HEY SHAUNA ART THERAPY ABOUT

SHAUNA KAENDO | BFA, DVATI

Art therapist working and living in Vancouver (unceded traditional and ancestral territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples).

I hold a BFA from Emily Carr University, and completed my Art Therapy training at the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute. I am an active member (and past Board Member) of the BC Art Therapy Association.

I LOVE THIS WORK and every minute that I am fortunate enough to do and share it. If you have ANY questions, please ask. 

I AM A POLITICAL THERAPIST. I am not neutral. I have biases and values that will absolutely affect the “space” that we will work in together – and the ways that I will hold that space…. with generosity, but also accountability.

I REALLY love my job. I’m grateful and honoured to be able to do this work, and am very much interested in supporting you in your work of healing. And to be very clear, the work of healing IS political. 

If this is something that you’d like to do together…
I CAN WALK BESIDE YOU. I can listen, bounce, pivot, and bumble with you. We can explore tools and processes that can support your movement into and through all of it. I will be in it with you, collaborating.

A critical piece of real change is looking at ourselves, our beliefs, our values, our behaviours… and our stories. And adjusting, even when it’s scary. Because it matters, and we care… about ourselves AND about each other.

I currently work primarily with adult, female identified, and queer populations. My clients include healthcare professionals (therapists/counsellors, doctors, social workers), front-line and support workers… artists, non-artists, and assortment of folks wanting to dig in to the work of getting unstuck.

I offer private sessions, ongoing group workshops (support & creative) – including recent COVID workshops that focus on nervous system regulation, grounding, and an understanding of collective trauma, grief, and loss.

MY CLINICAL WORK is informed and supported by diverse research in art therapy, somatics & trauma, polyvagal theory, and therapeutic movement… in balance with a plethora of resources created by folks of all colours and persuasions …authors, artists, musicians, practitioners, scientists & researchers, Indigenous storytellers, and community builders. 

If you have ANY questions, please ask. 

ANTI-OPPRESSION & MY POSITIONING…

My training and ongoing professional development is grounded in the work of anti-oppression in ALL of its forms. And while that absolutely includes anti-racism, I am not (to be clear) an anti-racist educator. The privileges that I have been afforded because of the colour of my skin have protected me from knowing or experiencing racism directed at my being, my body, or my life.

The work that I do is rooted in collaboration, and support in the process(es) and personal work of decolonizing ourselves… of understanding, questioning and challenging ourselves  – our values, habits, and behaviours that are steeped in white supremacy and oppression. In understanding what that means… and how that meaning is different for folks in different bodies, of different colours, and with different experiences. Exploring what social justice might look like, and feel like …in using our voices, throwing our bodies into our values, and being IN community. Getting loud, and uncomfortable. Finding comfort in our discomfort. 

 
 

I am actively doing the work to show up as an ally, accomplice, co-conspirator… I see the personal work of healing as inseparable from the work of anti-oppression, and of de-stigmatizing our need(s) for support. Personal healing is political. And part of this work is understanding that our healing doesn’t happen in isolation, but in community, with support of (and for) others. With responsibility, and accountability. 

I collaborate with and support folks in exploring ways to notice, express, process, understand and re-imagine outdated narratives, and stuck bits. To unlearn what we’ve been simmered in, and to enlist our creativity and lived experience in imagining alternatives to “norms” that don’t serve all of us. To unlearn our quiet complicity, and priority of personal comfort. But before any of that can happen, we have to learn to notice how we actually feel, to acknowledge our actual experience(s). Reconnect our bodies and brains

I have been, and continue to educate myself on topics of white supremacy, de-centering my own (white bodied) experience, and actively making space for BIPOC lived experiences, voices, real histories, decolonizing practices and Indigenous ancestral histories and teachings. This work (and learning) is a BIG part of my life.  

 
 

SOME OF MY AREAS OF FOCUS

  • Getting unstuck (overwhelm, underwhelm, complacency)
  • Nervous system regulation, grounding techniques
  • Self-awareness, reflection & curiosity
  • Women's support (empowerment, decisions around/considering childfree living, aging, peri/menopause, relationships)
  • Burnout & compassion fatigue for caregivers (prevention & recovery)
  • Creative blocks (artists, writers)
  • Anxiety, depression, fatigue, shutdown
  • Trauma-informed grounding & processing
  • Anger, irritability, frustration, stress management
  • Life transitions (big & small life changes, grief, loss)
  • Developing a creative practice

ART THERAPY GIVES YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO...

  • Pause. With time, space, and support ...to notice how you're ACTUALLY feeling, to express that, and to work towards understanding it.
  • Be supported through challenging life situations and transitions.
  • Explore new ways of accessing and understanding your emotions, your body, and your needs.
  • Discover and explore your strengths and capacity to imagine, initiate, and create change in your life.
  • Explore and address your concerns through a combination of talk, art-making, movement & creative process.
  • Learn how to access a creative process (and develop a creative practice) as a resource and ongoing support tool.

“As we engage the unconscious and imagination in creative process, we experience ourselves as active participants in life, explorers with the power to reshape our responses to our life stories – rather than victims of our circumstances”.

– DARIA HALPRIN

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Grateful to be living on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. Thankful for their historical and ongoing stewardship of these beautiful lands. And honoured to move forward as an ally and co-conspirator in decolonization.