As a teacher, my passion is to mentor social justice practitioners in all their creative forms. I love to create a cutting-edge curriculum to deepen students’ experience. I am a creative counsellor who has many tools to adapt to any context to serve humanity and relieve unnecessary suffering when it is possible. I believe in community and connection as necessary and important resources for healing on a personal and collective level.
I am passionate about advancing social justice through art and training in socially responsible creative practitioners. Since my first job as a wilderness educator with Outward Bound, I found my vocation as a teacher and social change advocate for women and children.
I was trained in the wilderness to guide “women of courage” through a healing journey in nature after surviving sexual violence. I was their teacher and counsellor. My work continued in this field to the National Outdoor Leadership School in Wyoming with undergrad students in month-long wilderness journeys. I was the teacher of survival skills and exploring their relationship with nature and themselves. I have been teaching and counselling since I was 25 years old. Now I am 45 years young, and I have a P.h.D. in Expressive Arts.
I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor with British Columbia, and I have had a private practice in the healing arts and counselling since 2004. 2015-2017 brought me to Quest University in Squamish. I created and taught the first-ever concentration course in Expressive Arts Therapy and Social Change. I taught Self, Culture, and Society through a curriculum based on the expressive arts that incorporated the medicine wheel indigenous teachings. My most recent scholarship was an online training for teachers, leaders, healers, and social workers on visioning a new way forward from the MeToo movement with Yoga and the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women. The online training produced two installation art pieces for social change. My doctoral dissertation is titled: The Woman, the Artist, and the Yogini: An arts-based phenomenological study of expressive arts and yoga with special attention to their political implications. The study found its ways to social change work through the arts.
I have worked at the Howe Sound Women’s Centre Society in Squamish, B.C., since 2007. I began my career at the Women’s Centre as a Children Who Witness Abuse Counsellor and front line Transition House Worker. Since then, the job title has changed from Child, Youth, and Family Counsellor to now PEACE Counsellors: Prevention Education Advocacy Counselling Empowerment. I worked this job for five years before becoming the Clinical Supervisor for all the counsellors and frontline workers from Squamish to Pemberton. I currently do this job running two groups; PEACE counsellors and frontline transition house workers monthly since 2013. These clinical supervision groups are all held online now. The supervision alternates between verbal dialogue sessions and expressive arts lead sessions. I am also the clinical supervisor to Sea to Sky Mental Health counsellors and Stopping the Violence counsellors in Vancouver Coastal Health, and practicum counselling students from both organizations.
Much of the work I do with the community in Squamish has to do with stopping the violence, homelessness and First Nations advocacy. Most of my private clients and groups are mentorship and supervision.
I speak basic Spanish, French, and Sanskrit. I have extensive training in post- graduate studies with a Master’s thesis in Expressive Arts Therapy and Shamanism and an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Expressive Arts and Social Change. My doctorate work is in Phenomenology and Arts-based Research. I have been a yoga teacher since 1998 and currently train teachers in a school I founded in 2009: Shamanic Yoga Institute. I facilitated many reconciliation community art projects at Quest University and created and maintained a relationship with the Squamish Nation Elders and the students. The Women’s Centre work has made me a bridge in connecting resources and teaching life skills to underserved populations.
I work to make myself immanently teachable and authentic in all my life experiences. I believe I can positively contribute to the teaching team and the curriculum development of this Masters of Counselling Psychology Art Therapy program and adapt to any situation needed of me in the job. I look forward to teaching art as a tool for social change and justice for all.