I am an art therapist, I am knowledgeable in the area of attachment and trauma, specifically with Indigenous children and adolescents. I believe that Art therapy can contribute to the reconciliation process with Indigenous people. The creation of art as a personal vehicle of expression, which is common to both Indigenous cultures and the art therapy profession, could be the basis of increasing understanding and building relationships.
Rooted in my personal experience as a nature guide, the process of teaching and creating with children in nature through their senses is based on my intuition of their needs, and relates to the therapeutic concepts of the need for a “holding environment” (the special relationships in psycho-social environments that support the development of infants) and “containment” (which associated with holding, anchoring, focus, and framing; but, it also refers to boundaries and restrictions). Recognizing the need for a holding environment and containment comes from empathetic listening and understanding, my personal reflections, and my ecological perception. Nature provides an abundance of diverse ideas and materials, which stimulate the senses in many ways.
Doctorate in Art Therapy (doctoral candidate), Mount Mary University (Milwaukee), July 2016- currently
My study topic is: Triadic model of attachment with Indigenous (First Nation/Canada) foster children and parents
EMDR Basic Training, by Sue A. Genest, MSc. CCC, 2015
Healing Through Hypnosis, by Dr. Mary Ellen Bluntzer (MD) and Dr. Roxanna Erickson-Klein,
Hypnosis, Esalen Institute, February 2015
Trauma Recovery, When love is not enough, by Kenneth V. Hardy, Ph.D., 2014
Narrative Therapy, Advance Practice in Narrative Therapy, by Stephen Madigan Ph.D., 2014
Come Alive (The Haven), July 2013
Play Matters, Sand tray-world play, Play Therapy Training Intensive Level 1, Winnipeg, August 2012
Theraplay, Level 1, Winnipeg, June 2012
Trauma Informed Art Therapy, by Kathy Machiodi, 2011
Art Therapy Diploma, Kutenai Institute, 2005-2009
In this picture (touch drawing technique), I focused on the metaphor of roots: the roots of their culture and family that the Indigenous children need but do not have. In my artwork these roots are deeply buried in the land – so much so that they form the very basis of the earth on which to walk. These formative roots make me think of the childhood that these children have lost. Or maybe the tree represents the Indigenous children in an optimal situation, as a vision of what could be, where they are connecting to their abundant roots.
The ‘Great Mother Goddess’ clay work is a blend of vessel and tree, evoking, holding, resources, giving, growth, evolving, and development.
The growing tree: The figurines of the ‘fat ladies’ as the goddess show its positive female forms that are connected with abundance, giving of life, nourishment, warmth, and protection.
Mother earth has been negatively treated ecologically through the years. Analogously, from ancient times women were repressed and in some countries many of them still are (Laganà, 2009).