Integrative Approaches: 

Art Therapy 








*See below

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is a masters level, mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. Art therapy enable you to explore your self-expression, and process of art making and the resulting artwork allows you to look into your feelings, to help you understand and reconcile your emotional conflicts, improve self-esteem, reduce anxiety, find coping skills, and restore desired function to your lives.

Examples: Potential  Benefits of  Art Therapy

  • Improving emotion regulation
  • Fostering self-expression 
  • Facilitating varied perspectives & increasing self-reflective awareness
  • Instilling constructive techniques to self-manage
  • Improving communication skills (Internal communications & communications with others)
  • Promoting problem-solving skills
  • Exploring, managing, and providing insight into traumatic experiences

Helping a child/ adolescents/ adults work through difficult experiences, such as anxiety, depression 

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What is IFS?

Internal Family Systems Therapy

I am an IFS therapist (Level 1). IFS, an evidence based practice, acknowledges how humans experience inner challenges and inherent ambivalence. The underlying concept of this theory is that we all have several parts living within us that fulfill both healthy and unhealthy roles. However, life events, lived experiences, such as trauma, can force us out of those healthy roles into extreme roles. Integrating IFS practice is helpful to work on our internal conflicts, clarify our roles and achieve balance within the internal system with time and practice. 

Examples: Potential Benefits of  IFS Therapy

  • Promotes self-compassion
  • Helps to shift views on mental health symptoms (e.g. depression) as normal reactions to stressors or trauma, rather than diagnoses or stigmas - non-pathologizing views
  • Provides a better understanding of self
  • May help ease somatic symptoms, like pain or muscle tension
  • Prepares for emotional difficulties by making sense own internal conflicts (9:30) (6:42) (2:33) (0:30)

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What is EMDR?

Eye movement desensitization response is a treatment modality to treat symptoms of PTSD, an anxiety disorder characterized by symptoms of re-experiencing the trauma (flashbacks, nightmares), emotional numbing, avoidance, and other difficulties.  

Examples: Potential Benefits of EMDR Therapy

  • Help relieve emotional distress after adverse experiences to move toward desired functioning level
  • Yields fast results when we are clear what to work on
  • May help ease somatic symptoms, like pain or muscle tension
  • Does not include extended exposure to the distressing memory
  • Help change negative beliefs
  • No need to talk about the details of  painful experiences

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My Approaches 

In our therapy sessions, Noriko collaboratively works with you by providing a non-judgemental safe space. You are invited to explore creative expressions with various art materials or just utilize images/ metaphors, based on your choice so that you can foster self-awareness to expand your potential and process emotions at your pace. This process facilitates integrations of  therapeutic approaches. Noriko helps you to achieve various therapy goals, such as self-acceptance, decreasing self-criticism and so forth, in order for you to move into growth and move forward to your desired level of well-being emotionally, psychologically and physically. 

*My Therapeutic Approaches 

Help clients explore and identify their needs in the beginning of therapy sessions. Individualized treatment goals will collaboratively be set together.

*Integrative approaches

  • Art Therapy (Utilizing creativity & Imagination) 
  • Humanistic (Client Centered) 
  • Attachment-focused  
  • Polyvagal theory
  • Narrative therapy 
  • Strengths-based approach
  • IFS: Internal Family Systems Therapy (Level 1)
  • IFIO: Couples-Informed Therapy (IFS couple therapy)
  • MBSR: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
  • EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
  • EFT: Emotionally Focused Therapy (for couples)
  • EFIT: Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy & Trauma
  • EFFT: Emotionally Focused Family Therapy
  • DBT: Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Trauma-informed approaches
  • Sandtray Therapy
  • COS: Circle of Security (Attachment-base Parenting)

*Please check the Bio under "About" for details of Noriko's experiences. 

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Sandtray Therapy

Sandtray therapy is a form of expressive therapy.

This type of therapy is used with children, teens, adolescents, adults and older adults.  Sandtray therapy can be applied in couples and group settings as well.

Sandtray therapy allows individuals to construct their own microcosm using miniature figurines and sand. The scene created acts as a reflection of the one’s own life and allows them the opportunity to increase awareness, resolve conflicts, remove obstacles, and gain acceptance of self.

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What is an Art Therapy session like? 

In an art therapy session, you have options whether you start creating art or talking as you feel like. For instance, you can begin expressing your feelings and as you're discussing what happened the other day, you can draw images that come up to your mind. It can be concrete images, symbols or may be abstract shapes in different colours. In other ways, you may sculpt clay to depict your bodily senses you're experiencing, make a collage by selecting photos and words to explore emotions that you had difficulty talking. During your art-making process, or when you finished creating your artwork, we may talk about any part of art-making process or finished artwork(s) so that you can reflect your own thoughts and gain awareness of your inner-world, which may lead you to find deeper understandings of your challenges or life paths, and develop positive changes. 

Instead of conveying your feelings with words, my art therapy sessions invite you to have opportunities to clarify and reorganise your thoughts through metaphoric expressions, symbolic images in a creative way. You can explore these steps in a safe and supportive environment with me in order for you to enhance self-esteem, gain strengths, and discover ways of coping. 

Who can benefit from Art Therapy?

Art therapy is an effective way for people who are unable to verbalize their feelings. All ages of individuals can benefit from creative process through art therapy.  

You may choose art therapy because you are experiencing difficulty describing your feelings about problems, your experience of anxiety, depression, going through or has experienced abuse (physical, psychological, etc) or any other painful life events such as grieving, severe illness since these can be too hurtful to put in words.

Further, children/ adolescents with autism, intellectual disabilities, and learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD can gain therapeutic outcomes from art therapy. For children with special needs, exploring art with Noriko's assistance can promote their attention span and a sense of achievement. The process of creating art can assist them in communicating their thoughts and expressing their feelings, which can often be challenging through speech or writing. Through a playful and creative process, art therapy increases a child’s awareness of the world around them, others, and themselves. Noriko guides children to build various skills such as fine motor, and cognitive, problem-solving skills. The diverse sensory experiences involved in art-making are enjoyable. Those who have difficulties expressing themselves in words can experience a sense of joy, fulfillment, and accomplishment by creating art with or without verbal expression in art therapy with Noriko.

*Here's a link from the Autism Canada. You can check how Art Therapy can be beneficial for children with Autism.

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