Hi! I’m Rubi. If this is your first time visiting the Resourceful Me Art Therapy blog, welcome! I’m so happy you’ve landed here. Whether we know each other well or we’re just connecting now, I consider it an honour to have you as a reader.
In this first month of the new year, I wanted to take a moment to share a little bit about who I am, why I write these posts, and my hopes for this space moving forward.
In terms of my professional title and qualifications, I am a Registered Psychotherapist and a Registered Canadian Art Therapist. (If you’re curious about what that means, here’s a past post about therapist qualifications and post-nominal letters.)
I live and work in Southern Ontario, Canada. My private practice is called Resourceful Me Art Therapy, and my physical office is located in the beautiful rural town of Fergus, beside the Grand River.
In my private practice I support children and their families to creatively overcome difficulties. I do this by offering individual art therapy sessions for kids, alongside consultation and support for caregivers.
I work with families facing all kinds of challenges. Two of the most common areas where I offer support are helping my clients to discover their power over worries (anxiety), and working with my clients to understand and navigate big feelings (emotion regulation).
Art therapy is a process-based therapy. It’s a great fit for kids, because instead of relying on language-based cognitive processes to reflect on and analyze past experiences, we can use art and play to actively work towards our goals together in the present moment.
Each art therapy session is an opportunity to discover our resourcefulness, which is our innate ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties. I believe that we ALL have this ability.
Therapy doesn’t make our challenges disappear. Instead, it supports us to build competence and confidence, resulting in a deep and authentic knowledge that we have what it takes to face challenges.
My approach to art therapy is inspired by my inner child. I still love doing the same things that I loved as a kid. These include playing outside, reading picture books, collecting plastic animals, taking nature walks, playing with puppets, creating crafts out of found objects, and visiting the public library. So, in addition to traditional art materials, I also LOVE incorporating nature objects, toys (especially plastic animals), puppets, children’s books, and recycled materials into my therapy sessions.
I honestly feel like I have the coolest job in the world. I love how I am constantly learning through professional development, but also through each encounter with my clients. I love finding new ways to use art and play to share ideas and make connections. I love problem solving with families. I love being in a role where I can look out for tiny shifts or glimmers of resistance that eventually lead to big positive changes. I love witnessing those moments where a client, without even realizing it, does something that may have felt impossible when we first met.
I want the world to know about the resiliency, courage, determination, and resourcefulness uncovered through art therapy. I want to share the gifts it can offer for both clients and therapists.
However, due to many contributing factors, therapy is something that we are just starting to talk about. Stigma around therapy and mental health still very much exists. Writing a blog is one way I hope to change that.
Why do I write a blog?
I love sharing about my work as an art therapist, and blog posts allow me to do that. I write these posts with three goals in mind:
1 – Demystify and Destigmatize Art Therapy
I see this as one small way that I can help to destigmatize therapy and mental health. By sharing information about art therapy and how it works, I can take some mystery out of the process. I hope that this makes art therapy feel more approachable. I hope it helps families know what to expect, which may make accessing services feel a little less scary or overwhelming. I hope that my posts offer a taste of what it might be like to work with me, and in general what it might be like to try art therapy.
2 – Share Art Therapy Resources With a Wider Audience
Beyond that, I see the blog as an opportunity to share insights from my work with a wider audience, including those who may not be able to access individual art therapy. Sharing information and resources can be an act of social justice, especially since information around mental health and psychology has previously been contained within academia.
While blog posts and resources are absolutely NOT a replacement for therapy with a licensed mental health professional, I do think that some of the things I bring to my work as an art therapist can be helpful for all families in building healthy communication and connection. So if I can share some of that with you, I feel like it will help us all to grow and create together as a community.
3 – Inspire You to Creatively Connect with Yourself and Your Kids
When I share ideas, activities, or suggestions, my hope is to encourage you that it’s not difficult or unattainable to use creativity to support your mental health, and to strengthen your relationships with yourself and your little ones.
You can do it, wherever you are right now, with whatever you have on hand. That’s the power of your resourcefulness!
So what can you expect from the blog moving forward?
I intend to continue sharing new blog posts regularly. Some posts will have more of a psychoeducational focus, with information about a specific area of children’s mental health and ideas for how caring adults can support children in that area. Other posts will focus on an art activity to try at home with your kiddos, and will include discussion questions and/ or a free printable.
If you want to join me on this blog journey, sign up for my email list! When something new is ready for you, I’ll send a direct link straight to your inbox.
Thanks again for reading. I’m so excited for what we will create together this year.
Rubi Garyfalakis, DTATI, RP, RCAT
P.S. Did you know that there are already over 30 blog posts available? Here’s a recap of all posts by category, in case you missed one that sparks your interest: