Founder, Co-owner and CEO at ARTrelief™
Clinical Director & Supervisor, Counseling Services
Licensed Mental Health Counselor & Educator
Certified Expressive Arts Therapist
Certified Action Theater™ Teacher
Early Childhood Specialist
I started to dream up ARTrelief™ shortly after I began my professional work as an Expressive Arts Therapist in 2000. After almost a decade in the Mental Health field in various settings (early intervention, elder care, outpatient family services, home and school based services), I planted the seeds of ARTrelief™ out of my home studio in 2008. Two years later Gabriela Kotliar joined me to open our center in Watertown, Massachusetts.
I was born and raised in Cameroon, West Africa, with multicultural and spiritually inclusive values. I have worked with all ages, and I thrive in diversity. I speak fluent French, conversational Spanish and some American Sign Language.
For the past 20 years I have counseled people and supervised therapists on issued of anxiety, mood disorders, sensory processing disorder, trauma, adoption, loss, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, developmental and cognitive disabilities, medical issues, Alzheimer's disease, addiction, LGBTQIA+ and gender issues, pregnancy issues, caregiving issues, work-related stress, couples, families, and existential issues.
My counseling and supervision styles are person centered, relational, embodied and focused. I draw from a fusion of evidence-based practices, observation, intuition, somatic experiences, the imagination and metaphorical language, to understand and communicate with my clients. I find that being able to be open and flowing, as well as demonstrating the ability for rigor and focus, are equally valuable, depending on what is arising at any given moment. I have experience working with a wide range of expressive arts therapeutic modalities, including images, visual art, voice, music (piano, guitar, percussion), movement, metaphors, stories, Action Theater™, sensory experience, narrative and writing.
As an improvisor I enjoy the thrill and the challenge of being in the moment, practicing deep and wide listening, and responding to what announces itself. Improvisation places the creative and recovery process in a spiritual realm, it demands authenticity in the most natural and beautiful ways, it speaks the language of humanness and truth for each an everyone of us, and offers the opportunity for profound connections and transformations.