Each client is unique and each session is unique. I work to meet you where you’re at in the moment. That said, there are some frameworks you and I can use as platforms if you choose:
Open Studio is pretty much what it sounds like. You come to my studio and use the materials and instruments here (and any you might like to bring) to create as you please. If you get stuck, we talk about how you’re stuck and I help you to find a way to work through the stickiness. Together, we look and listen to what you make. I help you to draw connections between your art (what you make and how you make it) and other aspects of your life. We focus on the way you make choices, and how your patterns of behaviour challenge and benefit you.
Art Support for Teens
Adolescence is a time of great challenge and great change. It’s not unusual for teens to feel misunderstood, unacknowledged, sad, angry. Art can give youth a voice and a purpose. It can be a haven. I help teens who are experiencing distress – social/emotional distress, addiction, anxiety, depression, eating disorders – to develop art processes that meet their needs and can serve as coping tools. As well, I guide teens to use their own artwork (and the artwork of others) as prompts for reflection, questioning and connection-making.
Art of Memory
Art and music are tools we can use to help us learn and retain information. Have you ever had an earworm? A song you just can’t get out of your head? Imagine if the earworm was full of material you needed to remember for a test or presentation. Think of how quickly you associate a logo with a particular brand (and probably, all kinds of information about that brand). Pictures and symbols can be anchors that hook us to facts and ideas. In Art of Memory sessions, I help you to create songs, drawings, sculptures (whatever type of art will do the trick) designed to enhance your ability to recall information you need to be able to access for a particular task – say, a school exam or a business meeting. If you like, we can work together to come up with a (fun!) study program for you to follow – one that involves the artwork you make.
Do you have a big event coming up where you’ve been asked to speak about another person? Say, your son’s wedding or your best friend’s retirement party or… who knows! People celebrate for all sorts of reasons, and often, speeches are parts of those celebrations. But what to say? And how to say it? Here’s where, as a therapist and a professional writer, I’m in a special position to help you. You and I will talk together. I’ll use my interpersonal skills to get to the heart of the bond that exists between you and the person you’ll be speaking about, and then I’ll use my writing skills to help you craft a speech that’s genuine, eloquent, important-feeling and probably a little funny.
Sometimes occasions are sad. It’s my honour to help people write speeches for those occasions too.
Arts-based Body Processing
This is a method designed for people who regularly engage in a physical practice like yoga, running, or dancing. If you’re that sort of person, chances are you have a keen body-sense; probably you’ve already begun to draw connections between the way your body works and the way your mind works (as if they’re two separate things!) Arts-based body processing aims to strengthen and build on those connections. I’ll support you in creating art and music themed around body sensations you experience during or as a result of your physical practice. For example, if you have a sore spot – say, your left shoulder – I might invite you to make a drawing or sculpture that communicates the tone of the pain. What colour is it? What shape? Then I might ask you to draw a picture made of colours and shapes that ease the pain. In representing things this way, you may come to experience the pain differently. Maybe you will even notice the pain lessen.
Handmade Meaningful Gifts
Do you want to give someone important to you a one-of-a-kind present? A unique gift that honours the bond between you and the recipient? A gift that’s hand-crafted and also stylish? I can help you create a piece of art (or poem or song) that you can give to that special person. I’ll talk with you to learn what’s unique and precious about the relationship between you and the person the gift is for, brainstorm with you to generate ideas about what the gift might be, support you through the creative process as you make the gift, and suggest ways you can finesse the gift so that it feels true to you, and also has a professional polish.