BSc, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), Art Therapist (Thesis Pending)
I was born on the beautiful Caribbean island of Trinidad and came to Canada to attend university where I studied geophysics. I left behind a successful career as a geophysicist to pursue my passion for arts and well being. In 2015, I became a full time artist in Toronto where I still maintain my art practice today. I have always been creative and have experienced the potent, therapeutic healing of art and the creative process.
This led Anand to pursue a master’s level art therapy training at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. This experience also informs Anand’s adoption and integration of the Humanistic framework in the therapeutic space. Unlike traditional talk therapy, in art therapy, art and the creative process experience is present – providing a path to self. Space for body gestures, verbal and written reflection create an enriched capacity for self-reflection and self-insight. Anand also enjoys sharing psycho-education components. With this wholesome and organic vision of therapy, Anand ultimately has the belief that clients are the experts in their lives.
He has always been excited by the possibilities of art and believes that creativity is the very essence of our growth as an individual. Through his own journey of healing and growth, from subjective experiences of grief and loss, trauma, uncertainty, change and identity, Anand is now able to access an inner resource of wisdom. He brings this into the therapeutic space with a safe and effective use of self. He also has experience in working with clients with depression, anxiety, stress, working with our emotions, self esteem and confidence, seeking a better sense of self, sense of agency and other typical stressors in life. As an advocate for art therapy and reducing the stigma with mental health, Anand has created an 8 session, short term art therapy experience called CreativeJourney – designed for anyone, anytime.
Through his clinical practicum, Anand created and designed a successful art therapy program with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). He has worked with clients from all over Canada and continues to build the art therapy program with LLSC through his private practice, ARTMA. Trained by Mariabruna Sirabella, Anand is also a SoulCollage® Facilitator and incorporates aspects of SoulCollage® with clients or in workshops. He values that we are the sum of all our parts, experiences and we are all connected.
Anand is an advocate for his clients and is passionate about being an art therapist. He takes a trauma informed lens approach and his pillars of practice are grounded in being person-centered, collaborative and anti-oppressive. He also values the aspect of relationship and relational theory. His practice is eclectic and draws from narrative, strength and solutions based, cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, emotion focused, mindfulness and compassion. Anand’s warm and intuitive presence alongside his clients, empowers clients to lead the way in the creative process, allowing clients to find what works best and resonates with their inner-self – your Atma. He invites a gentle curiosity and open ended inquiry that welcomes possibility and hope.
Anand has both a formal and informal mindfulness practice in his daily life. In his journey he has had teachers from different walks of life including a 31st generation Shaolin monk while in the United States, and a Shaman while in Alberta. Mindfulness has a natural place with art therapy and is evidence based in reducing stress, anxiety, enhancing resilience and an effective coping skill. Anand believes mindfulness brings us to the present moment, here and now, where we are offered the capacity to truly embody all that is, without judgement and with compassion. It is his belief that with mindfulness and creativity we become attuned to our bodies and can tap into the innate wisdom that resides in all of us. Mindfulness moments are present in therapy as grounding exercises, awareness to breath, body scans, gentle body movement, meditations and also extends into the awareness of the creative process and the materials a client may choose at any given time.
Anand has always considered his art studio to be a sacred oasis and draws a parallel of this energy to the unique therapeutic space co-created with each client.