What I do
I am an Expressive Arts Therapist and the founder of Whispering Green School of Inspired Living. As a passionate ambassador of the natural worlds, I am a wildcrafter/herbalist, sculptor/doll maker, clown, musician and storyteller. I am Inspired by weaving plant medicines with storytelling and creative play, encouraging questions and discussions around the challenges of today. I aspire to catalyse curiosity and to re-awaken a sense of wonder within the mythic mundane. I have been actively engaged in the Vancouver Island community as a Storyteller and Artist for 10+ years and have recently returned from an in-depth study of the oral tradition at the International School of Storytelling at Emerson College in the U.K. I find great joy in helping to nurture the creative spark in all of life and am honoured to have this be my life’s work.
How I do it
I specialise in therapeutic sound play and storytelling. I have an extensive collection of musical instruments that I have gathered from all over the world, which I use to create musical loops and soundscapes that when listened to over a period of time can assist one in stepping out of the linear mind and more into the creative trance space. I often utilise a combination of loops and improv storytelling to help the client move into a place of therapeutic expression and exploration.
Where I live
I live on a magical land we call The Shire. It is a 15 acre permaculture farm/retreat centre in the heart of the Cowichan valley just a stones throw from the pristine Cowichan River. The Shire backs onto the Trans-Canada trail which connects to a network of wonderful hiking trails. The Shire is home to a medicinal herb and veggie garden, a small lake and many wild animals including Elk, Otter, Eagles, Trout, Blue Heron. We pride ourselves in caring for the plants and animals as our teachers and in truly listening to the voices of the land… the Whispering Green.
Expressive arts therapy is the practice of using imagery, storytelling, dance, music, drama, poetry, movement, horticulture, dreamwork, and visual arts together, in an integrated way, to foster human growth, development, and healing.
EXA combines psychology and the creative process to promote emotional growth and healing. This multi-arts, or intermodal, approach to psychotherapy and counseling uses our inborn desire to create—be it music, theater, poetry, dance, or other artistic form as a therapeutic tool to help initiate change. The difference between expressive arts therapy and art therapy is that expressive arts therapy draws from a variety of art forms, while art therapy tends to be based on one particular art form.
In expressive arts therapy, you use multiple senses to explore your inner and outer world through the experience and creation of different art forms.
The therapist’s role is to help you communicate your feelings about the process and accomplishment of art making, and together, you use the creative process to highlight and analyze your problems and issues. Since the therapeutic work is based on the creative process, not on the final result, it is not necessary to have a background or training in the arts to benefit from expressive arts therapy. Throughout the process, you learn new and different ways to use the mostly nonverbal language of creativity to communicate inner feelings that were not previously available to you by simply thinking or talking about them.
At the core of expressive arts therapy is the concept of poiesis, a Greek word that is the root of the word poetry, which refers to the natural process of moving from everyday expectations into the world of imagination and creativity that results in art making. Because art comes from a deep emotional place inside you, creative endeavors enable you to undergo a profound process of self-discovery and understanding. Creativity becomes the pathway to the expression of inner feelings, leading to a process of self-discovery and understanding. In other words, your creative process becomes your road to emotional health.