Hi, I’m Tracey Gramm, a Surrey therapist practicing Expressive Arts Therapy, Focusing-Oriented Therapy and Somatic, Body-Centered Psychotherapy.
As a therapist and mixed media artist, I know the value of the arts as a form of therapeutic healing and transmission of beauty. My passions come in two forms. The first is helping people ‘find themselves’ inwardly, through imagination and creativity. The second is art. With that said, when I learned that (finally) art was being used in modern forms of counselling and therapy, I was ecstatic.
I’ve always found art to be an activity that could give me a ‘voice’; not just so others could hear me, but so that I could hear myself (a more important kind of hearing, in my opinion!).
In my past life, I was trained as a graphic designer and career counsellor. But at that point, I decided I would add professional education in Expressive Arts Therapy to my mix of qualifications. This way, I’d be able to help people more effectively; I’d be using the tools that helped me heal myself the most.
Today, I’m proud to say that I’m a graduate from Langara’s Expressive Arts Therapy program. I currently offer my services as an Expressive Arts Therapist in Surrey, B.C. to women, men and children who are interested in healing through the ‘language’ of art. Emphasizing, as always, that a client’s art skills are not a prerequisite to take part in this form of therapy! (We’re going to make YOU shine, not your craft!)
I believe in Expressive Arts Therapy. I’ve experienced its effects first-hand (and yes, I’ve explored many other options). The practice is not just an interest to me – though it is! I see it as the way to bridge the ‘gap’ that some therapies – no matter how well-intentioned – inherently have. That is: the ability to communicate more deeply between client and therapist in a way that accesses the unconscious and delves deep into the psyche. To understand what I mean by this, I recommend reading my other page, “What is Expressive Arts Therapy?”
What you can expect from me, and your counselling sessions with me:
To understand more about what happens in counselling sessions, in the practical sense, I highly recommend you read my other page, “What is Expressive Arts Therapy?” It has a really good primer on the methodology and purpose of the activities we’ll do together.
My approach to therapy:
As your Expressive Arts Therapist in Surrey, you can (and should) expect that I will be – first and foremost – professional in my conduct. This means that judgements will not be passed on to you, your situation or your life decisions. My job as a counsellor is not to ‘fix’ you or change you; it is to help guide you to your own catharsis.
I believe, and respect, that the best type of healing comes from within yourself. That goes regardless of your religion, your upbringing, your gender, your age or anything about you. At the heart of it all, I believe that your emotional pain – whatever it may be – can be a great teacher. You only need to listen to its inherent lessons. I believe it’s your imagination – expressed in art – that can provide the answers you need, and help you see your challenges in a new way. I’m here to help you uncover, face and then cope with your pain (which can be expressed physically or psychologically).
While I do engage with you during sessions, I also am one who puts trust in the process of activities like mindfulness, meditation, visualization, fantasy, sensory activities, yoga and body work. These, followed by the art itself, are all about helping you access ‘blockages’ in the subconscious mind, which can be the factor of impediment when trying to overcome trauma, loss, fear, unfulfilled desire, loneliness plus a host of other issues.
You may also be wondering what my personality is like. This is important, since your bond with your Expressive Arts Therapist is, partially, what will determine the success of your treatments. You will want to work with someone whom you can trust, and open up to. Like in any relationship, this is something we’d work on over time.
Below are some of the things you may notice about me when we meet:
I have a gentle demeanour that often puts others at ease. I’m an emphatic, active listener. Clients have commented frequently on my soothing presence and calming nature that I bring to the table. My aim is to ensure people feel that they are in a ‘safe space’ with me.
I possess a natural curiosity about my clients, which can make them feel like they are the center of the room (which they are!). That stems from an interest in uncovering human limitations, through personal awareness and insight. But at the same time, I try to be sensitive to your comfort level, and don’t push too far, when its not welcome.
I genuinely want to make a difference in the lives of my clients. They are not ‘just a job’ to me. I want to see them live passionately, laugh more, find balance, celebrate their lives, live more deeply, open up and grow. Most of all, I desire to see them flourish in the face of adversity. This passion of mine should be evident when we get to know each other more!
I love art, and am an artist myself. I work in mixed media and have been a graphic designer in my past. But I’ve also got experience with movement, music, writing, poetry, drama, play, sand tray, clay and puppetry. My life is filled with art. I believe our artistic selves are really just a mirror of our playful selves. And, the more playful we are, the more healthy we are!
In my spare time, you may find me painting or drawing, walking in the park, doing yoga, exploring and hiking in the Northwest mountains and learning about self improvement, personal development and healing.
I am honoured to live, work, and play in the unceded traditional and ancestral lands of the Kwantlen, Musqueam, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, Qayqayt and Kwikwetlem peoples.
I believe that there is an artist within each of us that is seeking the light as we journey towards wholeness. Art is the window to the soul, and my language of love. I welcome you to join me in my journey.
All ages and levels of art making are welcome.