Catherine Cunningham-Dunlop, Ph.D., DVATI

Catherine Cunningham-Dunlop View Specialties

Catherine (Cathie) is an Art Therapist experienced in working with children, teenagers, families and adults. Cathie has worked in health care settings (BC Cancer Agency, Surrey Memorial Hospital - Adolescent Psychiatry Unit), with community organizations (Ishtar Transitions Housing Society, Clubhouse Without Walls), and in private practice at the Blue Spark Art Studio. Cathie approaches all her work with compassion, creativity and caring.  

Art therapy sessions take place in a therapeutic setting which provides a supportive environment for the expression and processing of feelings through art-making. Art therapy is not the same as art class because the focus is on the process more than on the product, and there is the therapeutic goal of connecting to the art in order to enhance understanding of one's inner world. 
Art therapy combines visual art and psychotherapy in a creative process using the created image as a foundation for self-exploration and understanding. Thoughts and feelings often reach expression in images rather than in words. Through the use of art therapy, feelings and inner conflicts can be projected into visual form. In the creative act, conflict is re-experienced, resolved and integrated.”— British Columbia Art Therapy Association (
Cathie has a Post-Master's Advanced Diploma in Art Therapy (Vancouver Art Therapy Institute) and is Professional member of the BC Association of Art Therapy. Cathie also has a Ph.D. in Educational Studies (University of British Columbia) and extensive training in visual arts (specializing in mixed media painting through workshops with artists Nick Bantock, Lisa Gibbons, and Kate Thompson; and in oil painting with Justin Ogilvie).
In addition to being an Art Therapist, Cathie is also an artist, an educator, and a program evaluator. Cathie is currently providing eCoaching services to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for staff stationed in the field who are taking management courses by distance. Also, Cathie is the evaluator for the Virtual University for the Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC), an educational network spread over 30 countries. Cathie also teaches creative expression workshops onsite in the studio and within organizations. She is intrigued by the notion of honouring the sacred in the everyday and creating new beginnings. Cathie is committed to the perspective that art is a way of knowing...and a way of keeping the internal blue spark lit.
Guard that blue spark within you - that blue spark that is your genius, your inspiration, your wonder, the seed of your most secret and inviolate dreams.     - Slippery Elm, poet 

Dr. Catherine Cunningham-Dunlop Reaches

Kitsilano BC