© 2019 by Alana Stewart, AThR

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Mental Health

Mental illness, mental health challenges and other psychosocial disabilities can impact out lives in many ways. These challenges are also stigmatized and are poorly misunderstood. Many people I have worked in within the mental health system have been given several diagnostic terms over their time in the system. Ultimately, I see them as a normal person having normal protective responses to abnormal events. People who have been given mental health diagnosis usually have incredible resiliency and yet they are told my an outdated system that they have deficits and abnormalities. 

Art Therapy can help people in a range of ways. Art Therapy can help people to engage in a process of self discovery, express themselves more fully, contain and regulate intense emotions, feel seen, heard, validated and so on. Most importantly I feel the gift of psychotherapy or Art Therapy is to help people to feel again that they are not a diagnostic labels or symptom terminology, but a people with culture, identity, strengths, values and purpose.

I have trained in clinical mental health environments and worked community mental health. I have gained insight and understanding into the lived experience of mental health challenges or psychosocial disability and the mental health system.

I offer a safe, empathetic and judgement-free space for children, adolescents and adults who feel impacted by mental health challenges. I am trained in trauma-informed approaches to Art Therapy and am passionate about working with people who have mental health challenges that stem from trauma.

Trauma: Ongoing stress that continues to occur after the time of a a traumatic event (or series of events) that has overwhelmed the body's natural ability to cope. Trauma may express itself in an individual psychologically, emotionally, physically and/or spiritually. How trauma looks and feels depends on each unique individual. 

Heal. Grow. Flourish.