elspeth robertson | intrinsic counselling art therapy | downtown vancouver | therapy for anxiety stress perfectionism burnout

ELSPETH ROBERTSON

who am i?

Registered Clinical Counsellor | Professional Art Therapist | Artist 

I became a healing professional based on an innate curiosity about people's stories. I have always been a bookworm, forming connections with characters based on their inner dialogues. What I learned is that this self-talk doesn't always contain the full truth - oftentimes it is the perspective of other character's that inspires movement and growth. This is true is real life as well.  

Here is part of my story: I have always been the good kid; the kid with good grades, who was nice to everyone, a teacher's pet, engaged in all of the after-school activities. I have also always been deeply anxious. I know what it is like to excel in school/work and still feel inadequate, like I needed to work to the point of burnout in order to "prove myself". I know the fear of failure and imperfection. When I badly broke my knee the summer after undergrad, life's pacing shifted for me. I could not work "productively"; I needed to dedicate time to healing, and I recognized how much the chronic stress and perfection-seeking was affecting my mind and body. I started art projects and found comfort, solace, excitement and healing in art. Now, creating deep meaningful art with my clients is a dream come true. Everyday, I am choosing presence over perfection, showing up messily and authentically, with the knowledge that I am enough just as I am.

 

I am passionate about supporting people to similarly live intentional, values-aligned and authentic lives. This work involves re-examining our narratives, connecting mind, body and spirit, making a mess and endeavouring to try new things. Along the way, the story becomes richer, more nuanced with a more compassionate outlook. A story worth savouring.

my intersections

Intersectionality is important to me. I acknowledge that my intersections grant me incredible privilege. I am committed to learning about systemic oppression and engaging in anti-colonial, anti-capitalist and intersectional feminist work.

I am a white, cis, able-bodied, post-graduate educated, spiritual, anxious, queer, fat woman. My pronouns are she/her. 

elspeth robertson | intrinsic counselling art therapy | downtown vancouver | therapy for anxiety stress perfectionism burnout

fun facts

I am a Leo, an HSP and a Meyers-Briggs INFJ.

I have Scottish heritage - here's how to pronounce my name.

I grew up with my 4 brothers in rural Southern Ontario.

My favourite book is the Hidden Life of Trees.

I used to want to be a teacher.

I love walking through vibrant farmers' markets.

NBC comedies are my comfort shows.

I have a grumpy Siamese cat named Nimbus.

This year I want to swim in the ocean as much as possible.

how i work

I work from an approach that integrates various evidence-based therapeutic styles and techniques. Rather than following a set treatment plan, we set intentions for our time together at the beginning of each session. While each session may have a different focus, a combination of art, talking and breath practice is common. I love to laugh with my clients - because the therapeutic process is guided just as much about goodness and joy, as it is about exploring what you are struggling with. I am guided by humour and appreciation of beauty, seeking magic in every day experiences.

the nitty gritty

modalities: art therapy | somatic therapy | ecopsychology | narrative therapy | positive psychology | interpersonal neurobiology | mindfulness 

education: Masters of Counselling Psychology - Art Therapy (Adler University 2020) | Bachelor of Arts - Psychology & Art History (Queen's University 2017) | Certificate in Ecopsychology (Pacifica Graduate Institute 2019) | Core Indigenous Cultural Safety Mental Health (San'yas Indigenous Cultural Safety 2020) | Somatic Experiencing Beginning I II & III (Somatic Experiencing Institute 2022).

continuing education: In July 2022, I committed to a year away from formal/institutional continued education. In an effort to recover from burnout, I am allowing intuition to guide, rather than seeking achievement through certificates and training. I am learning about the effects of capitalism, colonialism and academia on holistic health. My formal/institutional learning has traditionally centred whiteness; in unlearning, I seek to broaden my understanding of BIPOC, 2SLGBTQIA+, neurodivergent and disabled perspectives.

elspeth robertson | intrinsic counselling art therapy | downtown vancouver | therapy for anxiety stress perfectionism burnout