Hi, my name is Karen.
I am a Registered Art Therapist with the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA/ACAT), a Professional member of the Ontario Art Therapy Association (OATA) and a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).
Before becoming an art therapist, I worked as an assistant in a kindergarten/daycare centre. Whenever any of the children presented as angry, sad, or worried, I wanted to help them; however, they didn’t always have the right words to identify or explain their feelings and needs.
During this period, I was introduced to the field of art therapy – a psychotherapeutic approach that allows for non-verbal self-expression via the use of art media. As someone who has always loved engaging in art making, this intrigued me and so I began the journey of becoming a qualified art therapist. My training occurred at The Toronto Art Therapy Institute, with a focus on psychodynamic therapies. My graduate level thesis examined the efficacy of art therapy with children and young adolescents struggling with low self-esteem.
Throughout my professional career I have had the opportunity to work with children, adolescents, and adults within a variety of settings. It's exciting to witness how art therapy can be successful with all ages. My experiences include helping individuals cope with a range of presenting challenges including mental health concerns, life-transitions, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, social isolation, and healing from addiction.
Art therapy can help with self expression, self-reflection, managing emotions in a safe way, reducing stress, elevating mood, increasing sense of meaning and purpose, and increasing sense of self. Art therapy is about self-exploration and not about making “good” art; therefore, experience or skill in art is not required to successfully engage in art therapy.
Via the combination of art and verbal psychotherapy, I employ an integrative person-centered approach, customizing sessions to meet each client’s unique needs and level of comfort. I always endeavour to create an environment where clients feel safe, heard, and understood.