Artist, Art Therapy, Psychotherapy and Belief Statement

I believe all people have the need and ability to create. Using various art and therapy methods I provide a safe and empathetic environment, to encourage life-enhancing expression that brings wholeness, physically, emotionally and spiritually to people's life.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer 2017

It has been a half a year since my last post. What is happening in your world? What does your world include?
The beginning of this year could make some of us very disheartened by the increase in discrimination,  outright hate, and judgement. It does make me very sad to believe that people want to limit each other's potential and growth by sending messages to each other that controls and restricts us from being who we are meant to be.

In the last year, I have been exposed to the effects of discrimination and control on several groups of people. The long-term impact on people's lives and their ability to overcome the trauma, self-hate and self-judgement is overwhelming. I provide healing presence for those who have experienced trauma and discrimination on multiple layers and levels; hate, abuse, beatings, (and more) on those who identify as LGBTQ2; those who have less power; those who are perceived as being dispensable - including children; and women...

I think for me, the impact on how our society, systems and especially religions controls women has been the most upsetting. The use of the law, distribution of money, distribution of power, enforcement of 'cultural and religious practices' all make woman less than... and contribute to how our society ALLOWS women to be seen and treated as less than. I never would have thought that I would say it ... but I believe I have become a feminist. Feminism does not mean a brow-beating, man-hating philosophy... Rather Feminism means that we are all created equal; and supporting and empowering women is only BUILDING our society to be healthier; to use and implement all of its resources. Feminism means empowering and supporting one another.

Feminism aligns with my belief in a God who is ever present; who works through us; who moves among us; ALL of us ; not just the men.

I leave you with the Womanly Living Tree. May you be able to grow as God intends.

Peace, healing, growth.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Happy New Year!

Dear Friends, from the news and comments of others, 2016 was a year of stress and questions about humanity. While I have also experienced a lot ... a lot of stress, it has not necessarily been all negative. Rather, the year has been quite a mixture of highs and lows.

On the positive side, I completed the requirements of my Masters degree in Psychotherapy, Spirituality and Art Therapy. This included writing my thesis - a major accomplishment all on its own, finishing practicum hours, and ensuring all my documentation was completed. I also graduated officially in November 2016.

Wow! Then my gorgeous daughter got married in September, 2016, and we had a beautiful wedding - a wonderful, warm, beautiful wedding. I couldn't have been more proud of her and her husband Albert.

Then in October, 2016, my comrades on the Canadian Art Therapy Conference committee successfully ran the Annual Art Therapy conference in Toronto. We hosted Donna Betts, the President of the American Art Therapy Association, and David Gussak, a famous art therapist who works with the prison populations, as well as over 250 participants.

In August, 2016 I got my first fulltime job as a psychotherapist and art therapist at the Riverdale Immigrant Women's Centre supporting women leaving abusive and traumatic experiences. I am learning a lot.

And I turned 50. Whew. Those are all pretty incredible high points.

The negatives have been just as monumental. A family member was involved in a car accident which totalled the car in July, 2016. I watched as one of the saddest and discouraging elections took place in the United States.

In November, 2016 my father-in-law passed away after a 9 year battle with colon and lung cancer.

A friend and son of dear friends was diagnosed with sarcoma in May, 2016 and died the same day as my father-in-law on November 24, 2016.

So 2017, I hope is more 'mundane'?!!!! Of course there are always opportunities for growth and seeking out challenges. Why would I seek challenges? Because, with challenges come change, new ideas, enhancement, building character, and wisdom.

At the same time, I have been thinking a lot about Vision. My vision, people's vision. That is, how people's vision shapes our focus, our intent, our identity, what we seek and the direction we end up going in. If my vision is positive, optimistic; and seeks to understand, then my direction in life will be shaped by that vision; and my focus and reality will be shaped by that vision. If I believe that I can succeed, and that despite challenges, I can make a positive impact, then that will shape my reality. I have seen people with immense struggles, who should be overcome by pain and find it impossible to go on, and yet ... they still go on... they encounter the pain, find strength in God, suffer, but they know that there is something positive in the struggle, and believe that there is something greater than themselves. But I have also seen people who have seen problems, but find them overwhelming, and then become shadows of their former selves, because they understand life as only handing them problems. One's vision and the way we deal life's challenges define us and our direction in life.

With positives and negatives in life, which do you focus on? How do you meet the challenges? How do you celebrate the positives? Where do you gather your resources from that provide strength to handle life? And what direction are you going IN?