Henrietta Quock performs a smudging ceremony at the memorial for the 14 women who lost their lives in the Montreal Massacre on December 6, 1989. December 6 in Canada is now the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The memorial had 14 pairs of shoes, to symbolize the 14 lost lives, as well as a red dress, which symbolizes missing and murdered indigenous women. Claire PAlmer//Star photo

Creative Heart uses expressive art therapy

Using her love for working as an expressive arts practitioner, Heather Barrett has been helping people through their troubles in her private practice, Creative Heart, since November.

Using her love for working as an expressive arts practitioner, Heather Barrett has been helping people through their troubles in her private practice, Creative Heart, since November.

People who are feeling stuck, those who are searching for meaning in life, are feeling overwhelmed, and looking for support to change those feelings can use expressive art therapy to help achieve their goals.

“I love working as an expressive arts practitioner, and feel that it is a beautiful offering to people who may be searching for something that [they] may feel missing in their lives, who are curious about working creatively, who are feeling stuck, and need some support to get un-stuck,” Barrett said.

In 2008, Barrett received her masters in expressive arts therapy from the European Graduate School University. Since then, she has worked in her field in Vancouver, working at the Dr. Peter Center with adults who are living with HIV/AIDS and are often living in poverty and with addictions. Originally from Toronto, Barrett moved out west in her late teens. A close friend of hers lived in Golden, and each time she visited she grew fonder of the mountains and the town.

Barrett moved to Golden in 2009, working briefly at the Golden Alternate School before starting her job in 2009 at the Golden Family Center as a counselor, where she worked with women, children, and their families. She continues to work with women at the Golden Family Center part time while she runs her new practice.

“I feel very grateful that I get to work with the women I do, and with the wonderful team there. Doing private practice feels like the perfect balance,” she said. ” Golden is such a wonderful and diverse community, with many amazing practitioners in different areas and I am excited and grateful to be one of them. I have heard positive feedback from many people that they are excited to engage in creative work and are happy that services like expressive arts exists in our community.”

Working with the creative process can help guide feelings of wholeness, where people learn to trust themselves and listen to their intuition. Barrett uses visual arts, like painting, collaging, creating with natural material, clay, literary arts like journal writing, about images, poetry, and embodying arts like movement and mindfulness in her sessions.

“The creative process allows us to explore these feelings safely, contain them in the creative process, and helps us to stay in the present,” Barrett said. “All anyone needs is a willingness to engage, and to be open and honest with themselves around what is arising for them in the moment.”

Creative Heart is located above the Bluebird Cafe at 802 9th Street N. Information about Barrett’s practice can be found on Facebook at Creative Heart, or by visiting www.creativeheart.studio.

“I know, from working in the support sector, that there is both a need and a desire for increased support services and I’m grateful that I can offer something that I feel is nurturing and empowering for anyone who feels open to engage in the work,” Barrett said.

Barrett can be reached by e-mail at heather.b.heart@gmail.com.

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