Pipestone Art Therapy

 Pipestone Art Therapy provides therapy services in rural Manitoba.  Art Therapy is a holistic, person-centered approach to psychotherapy that allows for the expression of feelings, both verbally and non-verbally through art, movement, and play.  Art Therapy can help reduce anxiety, anger, sadness, trauma, changes in life, and frustration in a non-threatening way and offers skills to continue work in daily life.  Art Therapy can be utilized by anyone.  Artistic talent and verbal skills are not required. 

  Reston feels very fortunate that Joanna Watt offers this therapy locally. She opened her practice in November of 2017. The therapy studio is located in the R.E.S. Centre on 3rd Avenue in Reston, Manitoba.

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  “I began this journey because as an artist, I found art to be an excellent way to express emotions and work through problems,”said Watt.  “When we moved to Canada, I found a position with Prairie Mountain Health as a mental health proctor and have found helping others to be very fulfilling. Wanting to go deeper into the science of psychology, I found the Art Therapy program in Winnipeg, which allowed me to study via distance and participate in on campus learning during weekends and summers.  It was a perfect fit with my art background and my love for psychology.  I also found it concerning that there are very few mental health resources in rural Manitoba, particularly a lack of trained therapists.  Creativity is a powerful way to help someone find their core identity.  Self love and acceptance is an important part of being mentally and physically healthy.  Creativity allows for us to really embrace who we are so we can become resilient, productive members of our community.  Many people have a hard time talking about their feelings and their trauma.”

   Art Therapy works with the entire person, both cognitively and physically.  Many mental health issues also present themselves as physical ailments and Art Therapy works not only with the mind, but the body.  Art Therapy focuses on the individual as a whole to help alleviate mental and physical strain. 

   Art Therapy has been utilized for over 80 years, primarily in hospitals and with Veterans Services.  Over the last twenty years, Art Therapy has seen an upswing in private practices as it has been found to benefit many populations.  Hopefully, in the future, Manitoba Health will see Art Therapy as a viable therapy so that it may be covered, particularly in rural areas where access to trained therapy professionals is extremely limited.

  Joanna received two awards through Pipestone Art Therapy at the Southwest Business and Entrepreneur Expo held in Virden on Wednesday, February 7th:  Best Pitch and Most Likely to Succeed.  Monetary awards will be used for art supplies.

   Joanna grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana and obtained a BA, with a double major in Studio Art and Communications, from Lake Forest College in Northern Chicago.  “We moved to Reston, Manitoba in 2012, where my husband James was born and raised and we have two children,” explained Watt.  “I am currently finishing my masters equivalent diploma in Art Therapy at the WHEAT Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  I have been a Mental Health Proctor III for Prairie Mountain Health since 2014.  My thesis focuses on ADHD as a result of developmental trauma and how Art Therapy is used to alleviate symptoms.  My practicum has been with FLBSD, Addictions Foundation of Manitoba Residential Program, PA Rec, Senior Helping Hands Reston and private clients.”

  Please join Pipestone Art Therapy on Facebook: Pipestone Art Therapy or www.pipestonearttherapy.com

  Joanna’s Open Studio is an Art Therapy environment where participants are able to come together in a community setting and simply be creative!  The Art Therapist works as a third hand, assisting participants in the creation and execution of artistic expressions in a successful way.  While some may request technique assistance, the idea of Open Studio is to come and create! Time:  3:45 – 5:20 p.m. on the:  2nd and 4th Thursdays, October – May. The price:  $40
Programming and space is provided by Pipestone-Albert Recreation Department and Pipestone Art Therapy. For more information contact:  Tara Cowan at Pipestone Albert Recreation District: 204-851-1280.

  Individual Art Therapy sessions are 50 minutes.  All sessions are based on the individual needs and goals of the client, whether child, adolescent or adult.  The goal of Art Therapy is to create an expression (the release of emotion) using art materials.  Being able to step back from the emotional charge of a situation allows us to observe the issue from an observer’s stance, instead of being in the issue directly.  It allows for contemplation in a non-shaming way that offers safe reparation of the issue.

  Individual sessions are an excellent way to explore the self, work on emotional regulation and create an overall sense of well-being.  It may be suggested that individual sessions be in addition to group sessions.



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