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Prairie Institute of Expressive Arts Therapy is an expressive arts-based counselling practice and training institute.


Expressive arts therapy is a cutting edge approach to addressing life’s challenges.  The experience of expressive arts might be the creation of a painting, writing of a poem, or simply a movement of the hand. Within these creative expressions lie opportunities for spaces to open and for ideas and beliefs to expand.  These are stories of possibilities.  These are the sounds when meaning is echoed in suffering.  We may delight in the surprise that emerges from ones’ work with the image, the word, or the song.


Rather than interpret their meaning we may engage with what is expressed by allowing it to speak, to tell the story of their creation, to dramatize through body movement, or simply to be with the image and listen to its’ message.  We may breathe life into what is created and journey further as we follow its’ unfolding.  Immersion into the healing power of the arts offers fresh perspectives, increased potential for change, insight, and deeper connection to self and others.





Life brings both great joy and deep suffering........Counselling is about change


Living Wide Open

I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible; to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing,  a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance, to live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom, and that which came to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.

Dawna Markova





We offer a variety of training opportunities in the field of expressive arts therapy.  These trainings include one day introductory workshops in expressive arts therapy, as well as Expressive Arts Training: Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates.









For over 20 years, Carmen has consulted with and/or provided training for many mental health programs and agencies who are interested in integrating the arts into existing therapeutic programs.


• collaboratively design arts-based programs

• support the integration of the arts into existing therapeutic programs




Carmen offers a creative and collaborative approach to clinical supervision in the areas of art therapy, expressive arts therapy, and social work practice.

• includes both individual and group supervision


For further information, call Carmen at (403)245-5553 ext 15


“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”


Rainer Maria Rilke

Letters to a Young Poet



In the silence between there is music; In the spaces between there is story.


Pay attention:

We are listening each other into being.

Sally Atkins

Sally Atkins

Therapeutic encounters with expressive arts therapy increases an individual’s

  connection to their aliveness.


A collaboration occurs between the client, the art, and the therapist.


Understanding is experienced not only in the mind, but is discovered in the body.


Moving from one art modality to another deepens the individual’s learning and

  opens one to increased possibilities for change.


Change flourishes through guided discovery and engagement with the arts.


Our ways of knowing expand through immersion with our senses.


Profound connections are made with the joining of verbal and non-verbal



Whatever you can imagine can be.


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Prairie House



1528 12th Ave SW

Calgary, AB, T3C 0P9