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History and Mission

In response to a series of conversations with Canadian mental health practitioners who employ the intentional use of dance, drama, art, photographs, music and/or creative writing in their practice, this chapter was formed within the Canadian Counselling Association for counsellors who use the arts in the counselling approach and for those who identify as Creative Arts Therapists.

This 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. This chapter can also serve as a vehicle for lobbying appropriate university departments and facilities, governments and agencies to meet their goal of preparing competent counsellors by providing education on the variance between the arts in counselling and the arts as therapy.

The Creative Arts in Counselling Chapter was approved by the CCPA Board of Directors at its May 2003 meeting. A provisory CAC Board was formed and a mandate and by-laws were completed.

Rowena Tam

Rowena Tam

Rowena 智穎 Tam is a Master’s Candidate in Drama Therapy and the CCPA/QCA Student Representative at Concordia University. She has clinical experience working with immigrant/refugee youth and families, womxn in prison, and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Rowena has directed, devised and performed in theatrical productions in Toronto with training in movement, voice and improvisation from York University. Rowena acknowledges that her educational institutions are located on unceded Indigenous lands with Kanien’kehá:ka Nation recognized as the custodians of Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal, and the area known as Tkaronto care taken by the Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Huron-Wendat, and the Métis. Her current research examines the training and skills of drama therapists and their ability to facilitate experiential learning as a way to unpack intersectionality.

Gabrielle Gingras


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 lives and works on unceded Indegenous 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

Cindy Coady

Cindy Coady

Cindy has been working in the filed of social services for over 20 years. In 95 she received a DEC in Special Care Concealing. and continued her education to obtain her masters in Drama Therapy from Concordia university.

As she pursued her education, she had the opportunity to intern and work with a variety of clientele, She worked with youth at risk, addiction, The elderly, The visually impaired, the intellectually impaired.

After graduation she moved to Boston where she worked for a Trauma clinic (South Bay Mental Health) as well as for the department of Social Services as a clinician.

In 2005, She came back to Montreal and opened a private practice as an RDI consultant which she continues  to do to this day.


Leah Lewis

Board Liaison

Melody Newcomb

Special Projects Coordinator
Melody Newcomb

Melody Newcomb is an accredited music therapist (MTA) and music educator who recently completed an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling – Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has worked with adolescents in a variety of settings: residential treatment, schools, and currently in an outpatient eating disorder program as well as a community counselling centre. She also works with adults in hospital and the community living with mental health issues. She uses the arts to help clients and patients express and embody their own story and strengths. She is humbled to be a witness to the struggle of clients and supports their resilience and recovery. Play and creativity in a safe and accepting container are at the heart of her practice.

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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.


The CAC Chapter Brochure contains information regarding the Chapter. To order printed copies, please contact the National Office.

Professional Development Activities

The Advanced Intensive Creative Arts Therapy Certificate Program Schedule

The Advanced Intensive Creative Arts Therapy Certificate Program has published their 2014 / 2015 schedule.


Coming soon!