Becoming an art therapist brought together some of my favourite interests – art, writing, culture, and psychology – in an exploration of how creative expression helps us better understand why we do the things we do, and, how the creative process can help us work toward our personal and interpersonal goals. Art therapy training is a two year, graduate-level program that I completed with honours from the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute in Nelson, BC.
I’m registered with the Canadian Art Therapy Association RCAT #223-R-17. The registration process requires ongoing professional development and 1,000 client contact hours with 50 hours clinical supervision. As a registered art therapist, I follow CATA standards of practice, hold liability insurance, and am able to supervise art therapists working towards their registration.
I strive to offer a therapeutic space of cultural safety and humility (as described by the First Nations Health Authority) through self-reflection and respect for clients’ experience and wisdom. I acknowledge the detrimental effects of intergenerational trauma, racism, and power imbalances on people’s health, mind, and spirit as well as on their efforts to engage in supports along their path of healing. I’m honoured to have learned the importance of cultural safety and humility from the First Nations communities I’ve worked with and appreciate how these perspectives inform and support my work with all clients.
I moved in January 2020 from British Columbia to Saskatoon and started a private practice in March of the same year. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Saskatoon Open Door Society, Hope’s Home, SaskAbilities, Saskatoon Autism Services, and clients of Victim Services.
While in British Columbia for two years, I worked as a child and youth mental health clinician for Nisga’a Lisims Child and Family Services and Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society (KFS). I delivered individual and group art therapy for KFS as well as outreach services with the cooperation of Central Okanagan Public Schools Aboriginal Education, Foundry, Bridges Counselling, Boys and Girls Club, and Cornerstone Shelter.
Prior to BC, I ran a private practice in Regina for four years where I provided individual and group counselling as well as parent/child dyad therapy. In addition to private individual referrals, here are some of the organizations in Regina I had the pleasure to work with:
- Balgonie Elementary School – ongoing weekly group for at-risk children (outreach)
- Canadian Mental Health Association Members Club – ongoing weekly drop-in open studio for adults experiencing mental health concerns (outreach)
- Chip and Dale Homes – six-week group for adults with disabilities and support staff (outreach)
- Cognitive Disability Strategy – individual referrals
- Cosmopolitan Industries – eight-week group for adults with disabilities (outreach)
- Creative Options Regina – individual referrals for adults with cognitive disabilities
- Early Childhood Intervention Program – six-week group for parents and their child (outreach), parent/child dyad therapy, individual referrals.
- Paper Crane Community Arts/Ranch Ehrlo – individual and ongoing group sessions for high-risk youth and youth with disabilities (outreach) Schaller School ezine
- Raising Hope (Streetworkers Advocacy Project) – ongoing weekly group for mothers with addictions (outreach)
- Regina Children’s Justice Centre – individual referrals for children/youth victims of crime
- River Bend Memory Care – eight-week group for residents with dementia (outreach) Leader Post article
- SARBI – two-session art therapy workshop (outreach)
- Saskatchewan Social Services Child and Family Services – individual referrals
- SOFIA House – six-week group for women who have left domestic abuse (outreach)
- Touchwood Agency Tribal Council – individual referral
- Victim Services (approved service provider)
- YWCA Kids in Transition Shelter – individual referrals and sibling groups for children in emergency care
Professional Development and Training
- 2020 Addiction Studies Online Certificate, Mount Royal University (in progress)
- 2020 ASIST, ABK Wellness Consulting (2-day workshop)
- 2019 Water Teachings, Okanagan Nation Alliance (1-day workshop)
- 2019 Strengthening our Youth Workshop, Westbank First Nation (1- day workshop)
- 2018 8th International Research Conference Adults and Adolescents with FASD, UBC (3-day conference)
- 2018 Neurosequential Model of Therapy, Dr. Emily Wang, Hull Services (2-day workshop)
- 2017 Indigenous Tools for Living, Justice Institute: Aboriginal Focusing Oriented Therapy (3-day workshop)
- 2017 Vicarious Trauma: Prevention and Resilience Strategies, Thrive Training and Coaching (2-day training)
- 2015 Practical Tools for Helping Children, Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute Inc. (2-day workshop)
- Ongoing National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine (NICABM) online: Why the Body Holds the Key to Trauma; How to Help Clients Overcome Anxiety-A Mindful Approach; Rethinking Trauma; How to Work with Shame, Practical Skills for Working with a Client’s Anger; Treating Trauma Master Series
I’m a graduate of the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute’s (KATI) two-year post-baccalaureate program in Nelson, British Columbia. I also have a diploma in Visual Communications, a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Art and Culture, a multidisciplinary Master of Arts, and four prerequisite psychology classes to prepare for KATI.
KATI provided graduate-level course work in psychotherapy, human development, clinical issues and ethics, mental health disorders, qualitative research, and a thesis, as well as workshops for parent/child dyads, neuroscience, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), addictions, child and youth counselling, and body mapping. Clinical training included biopsychosocial intake, assessment and development of treatment plans using DSM-IVTR, summary report writing, maintaining client files, and 160 hours of clinical supervision. Practicum placements included over 400 direct client hours of individual and group sessions in schools, long-term care, acute psychiatry, psychosocial rehabilitation, adult special education, parenting groups, and community open studios for people experiencing concerns related to dementia, psychosis, anxiety, depression, addictions, developmental disabilities, and behaviour disorders.