Individuals and couples.
Online and in person.
English and Spanish.
What is art psychotherapy?
Art psychotherapy engages the mind’s inherent creative capacity using artistic mediums. Creative processing, combined with psychotherapy, helps to navigate complex feelings, thoughts and experiences. Abstract concepts that are difficult to articulate in words are communicated through elements such as form, colour, texture and movement. Meaningful transformation takes place in individual sessions, and over time. A professional art therapist is uniquely qualified to guide the creative process for therapeutic purposes.
Shawna’s approach is person-centred, somatic-based and trauma-informed. Her experience has primarily been working in the area of complex trauma, neurodiversity, women’s health, and emotional regulation. Complex trauma is an area of particular focus and continuing research.
"I have had an incredible experience with Shawna. This was my first time trying art therapy, and I came to it after years of growing restless with other purely talk-based forms of therapy... The body movement work we have done has been fantastic and it has been fascinating to look back at my artwork over time and see clear patterns and a journey that I have experienced. I could not recommend Art Therapy or Shawna more."
_ S. United Kingdom
"I can't say that I was sold on art therapy before I started working with Shawna. But working with her has been such a great experience in such unexpected ways! She is the first therapist I have felt completely comfortable with, enough to speak up about what I need in a particular session or moment. And she's always so encouraging and receptive that it's reinforced the importance of doing that. With Shawna I have been working on different forms of childhood trauma: together we have gone to places in my childhood that I have been terrified of my whole life. And through that process have had some enormously significant breakthroughs! I have really appreciated the balance Shawna has maintained between validating my assessment of my life situations while also providing concrete examples that challenge those assessments."
"Is like an artistic counselling for my life, an honest and clear conversation with my emotions. Shawna has a very particular openness and sensibility, which makes it easier for me to navigate through the vast universe of emotions and experiences."
"I began working with Shawna during the darkest time of my life. It was really helpful to have our sessions as a stable part of my healing process... I find the art therapy helps me get out the things that you can't put in words... I am much more stable and hold much healthier boundaries after working with Shawna regularly."
_ L. Ottawa, On.
"Working with Shawna as an Art Therapist has been an amazing experience! It was my first time with Art Therapy and it really made a difference in how I could communicate what was going on inside rather than just talk therapy. ...The thing that I liked the most was trying to take large periods of my lived experience with a mental illness and try to codify it in a picture/word form. Making my Mind Map and my Support System Tree were two very valuable exercises. I used them when I had a new appointment with a new doctor and it really helped to explain my lived experience of my illness."
"Shawna is friendly, yet very professional, and puts you at ease from day 1...Shawna sees things that you don't even realize and then will go deep to find the source and will work with you throughout the whole healing process...What I really admire and respect is that she will never push you more than you are able to cope and manage."
"For me, art therapy has complemented other tools that I acquired through traditional therapy and psychotherapy. It has been a process in which I've learned to approach, from the angle of creativity and the expression of feelings, some of the issues that have been most difficult for me. In addition to the above, my art therapy is in English, which has made it easier for me to have a very different approach and has helped me discover very interesting corners of my brain and my personality. I highly recommend it to all those people who want to embark on an adventure in which you will be assisted by Shawna to be the captain and the passenger."
"The art therapy sessions with Shawna were spaces where I felt very safe to open up and expose my fragility. Through drawing and artistic activities, very deep issues emerged that I did not expect, and we approached them in a loving way, conveyed through art. It is one of the most meaningful therapy experiences that I have ever had. It was a learning experience that left me with valuable tools.
All testimonials are shared and translated with permission.
Initials, as well as optional locations, are provided by clients.
Qualifications / Education
Post-Grad Ed.Canadian International Institute of Art Therapy
Cert. Human Neuroanatomy, University of Michigan
Cert. Core Skills Trauma, Albert Wong, Somatopia
Cert. Somatic Approaches for Healing Trauma, Somatopia
Cert. Childhood Trauma, Institute of Child Psychology
Cert. Specialized Expressive Arts Therapy, CiiAT
Cert. Attachment Informed Art Therapy, CiiAT
Cert. CELTA language instruction
B.A. (Honors) Communications, UND, USA
Fluency in English and Spanish / Basic ASL
Professional member of the Canadian Art Therapy Association.