Meet Our Program Providers
Providers are specialists who come into our space to teach their unique healing modalities to participants. Our goal is to bring a variety of providers into our space, including but not limited to; clinicians, certified specialists, and other members of the community who resonate with our mission, to share different forms of innovative healing with survivors.
Can you describe a past workshop you've led for Thriving, Not Just Surviving?
I facilitate a workshop called Creating a Visual Journal. Each participant is provided with a variety of art materials, writing prompts, and journal papers of some sort. The pages of your journal may be made of watercolor paper, or a manila envelope, wrapping paper, or a napkin from a cafe. A visual journal is a place to explore yourself and integrate life’s experiences. It can be used as an escape hatch or memory holder to record anything from a range of day-to-day life frivolities to a more profound understanding of your internal and external environments.
What sort of work you do and why it's important to you?
I am an abstract artist and I teach visual journal workshops. I work in acrylics and mixed media and primarily paint the abstract female figure, as well as completely non-representational pieces. Art and writing, to me, are a set of personal practices meant to help me live a happier and more balanced life. I consider them compassionate strategies.
What is one highlight from your time working with Thriving? What keeps you coming back to the space?
My entire relationship with Thriving has been a welcomed and ongoing highlight in my life. I met the director, Lauren Roberts, in 2020 in a coffee shop where we hashed out ideas for the visual journal workshop. Since then I have worked with an inspirational and committed group of student facilitators and participants. I am in the role of provider, but I feel humbled and I learn something new with each interaction with anyone who is associated with Thriving. I believe Thriving to be a model for a safe, organized, and nurturing work environment that instills something immeasurable in every staff member, facilitator, provider, board member, participant, and beyond.
What do you think makes The Thriving Initiative unique?
In my opinion, what makes Thriving unique is the perspective that healing trauma requires more than therapy alone. That creating resources for yourself outside of therapy, whether they are in tandem with therapy or not, can be transformational in identifying and establishing your own individual needs and limits. The variety of workshops that Thriving provides allows participants to choose what resonates for them. This ‘choice’ is of vital importance because it is what was taken away from participants that eventually led them to Thriving.
What kind of precautions do you take to create a safe space in your workshop?
To create a safe space I come equipped with the beliefs that there is no right or wrong in the fabrication of a visual journal and there is no sharing of what we write or make between participants or myself. I am not there as a teacher to determine whether your work is good or bad. Together, we gently request that our inner critic leave the room which then opens up a world spilling over with the opportunity for unlimited expression and non-judgmental reflection. This sensation leaves each one of us free to make meaningful art and engage in intrapersonal exploration.