As an Honorary Life member of the Ontario Art Therapy Association, I have invested years into helping clients young and old express themselves through art and journalling in order to achieve a calm, connected future. My approach was developed years ago and is documented in a book called Hand In Hand edited by Betty Bedard Bidwell. Clients are introduced to free expression opportunities as well as structured assignments.  Examples include: creating a kinetic family drawing (the family doing something together), a kinetic school or workplace drawing, a kinetic drawing with friends doing something, drawing the size of the problem, and free drawings.  

The goals of our work are always developed in the first few sessions. For children, the focus is often on such concerns as school adjustment, family changes, trauma and loss, and bullying/harassment.  For teens, the focus tends to be more on family changes, depression and anxiety worries, adjustment to school, and being unmotivated.  Adults are often looking for ideas to lead a more meaningful life and are unsure of what changes to make. 

Barb Dorrington

Social Worker , art therapist and trauma counsellor