Faculty And Staff

Current Instructors

Monique (Mo Thunder) Bedard

BFA, DTATI

Mo (they/them) is a nonbinary/fluid, neurodivergent multidisciplinary artist and facilitator who grew up in a small town along the St. Clair River, they currently live in T’karonto (Toronto), which has been home for over a decade. They are Haudenosaunee (Oneida Nation of the Thames), French-Canadian and Anishinaabe (Aamjiwnaang First Nation).

Mo holds a BFA in studio art with a focus on drawing, silkscreen printing, photography and video from Fanshawe College and the University of Lethbridge, however, they are also self and community-taught. They have over 15 years of experience in community arts facilitation, organization, education, collaboration and consultation. Since high school, they have been working in community arts creating solo and collaborative murals and providing group and individual art facilitation. In June 2022, Mo graduated from the Toronto Art Therapy Institute (TATI).

Through their multidisciplinary art practice (painting, murals, mixed media, beading, journaling, poetry and textiles), they create visual stories about their lived experiences in connection to their personal healing. Mo is also inspired by intergenerational connections and healing, family and memories, personal and collective empowerment, and all of creation, especially skyworld.

Mo co-created and co-facilitated a community art / creative expression program for young Indigenous folks in T’karonto, Our Stories Our Truths (OSOT) and a mural collective of BIPoC 2SLGBTQQIAP+ and gender-diverse creatives, Earth Sky Collective (ESC).

They have a deep love and passion for learning Oneida language, zines, journals, art supplies, music, neurodiversity, organization, sewing, fashion and tattoos!

Susan Beniston

MFA, ATR-BC, RCAT, OATR

Susan is a Toronto based visual artist, a certified art therapist and post-secondary educator. Her work is informed by creative practice and the Art Hive movement: to connect communities, to co-build relational knowledge (locally, nationally, internationally) and to increase resilient well-being through socially engaged arts that are inclusive, accessible and sustainable.

Within TATI’s Community, Susan is part of the Thesis and Major Project Advisement Team. As Education Chair and board member for the Ontario Art Therapy Association, she remains invested in
reciprocal learning, sensory-based attunement and “thinking with materials.” Certified as an art therapist since 1995, ATR-BC with AATA and with RCAT since 1996, Susan is the Founder of Sheridan College Art Hive Initiatives.

As the shape of public practice art therapy and ecological-arts continue to transform and evolve, insights are embraced from several disciplines including NeuroArts and liberatory arts practice.
Susan’s awareness of historical traumas and challenges are deep
and ongoing; learning along the way to walk with response-ability, to advocate for care, kinship and restorative psycho-social and environmental accompaniments, that activate our sense of
belonging within communities that care, to change and nurture
safer relational-cultural spaces.

Taylor Bourassa

RP, DTATI

Taylor Bourassa graduated from Toronto Art Therapy Institute in 2021, and opened her private practice Wellness Grove Therapy. She loves to work with atypical art mediums including natural materials and natural spaces, textiles and found objects. She welcomes the inclusion of meaningful forms of media into the art therapy space including video games, television, books and Manga. She has worked at the Student Art Therapy Centre as the administrator since graduating from TATI, and enjoys connecting with students on their practicum journey. She completed her own practicum at the Centre, so it feels fitting to have her return as the administrator. 

Erin Briggs

RP, RCAT, DTATI

Erin Briggs is a registered psychotherapist and art therapist who has been practicing for 8 years to help her clients with healing, psychoeducation and growth through expressive arts modalities. Erin has focused her work extensively with children and youth who have complex mental health needs at Youthdale Treatment Centres. She facilitates individual and group therapy for youth in inpatient, live-in treatment and outpatient settings. To expand her work in art therapy, Erin has also started to provide art therapy on a private basis, focusing on short-term, individual therapy. 

With the complexity of this work, she further developed her skill set to focus on providing a trauma-focused approach to art therapy. Erin utilizes her continued education to being multiple frameworks into her practice including CBT, DBT, trauma-focused CBT, mindfulness practices and narrative therapy in order to guide those in need through their treatment and towards their goals.

Erin is committed to meeting her clients where they are at in terms of their mental health in order to support the development of a strong therapeutic relationship, while recognizing the need for different styles of communication and processing. 

Sharona BookBinder

Sharona Bookbinder

BSc, DTATI, MBA, DAT, OATR, RCAT, RP

Dr. Sharona Bookbinder has practiced as an art therapist for 25+ years and is a highly regarded expert in her field. She is a clinician presenter, author, educator, innovator and leader in healthcare and small business. She is the Founder & CEO of InnerArt Inc. and divides her time between work at a Toronto area hospital, managing InnerArt and teaching. Sharona is also in the volunteer position of Governance & Government Relations for the Canadian Art Therapy Association (ex-officio Treasurer). She has also taught at The Toronto Art Therapy Institute, Mount Mary University, University of Toronto and WHEAT Institute. Sharona is eager for education opportunities and raising awareness about creative arts therapies.

LinkedIn

David Boudreau

M.A., M.S.W. R.S.W.

David Boudreau (M.A., M.S.W. R.S.W.) is a Social Worker and Psychotherapist who has been practicing clinical social work with individuals, couples and families for over 30 years. His practice experience has spanned Children’s Mental Health, Employee Assistance Programs and private practice settings. He is proficient with in-person, telephonic and online counselling.

David has a Master’s of Social work degree and a Master’s of Arts degree in Sociology. His clinical training has been in family and couple therapies, cognitive-behavioural therapy, brief therapies, anti-oppressive practice, trauma-informed practice, online counselling, mindfulness-based psychotherapy 
and compassion-focused practice, and expressive therapies.

David has developed and taught counselling and social justice curriculum over the past fourteen years at Sheridan College, the University of Windsor and TATI.

David Cho

RP, RCAT, DTATI

David Cho (He/Him) is an art therapist with 13+ years of experience working with children, youth, adults, and families. His experience within community mental health agencies has allowed him to support clients through a trauma informed, client-centered, and anti-oppressive lens. David teaches at Humber College in both the Criminal Justice Services and Child and Youth Care program. In his 5+ years at Lumenus, he was able to support children, youth, and families, as well as staff, through his role as both Individual and Family Therapist and Clinical Manager. David was a key component in the creation of the mental health program through a partnership with MLSE (Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment) at Launchpad, with a focus on wellness through an inclusive and community-based lens. He also has 5+ years of experience of trauma treatment and assessment work with children and adolescents within the community counselling sector. David has a passion for program development, advocacy, and community building through the creative arts.

Jacqueline Compton

Jacqueline Compton

RCAT, RP

Jacqueline(she/her) is an art and body-based therapist. She is a Registered Psychotherapist, RP and a Registered Art Therapist, RCAT, and is currently a student, completing her Sensorimotor Psychotherapy certification. Over the past 11 years, she has been developing a trauma-focused practice that uniquely incorporates art-based, body-based and talk-based therapy. Her approach is deeply rooted in art and creative psychotherapy, somatic therapies and neuroscience. Jacqueline works from an anti-oppressive, anti-racist, feminist, trauma-informed approach and specializes in the healing of trauma and how it shows up in one’s life.

Jacqueline has worked in the field of trauma and the Violence Against Women’s Sector in Toronto for over 11years. She began her work in the Caribbean with women and children that had experienced violence. She worked for more than five years as an art therapist implementing and creating service delivery at the YWCA Toronto’s Breakthrough program for women who have experienced violence and abuse, as well as part of supporting program development. Jacquie has also worked for the past five years at the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic that offers legal, interpretation, and counselling services to those that have experienced violence. She has worked in roles as Therapist/Advocate, Manager of counselling services, and as the Director of counselling services. In her roles, she has led and supported frontline staff, provided supervision and consultation to agencies and provided innovative programming development in trauma work as well as providing education on vicarious trauma and anti-racist and anti-oppressive practices. Jacquie has a deep passion for trauma and recovery and in her private practice works with clients that seek transformation and integration of their traumatic experiences into their lives. Jacquie believes that a trauma-informed approach is not just a frame of working collaboratively with teams and clients but is in fact, a way of being in relationship with others. Jacqueline identifies as a bi-racial black woman. She was born in Toronto but spent her formative years growing up on the island of St. Lucia. Jacquie has always had a deep passion and curiosity towards what makes us uniquely and ever so beautifully human.

Ruth Danziger

BA, D.CREATE, cert. Soul Voice Practitioner

Ruth is an Expressive Arts Therapist, Puppeteer and Storyteller. She has facilitated puppetry workshops and art exchanges in remote northern communities with Community Works, and helped to develop and deliver inter-generational creativity gatherings there. In addition to her private practice, she has worked as an expressive arts therapist at Bloorview MacMillan Children’s Centre using puppets as a therapeutic medium with children and teens, and also animated puppetry and storytelling at the hospital’s Spiral Garden. With The Parent-Child Mother Goose Program, Ruth has been involved for over 20 years, as executive and program director in Toronto, and a senior workshop leader, teaching across Canada. As a storyteller she facilitates workshops with elder and newcomer communities in Toronto and edited I Bring You a Story a book of multicultural stories, collected from Toronto community members. Ruth is happy to be on the faculty at TATI as well as at Storytelling Toronto. Her workshops and presentations have been popular at professional conferences including CATA, Play Therapy International and IEATA.

And yes, though many years have passed, Ruth was a puppeteer with CBC television. For those of you who watched Mr. Dress-up, Ruth’s alter-ego was the puppet Annie.

Sharlene Friedman

DTATI, RCAT, RP

Sharlene Friedman has been in independent practice since 1989. She works as an Art Therapist as well as with energy work in the form of Jin Shin Jyutsu® (a Japanese art of harmony and balance). Since 2007 Sharlene has been on faculty with the Toronto Art Therapy Institute as the Group Art Therapist.

In the past twenty-six years, in conjunction with private practice, she has worked with numerous agencies including women’s shelters, The Rape Crisis Centre of Peel Dufferin County, the Peel Collaborative and the Barbara Schlifer Clinic in Toronto, where her work focused on working with trauma, recovery and personal growth. From 1996 Sharlene was instrumental in creating and co-facilitating an open group for women who have survived childhood sexual abuse and trauma. She is the co-author of the manual, Weaving Our Voices-An open group for women who have survived Childhood Sexual Abuse and trauma- Group Leaders Manual, and was responsible for training agencies in Peel, Guelph and Toronto in this model.

Sharlene facilitated an open art therapy group for women called “Creating Connections” at the Harbourfront Community Centre in Toronto from 1995 to 2011. She also organizes workshops in Process Work and Jin Shin Jyutsu® and teaches Self Help in Jin Shin Jyutsu®.
Sharlene is available for consultations, facilitation, supervision and teaching.

Petrea Hansen-Adamidis

DTATI, RCAT, RP

Petrea Hansen-Adamidis is a Registered Canadian Art Therapist and Registered Psychotherapist in Ontario. Petrea has worked in the field of art therapy since 1994 at various agencies with children and adults. For the past 16 years she has worked with children and their families at a children’s community mental health center, Petrea serves individual and parent child dyads, specializing in trauma assessments and treatment. Petrea is also a psychotherapy supervisor and art therapy student field supervisor. She teaches the History and Development of the Profession of Art Therapy as well as Child and Adolescent Development and Art Therapy at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. Petrea practices in Toronto in private practice (www.arttherapist.ca) and runs expressive arts workshops for health and wellbeing with an emphasis on self-care in her private practice.

Anand Jaggernauth

BSc, DTATI, RP

Anand graduated from the Toronto Art Therapy Institute in 2022. He started his private practice, ARTMA – The Art and Science of Therapy, in September 2021. The pillars of his practice are grounded in being person-centered, anti-oppressive and collaborative with a focus on therapeutic relationship and presence. Creativity, mindfulness and compassion are the foundation of his practice on which he continues to professionally train and develop in areas such as Narrative Therapy, EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Somatic and EFT. He is also a trained SoulCollage® Facilitator and holds a BSc in Geophysics from the University of Western Ontario. Anand’s major project at TATI, Art Therapy with Mindfulness in the Corporate Environment, brought art therapy into new environments. He brings this approach into his practice today by offering creative moments as a source of wisdom in traditional talk therapy spaces. In a commitment for more accessible therapy, Anand offers low cost mental health services through Hard Feelings in Toronto where he sees individual clients and runs an 8 week free art therapy group each year. 

Rakshanda Khan

Rakshanda Khan

MA, DTATI, RP

Rakshanda Khan, MA, DTATI, RP is an Art Therapist and Registered Psychotherapist practicing in Tkaronto Kanata (Toronto, Canada) on the traditional territories of the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, and the Anishinaabe peoples.

Rakshanda Khan graduated as an Art Therapist in the midst of a global pandemic. Since then she has been providing individual and group art therapy and workshops through her private practice and otherwise with children, youth and adults at hospices, shelters, hospitals, community centres and non-profit agencies in the Greater Toronto Area. As a South Asian immigrant to Canada, she also has experience with person-centred counselling in Pakistan. A combination of lived experience, training in art therapy, psychotherapy and peer support fuel Rakshanda’s approach to meeting individuals where they are at, as well as her commitment to mental health advocacy. She strives to maintain a critical self-consciousness in her work, practising from a client-centered, strengths-based, anti-racist and anti-oppressive framework that recognizes that we all embody creative resources that we can access for personal growth. Her scholarly interests include graphic medicine, digital and online creative processes, as well as traditional arts practices to guide healing.

Erin Kuri

MA, CCC, OATR

Erin completed an undergraduate degree with honours in Psychology and Visual Art from York University in 2003. In 2007 she graduated with a master’s degree in Creative Art Therapies (Art Therapy option) from Concordia University. Since this time, she has been working as an Art Therapist in various roles and settings such as child welfare, rape crisis centre, women’s shelter, and children’s mental health. In 2012 Erin completed a post-master’s diploma in Social Service Administration from the University of Toronto, while working in the position of Manager of Counselling Services within a rape crisis centre. Erin has held the positions of president of the Creative Arts in Counselling chapter of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and Chair of Public Relations for the board of the Ontario Art Therapy Association. Erin is currently a member of the Health Sciences Research and Ethics Board for the University of Toronto. Erin is a certified member of the Canadian Counselling Association, a Registered member of the Ontario Art Therapy Association, and a professional member of the American Art Therapy Association. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, knitting, reading, cooking, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.

Nicole Levy

DTATI, RP, RCAT

Nicole Levy is a Registered Psychotherapist and a Registered Art Therapist. She has worked in the field since 2011, specializing in working with children and youth. She has worked in various settings including Learning Disabilities Association of Toronto District, and Family Association for Mental Health Everywhere where she provided group programing in partnership with CAMH, Hincks-Dellcrest (now known as SickKids), George Hull Centre, and Yorktown Family Services. She has worked in private practice settings, and in recent years opened her own private practice, Mindful Healing Journey, where she provides personalized and holistic care to children, youth, and adults.

Nicole uses a client-centered and strength-based approach using a combination of holistic approaches including breathwork, meditation, yoga and movement combined with Art Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy(DBT), and Narrative Therapy.

Nicole believes that we all have innate healing abilities, inner strength, and the capacity for growth to move in directions that are meaningful to us.

Ruth Luginbuehl

MD, DTATI

Ruth Luginbuehl graduated from TATI in 2004 and won the Martin Fischer award for best thesis that year. In 2005 she established and is since teaching the course of Medical Art Therapy at TATI. She is delighted to be on the TATI distance learning faculty to teach this course. Ruth is a medical art therapist practicing in Toronto, Ontario. As a fully trained pediatrician her expertise covers physical illness and its psychological impact, with a main interest in palliative and bereavement care and fertility medicine. Ruth is also a professional artist working in her private studio, where she is teaching expressive arts to small groups.

April Penny

BFA, BED, DTATI, RCAT, RP

April Penny is a Registered Art Therapist with degrees in Fine Arts and Education from Queens University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Art Therapy from the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. She has been practicing art therapy since 2005 and provides art therapy services in long-term care settings in Brampton and Toronto, specializing in geriatrics and aging young adults in LTC with complex needs. April has facilitated community themed arts-based initiatives within these settings to promote resident creativity and bring visibility to the value of therapeutic art projects for these populations, and has helped develop the first permanent LTC art studio within Peel Region Homes. As a Registered Art Therapist, she is also developing her role as supervisor for students and colleagues. April is teaching a course on art therapy with older adults at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. April believes that art therapy can help to eliminate barriers of physical limitations by providing an assisted means for individuals to create their own personal artwork and make their own creative statement.

Afsaneh Shafai

RP, RCAT, DTATI, BFA

Afsaneh Shafai is an interdisciplinary artist, Registered Psychotherapist and Registered Art Therapist, and a person of diaspora of Iranian-Canadian heritage. She graduated in Fine Arts from the University of Manitoba and she continued her studies in Art Therapy at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute.  She is based in Tkaronto (Toronto), the ancestral territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples, and the home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. She has decades of clinical experience helping a diverse population of all ages with their mental health challenges and struggles. 

Jazmine Tufford-Singh

MA, RP, RCAT, CCC

Jazmine Tufford-Singh is a registered art therapist (RCAT) and registered psychotherapist (RP). As an artist, Jazmine has always known the healing power of art, and she discovered the natural combination of psychology and art during her early undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph. Following this, she pursued the Creative Arts Therapies Masters program at Concordia University in Montréal, and it was the transformative support of the teachers in this program that inspired Jazmine to pursue teaching herself. Jazmine has worked in private practice supporting children, youth, and adults since 2014. She has created and facilitated art therapy programs for people of all ages and abilities. Jazmine is passionate about joining others in holding their stories, inviting people to connect with their inner creativity, and channeling this as a tool for growth, connection, and healing. 

Lenore Walker

BRE, MRE, DTATI, RP(Qualifying)

Lenore Walker brings her experience in education and spiritual formation from her degree work in Religious Education and Theology and former pastoral ministry to her multi-faith practice as an Art Therapist. She assists those challenged with anxiety and depression, bereavement, and addiction to find the tools within the creative sensibility on the path toward reparative and restorative transformation. She has been practicing Art Therapy since 2013 providing Art Therapy in addiction treatment settings, hospices, long-term care facilities, churches and in private practice. Lenore has long been impressed by the life and work of Carl G. Jung, his regard for the psyche, imagery and appreciation for the hidden wholeness of the client in the therapeutic encounter. She is teaching the Introduction to Jungian Psychology and Art Therapy course at TATI. A practicing professional artist and art educator, Lenore has had opportunities to collaborate with Niagara area school boards seeking to utilize creative modalities to address the anxiety, depression and bullying that children and youth are facing more often within the daily learning environment. Lenore also provides counsel for those who have found themselves disenfranchised from their religious or faith traditions, collaborating with them in the utilization of symbols, dreams/visions and archetypes to gain understanding through the integration of creativity and contemplation in lectio divina, visio divina and Art Therapy. Lenore believes that images are miracles of the present moment that provide profound wisdom for meaningful daily living with self, others and the wider world. Published in SLMM’s Visual Journeys: Art of the 21st Century book, Lenore is also a certified SoulCollage® Facilitator.

Stephanie Wu

BFA, DTATI, RP

Stephanie (they/them) is a non-binary, trans, neurodivergent, 2nd generation Chinese settler. They are a registered psychotherapist (RP), art therapist and artist. Stephanie holds a BFA in studio arts from Concordia University and DTATI diploma from Toronto Art Therapy Institute.

Stephanie has worked in various community healthcare services and social services providing counselling, case management, and advocacy for 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and individuals who have experienced violence and abuse. They are passionate in advocating for low-barrier harm reduction practices, racial justice, disability justice, sex work justice, housing justice, sexual/reproductive health justice and queer/trans affirmative healthcare. Prior to TATI, they worked in community arts and provided peer support for queer and trans individuals.

Stephanie is currently in private practice working primarily with queer and trans individuals, survivors of gender-based violence and bodies of culture. Stephanie provides individual psychotherapy and group therapy at community healthcare agencies. They weave in narrative and body-based practices into their art therapy practice.

TATI Academic & Practicum Advisory Committee

Sharlene Friedman
Jacquie Compton
April Penny
Taylor Bourassa
Patricia Ki
Suzanne Thomson

Committee Terms of Reference

Staff

Patricia Ki

RCAT, RSW, PhD
Executive Director

Patricia Ki is an immigrant/settler living and working in Tkaronto. She is a registered art therapist and social worker, and holds a PhD in Critical Disability Studies from York University. She is a graduate of OCAD (BFA 2007), TATI (2011) and York University (BSW 2013, MSW 2014), and worked in various community-based mental health and social services that support individuals who have experienced violence, housing/income insecurity, and intersecting forms of marginalization. She is also an instructor and thesis/major project advisor at TATI.

Curriculum Vitae

Kristina Borg

HBA, MA
Administrator

As TATI’s administrator, Kristina supports and collaborates with TATI staff, students, and instructors, and she is also the first point of contact at TATI for public inquiries about our programs. Kristina has a long history of curiosity towards and love of the arts and their ability to heal and connect, particularly through her interests in dance and music. She holds an HBA in Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures from Mount Allison University, an MA in Spanish Linguistics from the University of Ottawa, and she has also pursued graduate studies in dance and cultural research. Kristina loves being part of the community of caring and creative folks at TATI and is she is always happy to provide support and guidance to prospective applicants, current and past students, and instructors. Kristina can be reached at contact@tati.on.ca.

Jesse Pajuäär

RP, DTATI, HBA
Practicum Coordinator

Jesse Pajuäär (RP, DTATI, HBA) is the Practicum Coordinator for the Toronto Art Therapy Institute and a practicing psychotherapist. He has degrees in Psychology from York University, and in Environmental Studies and Philosophy from Mount Allison University. He is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), a Professional member of the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA), and a member of the Society of Estonian Artists in Toronto (EKKT). His art therapy is built on the understanding that our relationships, communities, and social contexts have significant impact in shaping who we are, what we take notice of in the world, and how we come to engage with that world. Jesse’s therapeutic practice is collaborative, nonjudgmental, and compassionate; at its core, his practice is non-pathologizing, culturally sensitive, anti-racist, anti-colonial, and anti-oppressive, meaning that it seeks to disrupt and reposition systemically oppressive narratives. As TATI Practicum Coordinator, Jesse is responsible for providing guidance to students and practicum agencies (current and prospective), for supporting students through their practicum engagement, and collaborating with the broader community to find new and exciting innovative spaces for art therapy. He can be reached online at jessep@tati.on.ca. 

Thesis/Major Project Advisors

Susan Beniston
Christel Bodenbender
Claudia Corradetti
Olena Darewych
Ninat Friedland
Alexandra Hanania
Patricia Ki
Erin Kuri
Carmen Oprea
Heather Stump
Heidi Zhang

Past Instructors

Emma Ates

Emma JM. Ates

RP, DTATI

Certifications CP, AMM; training in ACT, CFT, DBT. Emma is a registered psychotherapist (CRPO) and contemplative psychotherapist (Nalanda Institute), and contemplative creative psychotherapist (CCCS). Emma received her diploma from the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. She is specialized and certified in contemplative psychotherapy (Nalanda Institute), applied mindfulness meditation (AMM), compassion-focused therapy (CFT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) with Adler. She also completed the Creative Institute’s Expressive Arts Therapy Certificate (Expressive Arts Therapy foundation course).

Emma is the founder of the Centre for Contemplative Creative Science (CCCS). She developed the Contemplative Creative Science (CCS) theoretical framework which is informed by the many forms of contemplative science and arts disciplines in traditional and modern Buddhism, and the latest research-based on contemplative science and contemplative arts, Buddhist psychology, neuroscience, mindfulness- and compassion-based interventions.

She also serves as faculty and teaches courses on Mindfulness & Art Therapy at the School of Continuing Studies of UofT. Emma is trained in contemplative arts, in Nalanda Miksang Contemplative Photography, in Shambhala Art, and in Brushwork. She has trained in Ikebana, Etegami; and Sumi-E (brush painting).

Helene Burt

DA, RCAT, RP (Inactive)

Helene Burt is the former executive director of the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. She has been practicing art therapy for over 30 years and completed her Doctorate of Arts in Art Therapy at NYU in 1991. She was president of the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA) for 4 years from 2002-2006 and editor of the Canadian Art Therapy Association Journal for 11 years and is an Honorary Life Member of CATA. She published the book “Art Therapy and Postmodernism: Creative Healing Through a Prism” in 2012. She is dedicated to the expansion of art therapy in Canada and internationally and envisions a day when art therapists will be found in all health and mental health related agencies.

Barbara Collins

Barbara Collins

MA, RP, RCAT, CTS

Barbara Collins is a registered psychotherapist and a registered art therapist and has practiced at Syl Apps Youth Center for the past 15 years. Her work is influenced by an object relations theoretical approach, and she is an advocate for the process of making art as a mechanism of healing, change and growth. Barbara provides individual art therapy sessions, which focus on developing a sense of self, building hope and resiliency as well as increasing skills to manage intense emotions. She also facilitates Youth Engagement projects providing opportunity for the youth to find their voice using art while exploring important social issues. During her time at Syl Apps Youth Center Barbara has completed 3 research projects that validate the use and benefits of art therapy with high-risk adolescents.

Barbara also maintains a private practice in Guelph, Ontario.

Cynthia Morin

Cynthia Morin

BA, DTATI

Later in life, Cynthia went back to school to study art, and was struck by how it enlivened her and provided insight into herself. This led her to T.A.T.I. and her passion for public practice art therapy; free community art studios, using the Art Hive model developed by Dr. Janis Timm-Bottos of Concordia University. Cynthia is passionate about the therapeutic potential of creativity in community and her mission is to spread the enlivening seeds of creativity and the experience of creating art in community with others. Cynthia believes that these free, community art making spaces should be in every community and that through them, individuals and communities can heal and thrive.

Claudia Corradetti

MA, RP, CCC

Claudia Corradetti is an Art Therapist & Registered Psychotherapist with almost ten years of experience working in the field of mental health. Claudia has practiced in a variety of settings, including trauma centres, child welfare, schools, addiction facilities, and correctional institutions. She has also lead workshops and psychoeducational groups in community, healthcare, and corporate settings on a range of topics including managing stress in the workplace, violence against women, and unleashing the power of creativity. After studying psychology and fine arts in university, she completed her Master’s in Art Therapy at Concordia University. She went on to pursue an advanced specialization in child and adolescent assessment and treatment at the Canadian Institute for Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (CICAPP). Currently, she practices in Mississauga in private practice (www.arterie.ca) and at a sexual assault centre.

Olena Darewych

PhD, RP, RCAT

Olena Darewych, PhD, RP, RCAT is a Registered Psychotherapist in Ontario, a Registered Canadian Art Therapist, Adjunct Faculty at Adler University and Wilfrid Laurier University, and Lecturer at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute (TATI). She commenced her higher education journey at the University of Toronto where she earned a BSc in Zoology and Art History. She then ventured to California and completed an MA in Marital and Family Therapy with an emphasis in Art Therapy and then travelled to Boston to complete her PhD in Expressive Therapies at Lesley University. As a clinician, she has 18 years of experience working with individuals of all ages and from culturally diverse backgrounds in a variety of settings such as hospitals, child and family services, schools, and long term-care facilities in Australia, Canada, USA and Ukraine. She is a Past President of the Canadian Art Therapy Association. Her current art-based research investigates imagination in adults with autism using arts-based assessments.

Ninat Friedland

MA, RP, CCC

Ninat Friedland received a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with a double major in psychology, from Toronto’s York University. She went on to graduate with a Master of Arts in art therapy at Concordia University in Montreal. There, she had the opportunity to work in a variety of domains, including geriatrics, addictions, and community work with the homeless. Her master’s research on attachment and narrative approaches to working with substance-abusing women sparked her passion for conducting research in art therapy. Since then, Ninat has worked primarily in research in perinatal and family mental health, in two major hospitals in Montreal. 

Alexandra Hanania

MA, DTATI, RP(Qualifying)

I’m an art therapist and currently the program manager at Sheena’s Place, an eating disorder support centre in Toronto. I have a love for all things textile arts, and in addition to being the program manager, I typically run the mindfulness and textile-based art therapy groups as well as co-facilitate BIPOC support groups. As the first generation in my family to be born in Canada, I have been inspired to work with newcomers and refugees at non-profits around the Toronto area. I take a person-centred, psychodynamic, and trauma-informed approach to my therapeutic work. I believe in practising cultural humility, and so I try to create a space that welcomes the unique experiences of all people. 

Naomi Kates

B. Design, DTATI, MA, RCAT, RP

Naomi Kates graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design. With a graduate level Diploma in Art Therapy, Naomi’s work and interests range from puppet craft, painting and sculpting, her own puppet shows that are works-in-progress, and adult and children’s art workshops. Naomi is teaching a course in Mask and Art therapy at the Toronto Art therapy Institute and presently works in the community with senior adults and children as an art therapist with a particular focus on empowerment and disability.

Rapinder Kaur

RCAT, RP

Rapinder Kaur is a Registered Psychotherapist and Art Therapist, clinical supervisor, board member, sought after public speaker, community organizer and experienced facilitator. She is deeply interested in liberation arts and how individual and community empowerment can disrupt systems of oppression. Rapinder has presented workshops online and in person nationally and internationally. Rapinder has worked in a number of different settings, including schools, women’s shelter, psychiatric hospital, group homes, long term care, social service agencies and is the founder of Art as Therapy a private community based therapy practice southern Kanadario. Currently Rapinder sits on the Board of Directors for Dufferin Child and Family Services and Family Transition Place.

Shelley Kavanagh

BA, DTATI, RCAT, RP

Shelley Kavanagh is a Registered Psychotherapist and Registered Art Therapist with 25+ years of experience working with young people challenged by emotional and behavioral dysregulation. She teaches at Humber College, and is a Consultant with Youth Connections, the Toronto District School Board, and The Child and Youth Advocacy Centre. Shelley works with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma, are engaged in self-harming behaviors and have difficulties managing their anger outbursts. She uses multiple modalities to support the development of a strong alliance with adolescent clients. She integrates Dialectical Behavior Therapy, DBT Skills Training and mindfulness practices into treatment. Most recently, Shelley has been a contributing author to Susan Clark’s book, DBT-Informed Art Therapy in Practice; Skillful Means in Action.

Anu Lala

B.Sc., DTATI, RCAT, RP

Anu Lala has been working as an Art Therapist in Toronto for the past 20 years. She has worked with a variety of populations in an array of Community based Social Service Organizations. After completing her thesis on Art therapy and Mental Illness at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health she initially she began working in Psychiatric research at Mount Sinai hospital where she developed at group for women with Crohns Disease. While working in the hospital she also began developing and conducting groups for women and children in shelter settings.

She spent a few years working at Redwood Shelter doing groups with women and children fleeing abuse. This work further led her to work with children through the Toronto Board of Education dealing with emotional or behavioural issues.

In 2004, she had an opportunity to conduct art therapy internationally at a school in India with children affected by polio. However the majority of her work for past 17 years has been doing individual and group, Psychotherapy and Art Therapy with immigrant and refugee women of colour at a community health centre in Toronto.

While working in the field for many years she has developed a specialization and expertise in the area of women, cultural issues and oppression. This accumulation of knowledge and experience has provided her with the material used to author a chapter in recently published book titled: “Art Therapy and Postmodernism: Creating Healing Through a Prism”.

Presently she has been enjoying spending her time with her partner and 2 young children. She continues to practice Art Therapy and use her skills to create new and diverse paths into the future.

Claudia Mandler McKnight

BA, MA, BEd, DTATI, RCAT, RP

Claudia is a visual artist, art educator and art therapist. She is a 2001 graduate of TATI and a registered art therapist with the Canadian Art Therapy Association. Claudia is in private practice in Barrie, Ontario. Her clients range in age from 4 to 87.

Contract work has extended to many support agencies in the community. For over 15 years Claudia has facilitated the art therapy and expressive art programmes of Candlelighters Simcoe, a support group for families of children with cancer. She has also worked with the MacLaren Art Centre, Children’s Aid, United Way, Gilda’s Club, Hospice Simcoe, Wellspring at Matthew’s House, Children and Youth Services and Studio Bliss in Barrie.

As an educator, Claudia has been a Visual Arts teacher for grades 1 – OAC in public, separate and independent schools in York Region and Simcoe County. As a Curriculum Consultant for the York Region Board of Education, she wrote and implemented Visual Arts guidelines for elementary and secondary school students, and advised teachers on site in their classrooms. She has been a frequent recipient of “Artist in Education” and “Artist in the Community” project grants through the Ontario Arts Council.

Claudia has also been the instructional leader of courses and/or workshops for southern Ontario art galleries, museums, colleges, universities, leadership centres, art education conferences and school boards.

For the past seven years Claudia has taught Colour and Design one day a week at Georgian College. Last fall, she completed her Vinyasa Yoga teacher training, in accordance with the Canadian Yoga Alliance and International Yoga Federation. She is a core member of the Gallery 111 artists collective, and the Earthdrum intuitive drumming group in Barrie. Claudia’s passion is expressive landscape, and how it reflects the presence of place.

Beth Merriam

MA, ATR-BC, RP, CCC

Beth Merriam began practicing Art Therapy in 1993. She has a Fine Arts Degree and a Masters degree in Art Therapy. She is a Registered Member of the Ontario Art Therapy Association, a Board Certified member of the American Art Therapy Association and a Certified Member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She has worked with diverse populations in correctional and forensic settings, medical clinics and hospitals, including several years at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, working extensively with adolescents and adults with mental illness and concurrent disorders. Currently she has a private practice, serving adults with anxiety and mood disorders.

Beth has extensive experience as a clinical supervisor, academic instructor and thesis advisor. She has been an assistant professor at Concordia University has taught and supervised graduate students at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute.

Ella Rogalska

DTATI, Dip.TCPP, RP

Ella Rogalska is an Art Therapist and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist practicing in Toronto and Oshawa. Ella has over 15 years experience working with children in psychodynamic play and art therapy and with adults in psychodynamic therapy, in a variety of settings including schools, child welfare agencies, hospitals, and private clinics. Her work focuses on developmental and learning disorders, anxiety, depression, trauma, attachment disorder, domestic violence and child abuse, separation and loss. She is a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, and a board member of the Canadian Association of Psychoanalytic Child Psychotherapists. Currently she is working towards certification in Infant Mental Health Studies.

Tisha Summers

BA, CYW, DTATI, RP

Shekoli, Aaniin, Hello my name is Tisha Summers and I am the owner and creator of Heal Through Love Art Therapy. I am from Oneida Nation of the Thames First Nation and Wasauksing Nation. I am wolf clan and my spirit name is Grey Bear Woman. I am an art therapist and have been working with children, youth and families for over 18 years in a variety of different capacities. I believe through healing you will begin to love yourself unconditionally. I created this art therapy business because I wanted to make a difference and help First Nation, Metis and Inuit children. youth and families. I have many different services from one on one art therapy, workshops, service contracts (schools. organizations,
communities), team building, motivational speaking. and train the trainer programs.

I have struggled personally with my mental health and art was my salvation. I utilized art to save my life, express my emotions and heal myself. Art is a very powerful tool and as Indigenous people we have used art to express ourselves for centuries.

My intention is to be a positive role model children and youth can look up to and inspire to be. Children and youth are our future and the possibilities for them can be limitless, if they only believe. I want to build them up, so they feel that they can be whoever they choose to be! I want them to feel empowered and know their resilience. I am so thankful to everyone I have worked with or will work with in the future.

Suzanne Thomson

BA, DTATI, RCAT

Suzanne Thomson is a registered art therapist who has been practicing art therapy over 25 years using a variety of expressive arts modalities to facilitate the full expression of people’s multistoried lives. She provides clinical consultation to schools, hospitals and community based agencies, facilitates therapy groups, conducts training in art therapy practices and designs treatment tools and curriculums. Committed to creating enriching experiences that inform and transform lives, Suzanne integrates the arts, therapy and community activism with the hopes that people can access their strengths, capacity for growth and experience their contributions to the broader community.

She has written about women survivors of violence for several publications.

Sonya Thursby

DTATI, RP

Wanting to combine her design background with art making, mental health and healing, Sonya completed her graduate diploma at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute (TATI). Her thesis used study participants’ voices and their artwork along with scientific measurements in a mixed method study to examine the impact of art therapy interventions in reducing anxiety and increasing hope in newcomer women; she was awarded the Martin J. Fischer Award for Best Thesis.

As a professional art therapist and registered psychotherapist (RP), she brings personal and professional experience to her connections with folks living with diverse life stories. Sonya provides art therapy and psychotherapy services in private practice and belongs to a community practice where she provides low-cost art therapy and counselling services to individuals facing barriers to mental health. As a faculty member of TATI, she taught a course on practicing art therapy with individuals living with eating disorders. She facilitates art therapy groups at a support centre for anyone affected by eating disorders and also facilitates art-based workshops in community, education and healthcare settings on a range of topics.

When she isn’t practicing, Sonya enjoys reading international fiction, making art, travelling, exploring natural landscapes, sitting still and learning from her two children.