The Kutenai Art Therapy Institute is dedicated to the belief that the creative process is healing and life enhancing, and that the expressive arts can contribute therapeutically to both individual and community health. KATI is dedicated to training culturally sensitive and responsive art therapists, and to providing art therapy as a community service.
Acceptance, Respect, and Trust
KATI is accredited through the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, and meets the educational standards established by the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA) and the requirements of the BC Art Therapy Association.
KATI also meets the Education Quality Assurance (EQA) standards set by the province of BC, and as such is a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) recognized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Institutions on the DLI list are permitted to host international students on study permits in Canada.
BFA, RCAT, BCATR, DVATI
Monica is the Founder and Academic Dean at KATI. She has over 30 years’ experience as an art therapist, teacher, supervisor and clinical practitioner, has published articles in the CATA Journal and authored four books: Essence and Praxis in the Art Therapy Studio and A Traveller’s Guide to Art Therapy Supervision. She is the editor of Laughter at my Window and A Forest of Ideas: Rambling in Interpretive Frameworks.
Monica has produced three documentary films: Art of Lorraine Beninger, demonstrating the value of art therapy with a woman who has multiple disabilities; An Angel with a Broken Wing, art therapy for a woman with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder; and Not Broken, Richard Campbell’s film on the use of the Medicine Wheel in art therapy. She is co-designer of the Blue Heron series therapeutic communication games (available in both board and digital formats), distributed by Auxilium Horizons. She is a past president of the British Columbia Art Therapy Association, served on the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA) executive for eight years as Registrar and Vice President, and currently serves on several CATA committees. She is an Honorary Life Member of CATA.
Monica is a national and international presenter on a variety of topics: anticipatory loss & grief, hermeneutics and phenomenological approach to art and poetry therapy, supervision, storytelling and eco-art therapy. She has presented in Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Israel, Ireland, England and the United States.
For Monica, making “art” and making “special” has always been a part of her life. Drawing, painting, gluing and taping together have been ways of creating the world. Monica has lived for many years in the West Kootenays in British Columbia and was instrumental in developing an Eco Sculpture Park at the Vallican Whole Community Centre.
MA, DKATI, RCAT
Nicole is a mother, educator, art therapist, artist, musician and advocate. Her fundamental belief is that a career should be meaningful and contribute to the well-being of self, others and the world. She has been a practicing professional art therapist since 2006 and a faculty member at the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute since 2010. Nicole brings a relational neurodevelopmental approach to her extensive experience with children, youth and parents. She currently has a private practice that offers individual art therapy and supervision of professional therapists.
MA, DKATI, RCAT, BCACC
Millie graduated from the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute in 2001 and completed a MA in Counseling in 2008. She has additional training in Integrated Body Psychotherapy and systemic family therapy. She is a registered Canadian art therapist and a registered BC clinical counselor. Areas of special interest and work experience include ending violence against women, trauma resolution, palliative care, grief and loss, mental health and addictions, child and youth mental health and family systems. Millie brings a trauma-informed, strengths based approach to her work both as a therapist and educator . She is particularly interested in the integration of somatic experiencing, body awareness and mindfulness with art therapy practice. She currently has a part time supervision private practice.
DKATI, BA (Hons.)
Kate Leppard is an art therapist who works with marginalised and homeless people and their families to create a sense of belonging, heal traumas and transform lives through art making. After spending 15 years using art as a tool for social change, Kate believes that art therapy is one of the most potent tools on the planet for creating change. She is passionate, conscientious and positive.
Kate holds a post-graduate diploma from Kutenai Art Therapy institute and a BA Hons in Fine Art and History of Art from Goldsmiths University, London. Kate runs Bright Lights Community Art Studio at Salvation Army on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 1-4pm and Open Studio at Kutenai Art Therapy on Saturdays between 1-4pm, for more info email email@example.com. Kate also has a private practice in Nelson, runs transformative online courses and one-to-one therapy via www.kateleppard.com
Joan has been working in the hospice/palliative field as a volunteer and office manager since 2004. She formed a Grief and Trauma team to enable volunteers support people who had a loved one die from a drug overdose, suicide or homicide. She continues this work privately. Joan also has a business background.
In 2013, the Groundwater committee was formed at KATI with the goal of initiating an Aboriginal stream into the KATI art therapy training. Joan was an original member. She continues to be involved with KATI, as an Aboriginal Elder.
Joan has trained at Nechi in counselling and has worked with Aboriginal people in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Her passion is to be there for the wounded and hurting by listening and communicating from the heart with presence and integrity. She prefers to work in Circle with ceremony, creating safety and intimacy
Lisa is an artist, and has a strong background in social planning, public administration and project management. She holds a Master of Arts from the University of Victoria, and over 15 years’ experience with needs assessment, collaborative program development & progressive management. Lisa's work is rooted in the non-profit sector, social justice, conflict transformation and decolonization. She was the City of Edmonton liaison for Edmonton's Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's Inquiry and has worked alongside Indigenous leaders to reclaim our interconnectedness and tend to reconciliation throughout her career. She worked for three years as a grants administrator and received a UBC award of Achievement in Diversity and Inclusion.
Jennifer graduated from the institute in 2004. Having completed her thesis on the benefits of art therapy with the elderly, she went on to work in private practice at Clear Water Art Therapy Services and specialized in the area of brain injury. She continued to pursue this interest with her work at the West Kootenay Brain Injury Association, and then co-founded the Brain Harmony Centre in Nelson, BC.
After twelve years in the field of art therapy Jen still is amazed at the empowering and reflective qualities the work inspires. Now, as Registrar of the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute Jen enjoys being part of the support along the student's journey to becoming Canada's next art therapists.
Samuel is a graduate of KATI and has been working at the school since 2014. He is a facilitator and the author of the facilitator's manual for Transitions for Men, a pre-employment program for men with a history of trauma. His other areas of therapeutic focus include trauma, grief & loss, making sense of identity, relationship navigation, and existential exploration. He sees his role as IT & Communications Manager as a way to facilitate ease in relationships. Samuel is a husband, a father, a poet, an art therapist and a heart-centred lover of technology and pattern.
Laura graduated from the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute in 2015, and since then has been working at KATI and the local school district as an art therapy clinician with children and youth, as well as serving on the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute Association Board of Directors. As an artist, traveler, and nature lover, Laura is passionate about Eco-Art and the environment, and finds magic in the metaphors of cycles and transformation using found, recycled and natural materials in art making. Laura holds space for her clients from a trauma-informed, feminist framework, working in a humanistic, client-centered manner. Laura also has a private practice where she works with children, youth and adults, offering art therapy services, workshops, art camps, and community art projects.
The Kutenai Art Therapy Institute Association (KATIA)
The Kutenai Art Therapy Institute operates under the umbrella of the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute Association (KATIA), an incorporated BC non-profit society and a federally registered charitable organization, incorporated as a society in February 1995, and as a charity since January 1996.
The Board of Directors for KATIA governs the Institute and are committed to the purpose and mission of the Association. The Kutenai Art Therapy Institute Association Board of Directors operates by consensus decision-making and first and second-year students are represented on the board.