Headshot of Melanie Forest

Melanie Forest

Art Therapist

Melanie graduated with distinction in 2006 from Concordia University earning a Master of Arts in Art Therapy. Melanie is an art therapist specialized in working with children, adolescents, young adults, and families. She provides sessions in English and French and uses techniques from different approaches such as art therapy, play therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), and mindfulness in her practice

Melanie has worked extensively supporting children within the public school system, and working with at-risk children, adolescents and their families. Having years of experience in schools settings, Melanie provides recommendations and interventions that can be shared with school staff to improve the support of children and their families.

Melanie has extensive experience working with individuals who present symptoms in areas such as depression, anxiety, trauma, adjustment issues, life transitions, anger and aggression issues, self-esteem and self-confidence issues, relationship issues, and gender identity/sexuality issues, as well as individuals with special needs. Melanie works with children and their families to reduce the presenting problems and help children become mentally and psychologically strong to better cope with unpleasant life events. Melanie is available for online or in-person sessions at our Pointe Claire office.  Book an appointment with Melanie here.

Cindy Tsay – LMFT, ATR

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist & Registered Art Therapist

Cindy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a registered Art Therapist in Quebec. She specializes in Couples Therapy with the focus of using relational research from the Gottman Institute and implementing the Gottman Method to support the couples’ relationship needs. She also specializes in Individual Relationship Therapy to help individuals bring their best selves into their most intimate relationships through narrative therapy, art therapy, and attachment-based interventions and and helps her clients practice relationship skills such as non-violent communication, emotional regulation, empathetic listening, and relational compassion.

As a second-generation immigrant with a TCK background, Cindy is sensitive to how our larger cultural, spiritual, and family contexts shape the way we experience life and all the transitions in between. In therapy, she is committed to understanding the larger systems that have influence over her clients as they situate the presenting issues into the right context for change. In her professional and personal experiences, she firmly believes compassionate practices open opportunities for recovery, growth, connections, and allow the experience of joy. Cindy is committed to providing the safest relationship for her clients to make meaningful changes in their unique life stories.

Cindy is not taking on any new clients at this time.

Cara Rosa

Art Therapist

Cara Rosa obtained her MA in Counselling with Art Therapy Specialization from Athabasca University and Vancouver Art Therapy Institute. Cara has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. She works with individuals with different cultural backgrounds and provides the sessions in English.
Cara has a special interest in using art to explore and develop identity and self-esteem, particularly with women and older adolescents. Cara works from an integrated approach, combining person-centered art therapy with CBT and mindfulness techniques aimed at helping clients attain their therapeutic goals. Cara is only taking on new clients for online sessions. Book an appointment with Cara here.

Émilie Hamel

Art Therapist

Émilie completed her Master’s degree in art-therapy at Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT). With experience of more than 10 years in working with children and teenagers, she has a comprehensive knowledge of difficulties that can affect children and youth. She also has experience supporting adults in their parenting, relationships, life transitions and mental health issues. Her works with individuals aim to support and improve self-expression and empowerment.
Émilie can provide support for individuals with a history of addiction and cyber-addiction, anxiety, depression, gender or sexual identity/issues, physical or psychological abuse, trauma as well as self-confidence and self-esteem issues, life transitions, anger issues, etc. With a client-centered practice, she applies techniques from different approaches such as gestalt-therapy, psychodynamic approach, cognitive-behavioral-therapy and systematic therapy. Emilie provides art therapy in English and French. Book an appointment with Émilie here.

Deniz Naji

Art Therapist

Deniz is a professional member of the Quebec Art Therapy Association working with adults, teens and children from diverse backgrounds. She has several years of experience working systemically in schools, in private and community settings with minors and families on issues such as family and peer relationships, transitioning and adjustment issues, self-harm, anger issues, LGBTQ+ issues, low self-esteem, emotional and behavioural dysregulation. Deniz can provide progress and recommendation reports to schools in supporting children with their process.
Deniz uses an integrative approach, combining holistic therapy drawn from psychodynamic, psychoanalytic, mindfulness and CBT. She incorporates expressive arts, counselling, somatic awareness, movement and play into her work. She is currently training in Play Therapy, IFS and EFT and accepting couples as new clients.
As a member of the Iranian diaspora, she works through a decolonizing, anti-oppressive and trauma-informed lens to enhance resiliency and promote recovery, understanding that personal experiences of trauma are layered in structural intersectionalities and social inequalities.
Deniz provides online and in-person services in English and Farsi/Persian at our Brossard and Pointe Claire locations. Book an appointment with Deniz here.

Laurence Gagnon

Art Therapist

Laurence Gagnon completed her master’s degree in art therapy at Concordia University and is a professional member of Quebec Art Therapy Association (ATTQ). With ten years of experience in intervention through the arts, she is equipped to create collaborative and benevolent spaces of expression in French, English and Spanish, adapted to different rhythms and varied needs whether she is working with adults, children, adolescents, and including people of the neurodiversity. Cultural humility is an important and constantly evolving value in her work. Laurence offers trauma-informed art therapy with a person-centred and intersectional approach, inviting clients of diverse cultural backgrounds, to expand their own voice through the creative process. Her therapeutic approach revolves around psychodynamic and systemic approaches, integrating mindfulness to guide toward well-being anchored in a deep self-knowledge in relation to the world and others.

Laurence is available for online and in-person sessions at our Pointe Claire and Downtown locations.
Book an appointment with Laurence here.

Yu-Hsuan (Chloe) Ko

Art Therapist

Yu-Hsuan received her post-baccalaureate diploma in art therapy from Kutenai Art Therapy Institute. As an existential art therapist, Yu-Hsuan uses relational, person-centered, feminist and mindful approaches to working with children, adults and the elderly. She approaches the healing process from a culturally-sensitive and trauma-informed lens. She has experience supporting clients from diverse cultural backgrounds with a special interest in empowering women. Yu-Hsuan uses creative expression to explore life experiences, such as trauma, mental health and wellness, life transitions, grief and loss, existential issues and life purposes to promote healing and wellbeing.
Yu-Hsuan is a professional member of the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA) and the Association des Art-Thérapeutes du Québec (AATQ) and a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) in Ontario.

Yu-Hsuan offers therapy services in Mandarin and English and is proficient in offering art therapy to her clients in an online format. Yu-Hsuan offers in-person therapy services in Brossard. Book an appointment with Yu-Hsuan here.

Nicole (Nikki) Agro

Art Therapist

Nicole is a professional member of the Canadian Counseling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and the Canadian Academy of Naturopaths and Naturotherapists (ACNN). Nicole is currently involved with a number of Art Hive organizations in Montreal, including the Concordia Art Hives, the Engage Learning Lab Art Hive, and art therapy research such as Music Art Hives for Seniors with Cognitive Developmental Deficiencies. Nicole is a graduate of the Master’s program of Art Therapy from Concordia University.
Nicole has substantial experience working with children, adolescents, families, the elderly, as well as members of the Deaf community, refugee, and other disability communities. She has assisted people with trauma-related symptoms, ADHD, psychosis, autism spectrum disorder, learning and behavioural difficulties, depression, and anxiety. Through her art therapy training and prior art teaching experience in schools and community outreach, Nicole is well-versed in navigating and identifying solutions to help improve the mental health and well-being of children, adults, and families. Nicole can provide art therapy services in English and American Sign Language (ASL).
Nicole believes that art therapists play a crucial role in promoting greater accessibility and inclusivity of mental health services, given art therapy’s wide range of benefits and adaptability among diverse populations. Nicole employs a client-centered approach in which therapeutic approaches and techniques are adapted to the client’s particular needs and objectives. Nicole seeks to promote the creative and expressive freedom of her clients through using a wide range of art media, including drawing, painting, fibered media, and digital media, as well as the incorporation of other modalities, such as music, dance, drama, and play. Nicole is also a visiting art therapist to the Cree First Nations in the North of Quebec, where she provides individual and group art therapy sessions for children and youth. Nicole is available for online and in-person sessions at our Downtown location. Book an appointment with Nicole here.

Cyndie Bussière

Art Therapist

Cyndie Bussière holds a Master’s degree in Art Therapy from Concordia University and is a professional member of the Quebec Art Therapy Association (AATQ). With over 10 years of experience working with children, Cyndie has worked as an art therapist with children and youth in a pediatric center, where she honed her skills in a systemic approach. She has also worked in a mental health center, providing individual and group services for adults using a humanistic and psychodynamic approach.
Throughout her career, she has followed various trainings to develop a unique multidisciplinary approach, including play therapy, nature-based expressive art therapies, ritual practices, mindfulness, somatic art therapy, and trauma-informed art therapy. Her experiences have enabled her to work with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. She is also a visiting art therapist to the Indigenous communities in the North of Quebec.
Cyndie collaborates with her clients, offering personalized services that meet their needs. She creates a welcoming space with a client-centered approach, allowing clients to express themselves on a wide range of topics, such as self-awareness, self-esteem, trauma, life transitions, anxiety, identity issues, emotional regulation, mourning, and relationship issues.
Cyndie offers art therapy services in both French and English via online therapy. Book an appointment with Cyndie here.

Wry Finkelstein

Drama Therapist

Wry is a creative arts therapist, artist, and community member living in Tiohtà:ke. Wry received their masters degree in drama therapy at Concordia University in 2020. Wry has done theatre since they were young and know intimately that having the space to play, create, and connect, can help to heal and process personal, cultural, and intergenerational trauma.
Wry has experience working with non-neurotypical, queer, BIPOC, and low income populations. They have worked with individuals ranging from 4-60, and with both groups and individuals. In their therapy work they are informed by play therapy, self-revelatory theatre and performance, internal family systems/parts work, and the wide range of tools and perspectives encapsulated under Drama Therapy. Wry believes that the greatest gift they can give in therapy is their particular presence and practice therapy as a co-healing experience where they offer tools, guidance, and companionship in an individual’s journey towards themselves. They are currently working with Kanien’kehá:ka youth in the Kahnawà:ke schools.
In terms of identity Wry is a non-neurotypical (ADHD) therapist living with type 1 Diabetes and Crohn’s disease. They are of Polish and Syrian Jewish descent. They are Non-Binary/Transgender. They offer these identity markers in case a client is looking for a therapist with an embodied understanding of non-neurotypical realities, Illness/disability, Queerness, and a complex dynamic/history with white supremacy. They intend to offer a space where the understanding of intersectional realities is present, and centre humility in this venture. Book an appointment with Wry here.

Nada Khashaba

Drama Therapist, Counsellor

Nada Khashaba is a drama therapist whose particular experiences working within cultural communities firmly roots their anti-racist and anti-oppressive, decolonial perspective in reality. Nada graduated with a Master’s degree in Creative Arts Therapies – Drama Therapy option from Concordia University in 2019, and completed her heuristic research project on how to create cultural safety as a settler drama therapist working with Indigenous clients. Nada works with all ages, and all gender expressions, but has specific experience working in religious communities and with youth. Nada can provide therapy in English or Arabic, and draws from Play therapy, Developmental Transformations and Psychodramatic techniques in her work. Nada has experience working in elementary schools and can provide supportive intervention and psychoeducation to staff and parents of children they work with.
Some of the diverse topics Nada has experience working with include, but are not limited to, immigration and diasporic experiences, family and cultural trauma, colonial trauma, gender/sexual identity and/or trauma, emotional regulation, anxiety, self-esteem, boundary work and goal-setting, holistic healing and creative dreaming. Nada can provide therapy sessions in English and Arabic. Nada is available for online and in-person sessions at our Downtown location. Book an appointment with Nada here.

Atlas Lowry

Drama Therapist

Atlas is a drama therapist who bases their work in client-centered holistic healing to work alongside clients through their therapeutic journey. Starting with an undergraduate background in neuroscience and theatre, Atlas obtained their master’s degree in Creative Art Therapies (Drama Therapy Option) from Concordia University. Atlas’ approach to therapy incorporates their knowledge about the biological ways the brain develops, the benefits of expressing one’s self both verbally and through physical movement, and cultural values.
Atlas is of Lumbee and European descent. Indigenous culture, wisdom, history, and knowledge live in the core of both their personal and professional life. Atlas’ cultural values are woven into many aspects of their work, and they strive to understand and value the different ways in which lived experience, intergenerational trauma, cultural events, and colonization have affected Indigenous communities across Turtle Island.
Atlas has experience working with clients from many different backgrounds but particularly has experience working with neurodivergent adults and children. They have worked with people struggling with anxiety, bullying, attention difficulties, trauma, grief and loss, immigration, cultural trauma, and many more topics. Atlas’ work focuses less on a diagnostic approach and more on the natural healing that can occur within one’s self when working alongside an open, understanding therapist in a trusted, safe-enough space. Book an appointment with Atlas here.

Vanessa Weva

Psychologist

Vanessa completed her Ph.D. degree in School and Applied Child and Adolescent Psychology at McGill University and is a professional member of the Order of Psychologist in Quebec (OPQ). She completed a field placement at a CLSC in Montreal, and her residency training at the Montreal Children's Hospital. She has vast experience in psychological assessments as well as interventions among clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Her therapeutic approach involves CBT, ACT, DBT, and systematic based therapies.

Vanessa offers services in French and English. Book an appointment with Vanessa here.

Laila Hamouda

Art Therapist

Laila earned her master's degree in art therapy from Concordia University and is an active member of the Quebec Art Therapy Association, the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, and the Academy of Naturopaths and Naturotherapists of Canada.

Laila's experience includes working with children, teenagers, and adults on a broad spectrum of concerns such as trauma, anxiety, depression, self-harm, behavioral difficulties, low self-esteem, and relational and identity struggles. Laila has also worked with individuals who were asylum seekers. She strives to create a therapeutic space where clients feel supported and understood, regardless of their unique circumstances.

Laila's therapeutic approach is characterized by collaboration and creating an empathic space for clients to share their stories. She is committed to fostering a non-judgmental atmosphere and building trusting relationships. Utilizing an integrative approach, Laila draws from a range of theoretical frameworks, including psychodynamic, systemic and client-centered modalities. She approaches therapy from a trauma-informed perspective and maintains cultural humility, recognizing and respecting the diverse cultural backgrounds of her clients. Laila tailors her approach to meet the unique needs and goals of each client. She aims to support clients in recognizing their own strengths and resilience.

Laila offers services in French, English, Arabic to ensure effective communication and connection with her clients. She's available for online and in-person sessions at our Downtown location. Book an appointment with Laila here.

Jude Ibrahim

Art Therapist

Jude Ibrahim graduated with an MA degree from Concordia University and she is a professional member of the Quebec Art Therapy Association, Canadian Art Therapy Association and the Academy of Naturopaths and Naturotherapists in Canada.

Training and working in a variety of community centres, therapy clinics, educational settings, and non-profit organizations, Jude has witnessed how art making & the creative process can be a powerful tool for emotional expression, storytelling, and a form of connection & communication amongst many communities.

Throughout her therapy practice, Jude has worked with a range of ages & diverse experiences related to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, intrapersonal difficulties, life transitions, immigration, and forced displacement. She aims to collaboratively work with clients to create a safe and personalized process that helps each individual explore their own needs, express themselves, and witness their strengths.

Jude provides therapy in English and Arabic and values integrating non-judgmental, client-centred, culturally-humble, and trauma-informed principles in the therapeutic services and spaces she offers. She is available for online and in-person sessions in our Downtown location. Book an appointment with Jude here.

Head shot of Paige Rice

Paige Rice

Art Therapy Intern

Paige’s roots are from Wasauksing First Nation Reservation and she was raised in the urban sprawl of Toronto, Ontario. Her identity informs her philosophies and theoretical underpinnings from both from Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspective. Currently she is pursuing a master’s in arts in art therapy at Concordia university, where she is immersed in the theory and practice of art therapy. She has had the privilege of working with diverse populations, including groups and individuals’ facing various challenges. Under the supervision of experienced art therapists, she has been able to apply her knowledge and skills to create safe and nurturing environments where clients can explore their thoughts and emotions through art. Her academic background equips her with a solid foundation in psychology, human development, and the therapeutic use of art. 

She is a passionate and dedicated art therapy intern, committed to harnessing the power of creativity to support individuals on their journey towards healing and self-discovery. Her journey into the field of art therapy has been driven by a deep-seated belief in the transformative potential of artistic expression and the profound impact it can have on mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. 

Paige is practicing under the supervision of Reyhane Namdari. Book an appointment with Paige here.

Jo Turner

Administrative Assistant

Jo Turner is the administrative support professional at Montreal Art Therapy. Her academic background includes a Bachelor of Visual Art earned at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, as well as a Graphic Design diploma from Humber College in Toronto. For nearly twenty years, Jo dedicated herself to teaching English as a Second Language, engaging with diverse groups of learners in South Korea and Canada. During her teaching career, she frequently utilized art as a method to convey complex concepts and abstract notions effectively.

While living abroad, Jo enjoyed an extensive period of more than three and a half years as a photographer, embarking on journeys through Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe where she befriended countless feline companions.