and curious to explore how your creative process and artwork might connect to relationships, experiences and struggles in your life. In other words, creating art can make your unconscious conscious.
Who can benefit from Art Therapy? Many people think that art therapy is only for children or for skilled artists, however art therapy is valuable for individuals at any age and with any artistic skill level. In my private practice I provide art therapy for children, youth and adults. I also provide dyadic (parent-child) art therapy to enhance & strengthen the attachment relationship between parents and their children including infants and toddlers. I often facilitate art therapy groups and yoga & art therapy groups for children, youth and adults.
What is my therapeutic approach? I work from a evidence-based, attachment and trauma-informed perspective. My therapeutic approach is person-centred, strength-based, inspired by narrative therapy practices and grounded in mindfulness. Having taught yoga and mindfulness meditation for 10+ years allows me to seamlessly integrate these practices into my psychotherapy work as a way to support individuals to bring awareness to their mind-body connection, to recognize their somatic experiences and to help them build healthy and effective coping skills for future life stresses and loss. My easy going and friendly attitude helps to create an environment where individuals can feel safe to relax and feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings.
What happens in a typical art therapy session? Each art therapy session is 50 minutes in length. You do not have to have any artistic skills to benefit from art therapy & no one will ever see what you create (other than you & me) unless you choose to show it to them. I have a variety of art materials including paints (water colour, acrylic & finger paint), pastels, markers, crayons, pencil crayons, collage materials, clay, sand and other 3D materials including pipe cleaners, beads & pompoms that you are free to use. Some days you might feel like freely creating something to express your thoughts and feelings, while other days I might invite you to create something that I feel would be helpful or supportive for your current life situation. After the art creation we will spend some time talking about anything you noticed about the process you went through while creating and whether it connects to anything you are facing in your life. There may also be days that you don't feel up to creating, and we spend the time talking instead. Your art work is kept safe & confidential in my office until termination of therapy, unless you wish to take it home that day.
How can I try Art Therapy? I provide an initial 15 minute consultation via phone or at my Art Therapy office free of charge. During this time I will let you know more about me & my approach to therapy and you can share with me what your hopes are and ask any questions you might have.
What is the fee for an art therapy session? Please contact me to find out my fee for service. I offer a sliding scale to those that are seeking therapeutic support, but are unable to pay the full fee.
Please note that I require at least 24 hours notice for appointment cancellation or you will be charged for the missed session. I accept payment for my services by way of cash, personal cheque, e-transfer or Square at the end of each session.
Office Location: My office space is located at Pape/Danforth. This office location is accessible by elevator, and is easily reached by TTC as it is directly located beside the Pape subway station. There is also street parking on the Danforth and many green P parking lots close by. When you arrive for your session please wait in the waiting room area and I will come and find you there.
GROUP ART THERAPY:
I feel very grateful to have facilitated Art Therapy Groups for children, youth and adults at a number of locations/events in Toronto including Gilda's Club of Greater Toronto, Sheena's Place, The Hospital For Sick Children, The Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital, and Princess Margaret Hospital.
Yoga & Art Therapy Groups for children, youth and adults. You will be guided through a relaxing yoga practice to help increase your self-awareness and focus while releasing stress & fatigue. Following the yoga practice, you will be invited to engage in an art therapy session which focuses on self-expression and creativity!
PLEASE Stay tuned for NEW upcoming Groups.