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Hello

I'm Laurie Potter (she/her/hers). I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) with the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors, a Creative Arts Therapist (MA) and a Registered Dance Movement Therapist (RDMT) with the American Dance Therapy Association, 

and a professional member of The Dance Movement Therapy Association in Canada

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My Education and Experience

  • I hold a Master's in Creative Arts Therapies from Concordia University, specializing in Drama Therapy, a graduate diploma in Dance/Movement Therapy from Les Grands Ballets Canadiens

  • I am currently in intermediate level training (2022) with the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute 

  • I have a background in dance and the arts and spent my early professional years as an English language teacher and early childhood arts educator in Paris, Berlin and in Canada. I have a Master's of Fine Arts in Visual Anthropology from University Paris Nanterre. In discovering Creative Arts Therapies, I channelled my love of the arts into a healing tool to work with others.

  • With over 7 years of experience practicing as a therapist, I have had the privilege to work in a variety of clinical, school and community settings including, The English Montreal School Board, The Margeurite Bourgeoys School Board, The National Centre for Dance Therapy in Montreal, various care homes for elders, Parkinson en Mouvement, private practice and three years with remote, rural, indigenous communities of the Tsilhqot'in Nation in the interior region of so-called "British Columbia"

My work is informed by the following therapeutic approaches, frameworks and philosophical theories: 

I work with children, youth, adults and elders experiencing issues related to: 

  • Anxiety & Depression

  • Grief & Loss

  • Intergenerational, Historical and Colonial Trauma

  • Attachment Injury/Developmental Trauma

  • Experiences of oppression

  • Life transitions, personal growth, meaning making

  • Relationship challenges

  • Stress

  • Emotional Regulation

  • Self-Exploration and Expression

  • Resiliency and coping skills

  • School difficulties 

  • Developmental, Physical and Intellectual Challenges

  • Dementia and Alzhiemer's 

  • Parkinson's

  • Somatic/Body-based trauma processing

  • Attachment Theory

  • Decolonization

  • Psychodynamic Therapy

  • Compassionate Mindfulness

  • Anti-oppression

  • Polyvagal 

  • Land-based healing practices

  • Inner child theory

  • Internal Family Systems 

  • Movement Analysis (Laban, Kestenberg Profile) 

Who I've been taught by

I have benefitted from the mentorship and teachings of many throughout my foundation as a therapist/counsellor.

The faculty of Concordia University and Les Grands Ballets-Alternate route training imprinted me with a deep and rich understanding of how creative processes can support healing in new and transformative ways that move beyond traditional talk therapy. I received further supervision and mentorship from Hana Kamea and Jennifer Mullan from Decolonizing therapy. I am currently instructed by Dea Parsanishi at the Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Institute.  

Movement and integrating the body have been integral into my formation as a therapist. I have studied many forms of dance in my youth and have found particular support in exploring Gaga Movement , Authentic Movement, Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy and various forms of meditation and yoga. Since I was young, I've learned to use nature as a grounding tool and support for well-being.  

I have learned about embodied anti-racism practice from Resmaa Menakem and pleasure activism from Adrienne Marie Brown and work to embed these practices into my daily life and counselling work. 

In my time working as a Mental Health Counsellor with the Tsilhqot'in Nation, I had the privilege of learning about indigenous land-based healing, plant medicines, the medicine wheel and decolonized, holistic healing practices. I am forever grateful to the elders and community members who shared their knowledge with me; their use of the land in healing practices has greatly informed and deepened my work. 

 A bit more about me:

I am a white, cis-female settler of Scottish, Irish & English descent. My pronouns are she/her. I currently live with and work within the traditional territories of the Nuu-chah-nulth people, specifically the ćišaaʔatḥ (Tseshaht) and the Hupač ̓ asatḥ First Nations, in so-called "Port Alberni," B.C. 

 

I support collective healing and liberation and denounce all forms of colonial violence and white supremacy. I recognize ongoing oppression and inequality as a mental health issue. I stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples, Black people, people of colour and members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. I work to uproot oppressive systems in the world at large, the counselling world, and in my own life through my own ancestry and healing work, advocacy, and anti-racist training. I work with supervisors and mentors to continually support and improve the services I provide as culturally responsive, decolonized and anti-oppressive. 

 

When I'm not working as a counsellor/creative art therapist, I spend time doing things that nourish me and bring me joy. I love being close to water and trees, dancing, connecting with my creativity, learning, fostering wellness and connection within my community, eating great food, laughing and enjoying time with dear friends, my sweet baby and my partner.