D.Th.; B.A.; D.K.A.T.I.
Professional Art Therapist
I am a professional art therapist living and working in Saskatoon. I bring my passion for art therapy and my compassion and care for those with whom I work to my private practice. I am able and comfortable to help people address the whole person in their art, be it physical, emotional or spiritual.
What led me to where I am today?
I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology and I am a trained spiritual director. I am an Ursuline of Prelate (a Roman Catholic Sister) and a special passion of mine is exploring art and spirituality.
I used art to break away from old patterns and ways of doing things, and I was amazed how powerful a tool art is. It was my own journey that led me to study art therapy. I graduated from the Kootenay Art Therapy Institute (Nelson, BC) in 2007 and have had a private practice since then. I love working with individuals but have also given many workshops for a great variety of groups and dealing with various topics.
We all have internal defenses or censors that keep us from verbalizing thoughts that might make us feel anxious or which we perceive as not being socially acceptable. A lot of energy is expended in suppressing these thoughts. Yet, often, for healing to take place, they need to see the light of day.
Our censors, who are so good when we are talking, are less able to defend against artistic expressions. Sometimes it is very hard to talk about what is bothering us. But once we put those things into the art and see them on paper, we can talk about them and begin to heal.
There are three ways for an art therapist to help a client explore a piece of art. There are the concrete questions, which deal directly with what is actually visible in the art. Next are the metaphorical questions which attend to metaphors and feelings expressed in the art. Is that rain in the painting really just rain, or does it represent tears? Last are the self-reflective questions where the artist may make connections between his/her own life and what is depicted in the art.
We start by asking, “What do you see?” This phenomenological approach stresses the senses—what we see—colour, texture, line, etc.
But we also become attentive to the “what” we are feeling. Does one area of the piece seem to have more energy for you than another? Does the art make you feel happy, angry, sad…? Even if the art is not your own, it can still be revealing. If ten people look at the same piece of art, we would most likely get ten different responses to what the piece is saying.
That’s the power of art therapy, a gentle way of working on our inner journey, be it for healing or personal growth.