My name is Nick Zwaagstra and I am director of Chebucto Art Therapy & Counselling Centre (CATCC), I am a Registered Art Therapist (RCAT) in Canada, a Certified Canadian Counsellor (CCC) and a Registered Counselling Therapist (RCT) in Nova Scotia. I have 18 years’ experience in counselling and specialize in Art Therapy.
I attended The King's College (now King's University College) in Edmonton, Alberta and completed my Undergraduate Education at Calvin College, Michigan where I graduated in 1984, with Bachelor of Arts (BA), Sociology / Social work. I worked in a variety of human service fields including child and youth care, HIV / AIDs support, and mental health. I pursued my passion and completed my art therapy training at Vancouver Art Therapy Institute (VATI), 1996 and ultimately achieved a Master of Counselling Degree from University of Athabasca, 2008.
I have extensive experience with mental health and wellness promotion, self-esteem, gender issues, grief & loss, trauma life threatening illness & palliative care, stress mitigation and more. I provide services for adults, youth and children; individual, dyadic or groups and offer workshops, presentations, consulting & supervision. I have also successfully facilitated numerous workshops, presentations and have conducted training session in Canada and internationally.
My central vision is to live authentically, passionately and empower others through creative expression. I can relate to many people and contribute from what I have learned through profound and basic life experiences. I have been able to overcome many challenges related to mental health and wellness; identity and diversity; multiple losses; and physical and spiritual issues too. At core, I remain a resilient person with many interests including, art, drama, music, gardening, biking and traveling multicultural pursuits.
Mission Statement (CATCC)
CATCC provides quality clinical services and art therapy education harmonized with best practice, and professional ethics. Through CATCC we help promote arts-based wellness and holistic practice that is sensitive to culture, diversity and context. Collaboration, genuine connection, safety and trust are key aspects. The director and future clinical associates are registered or certified with appropriate professional bodies.
Description of services at CATCC
There are three main components: (1) Art Therapy and Counselling clinical services e.g. individual or group, children / youth / adults (mental health and wellness, bereavement, trauma, stress management and resiliency etc. (2) Education (Art Therapy training and Professional Development) (3) Consulting
My personal approach to Counselling and Art Therapy:
My approach involves guiding people towards self-discovery, as well as setting and reviewing goals, collaborating and supporting. This includes involving people of all ages and their stories together with the richness of images, symbols and metaphors. Growth and healing comes through a verbal and non-verbal process.
As an integrative Art Therapist and Counsellor, I support deeper work to help resolve core issues. I am also solution-focused and promote resilience. While it is not possible to change the events of the past I believe we can work together to better understand long-standing issues and resolve challenges in your life. By applying a variety of integrative and creative approaches we will explore new perspectives and build new coping strategies for a more fulfilling and meaningful life. If you are looking for extra support and guidance to deal with challenges or just ready to explore new directions for your life, I look forward to working with you to achieve your goals.
Art Therapy: Briefly Described.
In art therapy communication is art-based and comes through images and symbols. People of all ages, through the creative process of Art Therapy, can explore personal issues and feelings more deeply and safely than with words alone. This, together with counselling helps people to acknowledge the past, manage current situations more effectively and actively work towards a more positive future. I look forward to working with you.