- Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)
- Diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy (3 year graduate-level training)
- Somatic Experiencing Professional Training (Intermediate Level)
- Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology
- Bachelor of Music
- Additional trainings in
- Walk-And-Talk Ecotherapy
- Motivational Interviewing
- Suicide Prevention (ASIST, SafeTalk)
- Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (CPI)
- Mental Health First Aid
- Introduction to DBT
- harm reduction
- 12+ years of community-based counselling, group facilitation, and crisis intervention experience.
I'm Kayla (she/her). I am a psychotherapist and artist who helps folks transform trauma in order to deepen experiences of presence and connection. My practice uses an experiential approach drawn from somatic, expressive arts, and relational psychotherapies.
I am passionate about this work because I believe fully in our embodied potential for reshaping trauma through creative connection.
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.
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.
While our world is full of incredible beauty, it is also full of big and small forms of trauma. Trauma emerges from our body’s protective responses during overwhelming events, and also from internalizing patterns of survival within the inequities (and many embedded “isms”) of a colonial-capitalist society.
In various ways, trauma disconnects us from our bodies, other beings, and the present moment. Our experiences of trauma may have taught us to avoid being with the wisdom of uncomfortable feelings and sensations (such as shame or grief), as well as comfort, fun, or pleasure. This disconnection often leads to experiences of isolation, burnout, symptoms of anxiety and depression, various types of illness, and challenges in relationships. The ways we navigate trauma are further complicated by our intersectional identities and ongoing 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 (often traumatic) patterns of connecting with ourselves and others.
Alongside my therapy experience, for over 12 years I have worked in various community helping roles, supporting hundreds of individuals through moments of transition and traumatic hardship. I began a therapeutic expressive arts program while working 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.
- 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.