Meet Kayla

Kayla Chambers

  • Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)
  • Diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy (3 year graduate-level training)
  • Somatic Experiencing Professional Training (Intermediate Level) 
  • Professional Ecotherapy Certificate Program Level 1 (2SLGBTQ+ focus)
  • Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology 
  • Bachelor of Music
  • Additional trainings in trauma, ecotherapy, DBT, motivational interviewing, crisis intervention, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and harm reduction.
  • 13+ years of community-based counselling, group facilitation, and crisis intervention experience.

Hi there!

Thank you for taking the time to learn a bit more about me and my practice.

I am a psychotherapist and intermodal artist who works with folks to transform trauma and deepen experiences of presence and connection. My practice uses an experiential approach drawn from somatic, expressive arts, land-based, and relational psychotherapies.

I care deeply about this work because I fully believe in an embodied, creative approach to reshaping trauma. In my own life, and throughout my career, I have witnessed how attending to our somatic self through the arts can open up space for co-creating safe-enough and vibrant relationships. These life-nourishing connections can happen within ourselves, and also in partnership with diverse human and non-human beings.

While our world is full of incredible beauty, as we move through our lives we will often encounter trauma. Trauma emerges from our body’s immediate protective responses during overwhelming events, and also from internalizing long-term patterns of survival within the inequities (and many embedded “isms”) of a colonial-capitalist society.

Trauma often disconnects us from our bodies, other beings, and the present moment. Our experiences of trauma may have taught us to avoid (as a survival response) being with the wisdom of uncomfortable feelings and sensations, as well as the nourishment of ease, comfort, fun, and pleasure. This disconnection from our embodied self can lead to experiences of isolation, burnout, symptoms of anxiety and depression, addictions, various types of illness, and challenges in relationships. The ways we navigate trauma are further complicated by our ongoing, intersectional lived experiences in oppressive systems.

I offer somatic expressive arts therapy as an imaginative and experiential way of "being-with" in a therapeutic relationship. This approach can be much different than eurocentric traditions of talk therapy, which tend to prioritize the individual cognitive self over the whole embodied, relational self. Through a "low-skill, high-sensitivity" engagement with various arts forms, we can access our rich creative resources, support our somatic aliveness, and reshape our patterns of connecting with ourselves and others.

The arts-in-relationship have also been an abundant resource during difficult seasons in my own life. From pretend play outdoors as a child, to experimenting with sound and colour as a youth, and discovering the joys of moving and creating with others in adulthood, the arts have been there to support ongoing connection, even when connection felt especially vulnerable.

I have worked in the mental health field for the last thirteen years in various capacities, supporting hundreds of individuals through moments of transition and traumatic hardship. I began a therapeutic expressive arts program within the dynamic community of a low-barrier, emergency homeless shelter. I have also facilitated groups for survivors of gender-based violence, frontline workers recovering from burnout, and children, youth, and adults with diverse abilities and neurodiversities.

I move through the world as a white, cis, polyamorous, queer, and able-bodied-for-now settler. My various identities inform my practice, and also my commitments for ongoing healing and unlearning of internalized colonialism - both within myself, and also within my relationships and the spaces I live, work, and create in.

  • Past President - Ontario Expressive Arts Therapy Association
  • Member - International Expressive Arts Therapy Association
  • Member - International Association for Creative Arts in Education and Therapy
  • Member - Canadian Art Therapy Association

Here's my office...Welcome!

In addition to online and ecotherapy options, I practice in person at the Transense Healing Arts Holistic Centre, an accessible space with ongoing COVID-19 precautions.

Learn more about my valuespractice policies/fees, and connect for a free 20 minute consultation call.

 

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