Our Art Therapy Program is run by Dr. Keith Thurlow-Bishop who is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) and has a PhD in Expressive Arts Therapy. Dr. Keith is supported by two Postgraduate Art Therapy Practicum Students from Adler University.
Types of Art Therapy currently provided:
- Art therapy as part of the individual counselling work
- Open Studio Model: Each week a two-hour session is offered in each program facilitated by Keith and/or two postgraduate art therapy practicum students from Adler University. The sessions happen in shared space within Covenant House Vancouver.
Dr. Keith Thurlow-Bishop shares why creating art can be a powerful healing process:
- It allows youth to bring to conscious awareness things they may have been struggling with for many years in a safe way. By creating an art piece that represents them or their story, it gives them and the therapist something to look at and work with rather than just talking (which can sometimes leave people feeling to exposed or vulnerable).
- It provides a safe way to express difficult thoughts, feelings and memories and to develop skills to heal from past experiences
- It encourages youth to connect with their inner strength and resilience
- Creativity allows youth to get a different perspective and maybe see themselves in a new, more positive or balanced way
- Creativity encourages problem-solving and can help develop a sense of self-worth and self-efficacy
- Creativity enhances learning as it requires the integration of the whole brain (the creative, playful, emotional parts and the more reflective, analytical parts)
- It enhances communication between the youth and their counsellor