My experience in the Graduate program at TATI has been nothing short of life changing.

On an academic level, I have never been so challenged and held to such high standards. The learning experience is very well-rounded and thorough, and the instructors bring with them a vast array of professional experience in their chosen area of focus.

The small class sizes are conducive to bonding as students and future professionals, and to creating a strong relationship with instructors. Each student is accountable, not only to the instructors and to Helene, but also to each other.

The supervised clinical practicum hours required to complete the program are absolutely valid and necessary in order for students to enter the art therapy field well prepared and competent in a clinical atmosphere.

Ongoing supervision is required throughout the practicum and the research process and I personally gained an incredible amount of knowledge and experience through the supervision provided.

The proposal, research and thesis components were well supervised and advised. I found my advisor to be very committed, approachable and clear and concise with his advice. He was a strong advocate for the work I did, and he guided me through the process with great support and critical evaluation.

The opportunity to grow and gain personal insight through participation in the TATI graduate program has allowed me to become very self-aware and balanced in my own life, creating the strong ability to practice in the most effective way for the clients with whom I work.

On a professional level, I now find job opportunities abundant, and feel very prepared and well qualified to work in the art therapy and the mental health field. In a recent interview, an interviewer remarked upon viewing my TATI education, “I’ve heard that is a VERY prestigious program”, and I agree wholeheartedly.

Since graduating from the TATI program, I have held contracts in long term care, hospital settings, community health centre settings, with those living with acquired brain injury, those living with Alzheimer’s disease, caregiver groups and those living with developmental and learning challenges.

I have never found myself without opportunities, and most recently have begun working full time in the addictions field. I have been given the opportunity to present my art therapy research at the Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Care Conference in 2014, and most recently have been asked to complete a book review for the Dementia and Ageing Research Team in Manchester UK.

None of this would have been possible without the education I earned at TATI, so thank you, Helene!

Krista Schneider

Thanks so much for everything… I am currently making a living as an art therapist at 6 different worksites (including groups and individual sessions with people with addictions, brain-injured clients, survivors of domestic violence, children and teens who have witnessed domestic violence, and people with severe mental illness) and I am always looking to expand my practice.

I am currently proposing seniors groups at the various local retirement homes. I’m working in Lindsay, Sutton, Port Perry and Port Hope.

I cannot tell you what a difference my time at TATI has made in my life, and how grateful I am to you, and to all my instructors and supervisors.

I am so proud to say that I am an art therapist.

In 2013 The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General awarded me a Victim Services Award of Distinction for textile art project with survivors of domestic violence in Kawartha Lakes.

Annalisa Danowski

Although I am a fairly recent graduate, I feel as though I’ve embarked on a truly fulfilling career.

During my time as a student with TATI, I participated in group therapy sessions and immersed myself in unbelievable placements, gaining valuable experience in and knowledge of an art therapy career as a result. Not many students could say they were given an opportunity to lead Addictions Rounds at CAMH, or co-implement an art therapy program for men seeking addictions treatment at the Good Shepherd DARE Program. I’ve also spoken during Mental Health Week at McMaster University and volunteered for a “new memory project” for women staying in a shelter in North York.

Currently, I working with a new program being offered by Youthdale Treatment Centres which is located at Covenant House in downtown Toronto. The Intensive Extended Day Program seeks to fill the vast gap in mental health services for youth aged sixteen and older. Working with an incredibly dedicated team of administrators, a psychologist, social worker, child and youth workers and many others to shape this necessary endeavour has been a dream.Currently, I working with a new program being offered by Youthdale Treatment Centres which is located at Covenant House in downtown Toronto. The Intensive Extended Day Program seeks to fill the vast gap in mental health services for youth aged sixteen and older. Working with an incredibly dedicated team of administrators, a psychologist, social worker, child and youth workers and many others to shape this necessary endeavour has been a dream.

Feeling like what I’ve accomplished and will continue to work on has been meaningful and had an impact on the lives of others is truly a gift. I also value the incredible connections I made with my classmates, and hold them in the highest regard. Their work and dedication continues to fascinate, motivate and inspire me most of all.

Sari Richter

Changing careers is a difficult proposition and one that saw me retiring from one career and starting another through the distance learning program at TATI.

I selected the distance learning program because it was the best option for me and traveling to Toronto for two semesters was easier for my circumstances.

The course covered a lot of information and was delivered in manageable chunks that were easy to absorb. The structure of the course was clear, logical and concise and allowed me and my fellow students to expand on our posts, thoughts and get feedback from each other as well as the instructor. Meeting on line through a visual chat for the experiential course was something I had never participated in before, but the instructor made sure that we all had time to present to the group, ask questions of fellow students, and provide feedback as a facilitator. It was an interesting experience to meet everyone in person for the first time in Toronto but it seemed like we had already formed a bond with each other than carried through the whole course.

It wasn’t just about the new knowledge and the skills that we were learning to become art therapists. The main benefits came from doing assignments, the experiential exercises and sharing our stories and experiences on line, receiving individual feedback and interacting with the professors who were patient, experienced and knowledgeable. It’s been some time since I was a full-time student, and it took some time to adjust, but it was easy to follow the lessons and the format of the on-line program and with the help of the instructors and fellow students, it became second nature to participate in the posts and on line discussions.

I chose to do a major project and my advisor was amazing. She was extremely supportive throughout the whole process and when I needed guidance, she was willing to point me in the right direction and helped me stay focused through skype calls, phone calls and emails. I even had the chance to meet her in person on one of my trips to Toronto that wasn’t related to TATI.

My practicum site was a private psychiatrist’s office in Thunder Bay and although supervision was through skype calls, my supervisor was always available through messaging, emails and if I needed an extra skype call, she was willing to be there for me. She sent information and articles that would help with my practicum and the feedback was beneficial for my development. I also branched out to complete group sessions at CMHA which was encouraged by my supervisor to broaden my experience and my training. Helene worked extremely hard to find places to complete my practicum hours and contacted many organizations to help me get placed.

The distance learning format gave me the ability to work in my own community with the constant support of the office staff and instructors. The two on-site semesters allowed my cohort to bond and by the second semester, it was clear that we had been a part of something special and would stay in touch for years to come. The on-site guest instructors and lecturers were extremely well prepared, and imparted not only knowledge but their wisdom about the profession and their specialty whether it was puppet-making, sand therapy or working in different settings with various populations.

I feel confident moving forward with this career with the education, support and guidance that I have received from TATI and look forward to my future as an art therapist. I will be opening my own practice soon, as I recently graduated, but feel confident that I will serving the community well with the tool and knowledge I have gained through TATI.

Tammy Reynolds