Helene Burt DA, RCAT, ATR, RP

Helene Burt is the 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.

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Sarah Brodie MA, ATR, RP, CCC

Sarah Brodie is an art therapist practicing in Burlington, Ontario ( Sarah has over ten years of experience as an art therapist in children’s cancer care, children’s palliative care, adult hospice, addiction rehabilitation, attachment theory based school board program for children K-G2. She is currently working towards an advanced specialization in child and adolescent psychotherapy as a candidate at the Canadian Institute for Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Sarah is a board member in the Creative Arts in Therapies Chapter of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She is proud to be on the TATI distance learning faculty teaching Issues in Psychodynamic Theory and Practice, as well as Child and Adolescent Art Therapy.

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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 ( and at a sexual assault centre.

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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.

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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. Ninat is delighted to be joining the Toronto Art Therapy Institute’s faculty this year for TATI’s inaugural distance learning program.

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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.

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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 ( and runs expressive arts workshops for health and wellbeing with an emphasis on self-care in her private practice.

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Naomi Kates B.Design., DTATI

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.

Shelley Kavanagh, BA, DTATI, RCAT, RP

Shelley Kavanagh has presented her work as an art therapist most recently at the 2014 IVAT conference held in California as well as alongside internationally known author and trauma expert, John Briere. In addition to her current private practice and previous teaching at Humber College and co-facilitation of DBT skills group at CAMH, Shelley is employed at Radius Child and Youth Services’ SAFE-T Program (Sexual Abuse Family Education and Treatment Program). Here she provides assessment and treatment to children and youth who have experienced sexual abuse, children with sexual behaviour problems and youth who have committed sexual offences. Additionally, Shelley continues to spend over 20 years providing expressive arts to students aged 14-21 within the Toronto District School Board and is also a consultant to Youth Connections in Oshawa.

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Patricia Ki
Patricia Ki RSW, RCAT

Patricia Ki is a doctoral student in the Critical Disability Program at York University. She is also a registered art therapist with the Canadian Art Therapy Association who graduated from TATI in 2011, and a registered social worker with a master of social work degree from York University. She has been working in mental health services since 2010, including supportive housing, violence against women shelters, treatment/support centres, drop-ins, and community health centres. Particularly, she is experienced in working with women who have experienced trauma and violence, and dealing with mental health concerns, substance use, and various forms of oppression and social marginalization. She works from a trauma-informed, feminist, and anti-discriminatory approach, and has extensive training in narrative therapy, expressive arts therapy, and body-based awareness practices. She has previously provided training and supervision to social work students and currently supervises art therapy students at TATI. She also works as a teaching assistant at York University in the department of Human Rights at Equity Studies. Her research interest focuses on the entangled relationships between sexism, racism, sanism, psycho-medical discourse, and the theorizations of trauma and emotions within mental health services and practices.

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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.

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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.

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Elsha Leventis, BA, AOCAD, DTATI

Elsha Leventis graduated from TATI in 2006 and won the Martin Fischer award that year. She was a founding member of Therapy Through the Arts, worked as Downtown Centre Manager of Wellspring Cancer Support Network, and currently teaches Art Therapy, Spirituality, Grief and Loss at TATI and acts as a reader on theses. Elsha is also a professional artist with a studio in the Distillery District, edits theses and helps out with her four grandchildren.

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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.

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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.

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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 and currently teaches and supervises graduate students at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute.

April Penny, DTATI, RCAT

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.

Barbara Pierre BSW, RSW, DTATI, RCAT

Barbara is a graduate of Toronto Art Therapy Institute (TATI), a registered art therapist and a registered social worker. She has taught Child and Adolescent Development and Art Therapy at TATI and supervised TATI students in a practicum setting for several years. Barbara currently provides individual art therapy and other clinical services at a children’s mental health agency in Toronto.

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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.

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.

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Sonya V. 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 teaches 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.


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Lenore Walker, BRE, MRE, DTATI

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.

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Esther Zeller, BA DTATI, RCAT, RP, TWS

Esther Zeller is a Registered Art Therapist and Artist in private practice. Her clients, ranging in age from childhood to older adults, are individuals and groups with varying abilities and disabilities including cognitive, physical, emotional and learning challenges, as well as all stages of dementia. She has given workshops and lectures, to educational and health sector groups, family and older adult groups as well as networking groups.

Esther presently supervises students and teaches Art Media and Techniques at TATI. She is Co-chair of the Mt. Sinai Hospital Reitman Centre Carers Satellite Program – Holy Blossom Temple – Living With Dementia. She has been a Sessional Instructor at Huntington University, Laurentian University, Gerontology Department: Course: Art Therapy and Aging. Her affiliations include AATA, CAG, NICE, IRIS for Seniors, OACCPP and CATA where she has been a board member as Secretary and Education Chair. She is also a Signature member of the Toronto Watercolour Society.

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