Rowena Tam (she/her) is a settler, artist, drama therapist, researcher, and guest living and working in Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal, on unceded Kanien’kehá:ka territory. Rowena has clinical experience working with immigrant/refugee youth and families, women in prison, as well as neurotypical and neurodiverse children and adults.
To view resources related to COVID-19 and creative arts therapy, refer to the COVID-19 Resource Page.
History and Mission
In response to a series of conversations with Canadian mental health practitioners, this chapter emerged with the intention of helping advocate, connect and create professional development and research opportunities for members that employ the intentional use of art, dance/movement, drama, photography, music, play, sand tray, and/or creative writing in their practice.
With the encouragement of Wayne Clifford, Past-President of the Quebec Counselling Association (QCA) and Quebec Anglophone Director to the CCPA, Past-CAC President Nisha Sajnani submitted a proposal and set of bylaws to the board of the then Canadian Counselling Association to establish the formerly named Creative Arts in Counselling chapter in May 2003. The proposal was accepted with an interim executive board with the following members: President: Nisha Sajnani, Secretary/Treasurer: Priya Senroy, Communications: Angela Colangelo. This interim chapter board was unanimously voted in for a two-year mandate at our first AGM in May 2004. We appointed the following provincial representatives: Kristin Boettger (Alberta), Csilla Przibislawsky (Manitoba), Tony DiGiacomo (Ontario), Leigh Bulmer (Quebec), Mark Kelly (Yukon), Judy Weiser (BC), Cindy Newton (Saskatchewan).
The presently Creative Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy (CACP) Chapter provides a tangible forum through which mental health practitioners who employ the use of the arts in/as therapy can engage in open dialogue on issues pertaining to training, research, and practice. In 2018, our chapter members voted to change our name to better reflect and include clinicians, mental health practitioners and allied professionals beyond the counselling profession.
Creative arts therapists and expressive arts therapists are often registered counsellors and psychotherapists who use these modalities in their treatment receive training from an accredited academic institution, with specialization in one or more creative arts modality in combination with intense clinical training related to emotional and cognitive human development and the therapeutic process.
This chapter also serves as a vehicle for lobbying appropriate university departments and facilities, governments and agencies to meet their goal of preparing competent counsellors and psychotherapists by providing education on the variance between the creative arts modalities in counselling and therapy.
Gabrielle is a licensed teacher, artist, art-therapist (M.A.), member of the Quebec Art Therapy Association (AATQ) and founding member of Canevas art therapy Centre in Tiohtiá:ke, also known as Montreal. Her goal as an art therapist is to support individuals and groups in achieving emotional and psychological well-being through creativity and art. Her therapeutic approach is drawn primarily from narrative and humanistic values, which acknowledges individuals and groups as the authors and creative forces of their experiences. She is committed to working with adults, the elderly population, recent immigrants to Quebec, and is especially experienced in working with caregivers, woman how are experiencing difficult transitions and children who have mental health issues. Gabrielle acknowledges that she lives and works on unceded Indigenous lands. The Kanien’kehá:ka Nation is recognized as the custodians of the lands and waters on which we gather today. Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal, is historically known as a gathering place for many First Nations.
Audrey-Anne Frenette is an art-therapist (M.A) and the owner of a jewelry company. She believes that every individual is creative, and has the capacity to adapt. She is committed to working with children through art therapy, as her goal is to help them find and develop effective ways to express themselves, and to overcome their difficulties to transform their suffering. Her work as an art-therapist also seeks to focus on preventing symptoms rather than treating them. She has educational experience working with pre-school aged children as well as clinical experience working with adults experiencing psychological and emotional difficulties and with immigrant children and their families. Audrey-Anne is from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, and for the past 9 years, she’s been living on the island of Tiohtiá:ke also known as the island of Montreal. Audrey-Anne acknowledges and is sensitive to her role as a settler currently residing on the traditional territories of First Nations communities.
Cassandra Brennan is a Drama Therapist who recently completed her Masters in Creative Arts Therapies at Concordia University. She has worked in recent years with the Art Hives network to explore public forms of therapeutic practice within the creative arts therapies. She hopes to continue working to find ways to make drama therapy more accessible to the public and advocate for the powerful potential of the creative arts therapies. She has experience working with individuals with anxiety and other mood-related disorders, as well as geriatric populations. Her work brings her to witness the resiliency of the human spirit in others each day. Cassandra acknowledges that she is a settler currently living on the land of the traditional territory of the Anishnabek.
Rachel Norris (MTA, MT-BC) is a board-certified Music Therapist in the Montreal area. Rachel obtained her bachelor’s in clarinet performance with a minor in psychology from McGill University in 2013. During her time at McGill, Rachel studied music education courses and was a Little Musician Instructor teaching early music skills to pre-school aged children. Rachel completed her Graduate Diploma in Music Therapy at Concordia University in November 2019. During this time, Rachel interned with children with significant disabilities and visual impairments, and at-risk mothers and their children. Rachel is a Level 1 certified Play therapist and is also a certified Music Together instructor teaching group music classes for families. Rachel currently works in private practice working with adults with developmental disabilities and has contracts working with at-risk mothers and their children in a residential home. Currently completing a Master’s in Music Therapy from Concordia University, Rachel is writing her thesis about music therapy and attachment theory.
Lorelei Dietz is a Certified Music Therapist (MTA, MT-BC, NMT) and founder of Coastal Music Therapy. Through a mix of music, discussion, and mindfulness-based techniques, she strives to help others work towards their health-related goals. Having worked in long-term care facilities, educational programs for children & adults with special needs, as well as community-based programs, she is excited to work with anyone who feels they or their loved one may benefit from music therapy. Lorelei is currently completing her Master’s in music therapy at Concordia University, researching the importance of therapeutic relationship in neuroscience-informed approaches to music therapy practice.
Stephanie Sing (she/her) is a bicultural art-therapist (M.A) currently practicing in the Greater Toronto Area. Her interests gravitate toward individuals and communities whose lives have been touched by a traumatic experience, especially those related to broader systemic problems. Stephanie’s clinical experience varies in scope and has included working with: individuals living with dementia, women and children fleeing domestic and honour based violence, incarcerated women, newcomers, and communities afflicted by drug and gang violence. Stephanie is a strong believer in empowering formally disenfranchised groups and assists those she works with by using a trauma-informed lens as well as closely referencing the community resiliency model. As an informed practitioner, Stephanie acknowledges that she is a settler that lives and works on unceded Indigenous lands, the area known as Tkaronto caretaken by the Anishinabek Nation, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, the Huron-Wendat, the Métis, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. She also acknowledges that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
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Constitution and Bylaws
The Chapter’s bylaws are a set of rules that control the actions of its members and govern the internal management of the Chapter.
Professional Development Activities
- World Alliance of Drama Therapy
- The Dulwich Centre (Narrative Therapy)
- Ontario Expressive Arts Therapy Association (OEATA)
- Licensure in Canada - NADTA
- Drama Therapy Review (Journal)
- The British Columbia Art Therapy Association (BCATA)
- Dance/Movement Therapy Association in Canada (DMTAC)
- Dance Movement Therapy Ontario (DMTO)
- West Coast Dance/Movement Therapy
- Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal - National Centre for Dance Therapy (NCDT)
- Music Therapy Association of Ontario (MTAO)
- Music Therapy Association of BC (MTABC)
- Association québécoise de musicothérapie (AQM)
- Music Therapy Association for Alberta (MTAA)
- Atlantic Association for Music Therapy (AAMT)
- Music Therapy Association of Saskatchewan (MTAS)
- World Federation of Music Therapy (WFMT)
- Laurier Centre for Music Therapy Research
- Creative Arts Therapies Students of Colour and Allies Alliance (CATSOCAA)
- Developmental Transformations (DvT)
- Developmental Transformations (DvT) Montreal
- Canadian Art Therapy Association Journal
- The Arts in Psychotherapy (Journal)
- #DramaTherapistsAgainstWhiteSupremacy Campaign
- Center for Creative Arts Therapy