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what is art therapy?

“The art process offers one of the few ways we human beings have found to utilize and to synthesize all or ourselves-

body, mind and spirit.”

Judith Rubin,

Art Therapist, Author


“The imagination is fundamental to all human activity; indeed, exercising imagination is the creative and critical, intuitive and integrative process central to human becoming.”​

Christine Valters Paintner,

Poet, Mystic

The longer I practice trauma therapy the more I fall in love with and come back to art therapy. I find that art making, mark making, playing with materials is a form of deep communication with our deepest selves. The creative process is  a form of listening, connecting and tapping back into our inner wisdom. Most of us have creativity wounds, from living in a society and in families that thought there was a 'right or wrong' way to make something (often because of their own fear responses) and for many of us this has created a sense of fear (freeze, flight/fight) or shame around the process of creation. However, anyone who hangs out with little children soon realizes that an innate part of being human is making things and that this is actually a process of deep discovery and experimentation, necessary for our continual becoming.  Art therapy cultivates our inner sense of curiosity, grows our ability to be with and support our protective critical parts, supports our relationship with our inner witness, promotes nervous system regulation, integrates 'undigested' trauma and increases our connection to our senses, our bodies and our deep inner wisdom. A lot of times my job as a practitioner is to hold space for you and get out of the way so you can do 'deep diving' with yourself. I trust and know that there are parts of you that know where to take you. I'm always here beside you as witness, as midwife, as guide...cheering you on and providing grounding, safety and rest stops along the way.


In my work as an art therapist, I combine talk, somatic experiencing, guided visualizations and parts work together with the art making. I often practice art therapy online with clients and I will help you set up your space. The materials and tools used in art therapy are different for each person, depending on their interests and needs. Its amazing how deep you can dive with wax crayons, a sheet of white computer paper and your very own hands and heart!

Art Therapy Is Not

  • about creating a perfect image

  • about product (it's all about the process)

  • just for people with previous art making experience, 'artists' or 'creative types' (all you need to bring is yourself and your curiosity)

  • your creations being interpreted by a therapist

  • just adult colouring books (however if you want to rip a page out and use it in session, totally allowed!)

  • just for children or youth (adult need and deserve to play, explore & create too)

Art therapy is for everyone and anyone and you're invited to the table!

Paint Cans
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Art Therapist Qualifications & Training

"There are certain qualifications required of art therapists.

In Canada and the United States, art therapists must have at minimum a master’s degree or a master’s level diploma in art therapy before identifying themselves within the profession. This graduate level education includes supervised clinical practicum hours (minimum requirement for all practicums is 700 hours and at least 350 of these hours should involve direct client contact), thus ensuring the safety of the client as well as professional liability for agencies and employers offering this form of therapy.

The American Art Therapy Association Research Committee has created a Research Outcome Bibliography on outcome and single-subject studies in art therapy to support the practice of art therapy through providing empirical evidence of its use."

Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA)

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