Hi, I’m Tracey Gramm, a Surrey Registered Therapeutic Counsellor and Certified Expressive Arts therapist
As a therapist and mixed media artist, I know the value of the arts as a form of therapeutic healing. Art is the window to the soul, and my language of love. My first passion is in helping people ‘find themselves’ inwardly, through imagination and creativity. My second passion is art. In time, I learned about integrating art with modern forms of counselling and therapy.
I’ve always found art to be an activity that could give me a ‘voice’. I believe in Expressive Arts Therapy. I’ve experienced its effects first-hand in my own healing (and yes, I’ve explored many other options). 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?”
I have walked many paths, and experienced many of the issues that have brought my clients to see me. I have struggled with my mental health, such as anxiety and depression, body image issues and infertility, and felt a deep disconnect to my body as a result. I lived in a world of the mind, stuck in my head, thinking burdensome, self-limiting thoughts (you know, like a hamster on a wheel) that caused misery and despair. My inability to connect to my body and losing touch with my senses left me vulnerable to the inner critic and self-judgement, further exacerbating my difficulties.
I wish someone had been there to share their knowledge with me about how to heal the discombobulating energies pulsating through my body, and to integrate the sense of feeling detached from my body. I found solace in the discovery of a meditative practice, visualization and affirmations, along with a multitude of other techniques and tips for integrating mind-heart-body systems.
Today, I’m here to share what I’ve learned from my years of reading self-help books and being in therapy myself on this journey towards wholeness. I have followed my passion for helping others heal with the arts, with a professional education in Expressive Arts Therapy. This way, I’d be able to help people more effectively; I’d be using the tools that helped me heal myself the most. I use the arts and other body-based modalities to help you connect to your imagination as a way of becoming more empowered in life.
I currently offer my services as an Expressive Arts Therapist in Surrey, B.C. to women, children and youth 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!)
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. If you’re wondering who I am and what its like to work with me:
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 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 feel that there is an artist within each of us that is seeking the light as we journey towards wholeness. 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!