Director of Expressive Arts Program, Toronto District School Board
I facilitate an Expressive Arts Therapeutic program that engages youth from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Individual and group sessions are issue-specific addressing themes such as transitioning from country of origin to Canada, trauma, conflict in relationships, sexual abuse, and addictions. Additionally, I provide consultation and training/internship opportunities for educators, administrators, families and community supports.
Art Therapist for a Non-For Profit Community Child and Youth Service Agency
I provide clinical case management and direct service to clients requiring individual, family and group therapies relating to sexual abuse and trauma. This includes evaluating and conducting psychosocial assessments of family members and their adolescents where a sexual offence has occurred as well as with children who have sexual concerning behaviours. Collaboration with outside agencies including advocacy and community partnerships is also included in my role.
Site Supervisor/Teacher, Toronto Art Therapy Institute
As a teacher of a course on Using Expressive Arts with Adolescents Who Have Sexually Harmed, I also offer students supervision in their practicum placement, including major projects/thesis work.
Art Therapist, Consultant to a Residential Boys Program
Provide art therapy services to adolescent boys in a treatment based residential milieu.
DBT Skills Group Co-Facilitator
Through my training with the Canadian Centre of Mental Health (CAMH) I co-facilitate Dialectical Behavioural Therapy skills groups that blends cognitive and behavioural interventions with acceptance-based strategies derived from mindfulness.
Community Arts Activist
Through the use of creative interventions I have had great opportunities in championing the values of social justice and civic engagement. This has been done when creativity is met through the leverage, mastery and unparalleled access to the art world through exhibition. Since 2003 I have had the honor of facilitating a number of art exhibits at the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts which combines elements of mindfulness practice, art therapy, ceramics, community development, education and social justice while informing the public about the impacts of sexual abuse.
This multi-disciplinary approach to therapy has provided an environment where children and youth have come together and matured as artists, at the same time have been offered an opportunity to cultivate mindfulness and global awareness while participating more fully in their own lives. Through a variety of community projects, children and youth have been supported and encouraged to share their personal journeys through the creation of art work that provide a personal narrative to ones’ experience with trauma. The power of art has ignited the imagination, stimulated thought and provided connection while simultaneously having children and youth navigating more effectively through challenging and difficult times.
Overseas Volunteer Art Therapist
In 2015 an international connection was made by communicating with children and youth living at Ripples Shelter in Meru, Kenya. In my work with children and youth from around the GTA a new learning about the 160 Girls Project in Meru took place.
The 160 Girls Project is a legal initiative that aims to achieve justice and protect females against sexual assault in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi by holding government accountable to enforcing existing laws in accordance to the United Nations Charter of Rights and Freedom. This was made possible as a result of 160 female children and youth finding the courage to use their voices to affect systemic change. With this knowledge, compassion and shared understanding; an invitation to respond through art was offered to children and youth throughout the GTA, resulting in inspiration, excitement, and new connections around the world.
Prior to this, in 2014 a trip was made to Kampala to volunteer with Joy For Children; an advocacy agency that supports the rights and needs of vulnerable children in Uganda.