Collaboration

Collaboration. That is the word that sums up 2014 for me so far. January and February
have vanished. I have met so many mental health professionals in the new year. We all
want to contribute our skills in a meaningful way and serve our community.

I am partnering with the Kemptville Youth Centre to create an art therapy app for teens.
We will be applying for funding in April 2014.

I met with Bev Illauq at Community Connections. I am hoping to use their space on
Prescott Street to offer a theatre intervention program for parents of teens.

Christine Skinner, at the Military Family Resource Centre, has come to my studio for a
visit. We are collaborating on self-care workshops for mental health professionals as
well as workshops for couples where one partner has been diagnosed with PTSD.

I just recorded a lecture about PTSD for professionals learning about pain management
at McGill. What an exciting experience that was! I love technology, especially when it
allows me to connect with people and share important information.

I was introduced to some equine therapists who are looking to bring their services to the
area. We may be sharing some of my space to facilitate a wellness retreat. This would
be a dream come true!

I am currently interviewing women who have beat cancer for an article in the North
Grenville Times. They are teaching me to savor every moment, enjoy my children and
take care of myself.

I will be very busy in April as my professional association, CATA, helps art therapists
transition to our new status as recognized mental health professionals through the
College of Registered Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists. Once
this process is completed, summer 2014, I will be covered by insurance. This will really
help clients who can’t afford to pay for therapy.

Not only is collaboration an excellent process for me as I grow as a professional, group work can also be very powerful for my clients. In my group therapy with teen moms, mothers of children diagnosed on the spectrum, divorce divas and caregivers, I witnessed the healing process of sharing information, swapping stories and celebrating victories. The reduced cost of groups means it is accessible to more people. As friendships form, group members can meet up and support each other in between sessions.

Look for my monthly art therapy groups starting in May 2014 on the Current Projects
page at http://www.artnsoul.org. The cost is $40 per participant. Participants must e-mail me
at artnsoul@ripnet.com to register. There are only five participants per session. Absolutely no artistic talent is required!

Saturday Mornings:
Teen Art Group (first Saturday of each month, 11am-12pm)
The goal of each session is to offer a safe place where teens can gather, use the art
materials and connect with their peers. Everything discussed in the group is
confidential. Participation in this group can create a sense of belonging, foster new
friendships, offer support and provide tools for constructive self-expression.

Divorce Divas (second Saturday of each month, 11am-12pm)
Get your groove back! Getting divorced beats the granny out if you. Come and meet
others who are undergoing this process or have survived it. Get creative, have a few
laughs, let everything out and breathe. Feel lighter and supported.

Survivors of Childhood Abuse (third Saturday of each month, 11am-12pm)
Life after trauma can be challenging. Verbal therapy can feel daunting if you have no
words to express what you have experienced. Meeting others who understand is a good
place to start recovery. This group provides an opportunity for self-expression,
acceptance, belonging and healing. Art gives you a voice. The group is your safety net.

Parents of Teens (fourth Saturday of each month, 11am-12pm)
Loving and supporting a teenager is hard work. Meet with other parents, share triumphs
and tribulations, cheer and comfort each other. You’ll find that creative work is like a
visual meditation. It helps you focus, release emotions and gain insight. You will feel
empowered and supported.

Thursday Mornings:
Birth Art (first Thursday of each month, 11am-12pm)
Explore your excitement and apprehension with other moms. Gain some insight and
confidence. Art can help you prepare for childbirth; rehearsing your ideal scenario,
anchoring calm sensations in your body and filling your mind with soothing images.

Support for People Living with Depression/Anxiety (second Thursday of each
month, 11am-12pm)
Explore your anxiety through images, sensations, hues and words. Bring color and
texture back into your life. Share tips and resources with others. Meet people who
understand. Support each other in a confidential, creative and calming environment.

Partners of People with PTSD (third Thursday of each month, 11am-12pm)
When a loved one suffers, every family member is affected. Torn between self-care,
compassion for one’s partner and, in some cases, parenting, life can get overwhelming.
Don’t suffer in isolation. Meet other strong partners, exchange helpful information or
resources, laugh and feel supported by those who understand.

Self-Care for Caregivers (fourth Thursday of each month, 11am-12pm)
If you are always busy looking after others, this workshop is for you. Take some time for
yourself; to breathe, create and connect with others. Leave each session feeling lighter,
stronger and supported.

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