Posted by: mentoringstore | August 3, 2016

Celebrating the Art Therapy Program at Adler University

Community members came together at Adler University, Vancouver Campus in a collage of “Shelfies” to celebrate the completion of the first full two year cycle of the new Masters in Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy program.

Staff and faculty from all programs on campus took pictures of their bookshelves which were displayed in a visual demonstration of community support for the very first seven graduates of the MCP:AT program.

The “Shelfies” below are a true display of the diversity of roles and interests that needed to work together as one in order to successfully complete a cutting edge training program  in both verbal and meta-verbal skills for socially responsible practitioners.

It truly took a community to raise 7 new counsellor art therapists for the world!



Posted by: mentoringstore | January 20, 2016

Psychology and Art in Education

Open Art Therapy Studios and their benefits for campus life at Adler University Vancouver Campus were a conversation highlight at the 14th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education after a presentation by Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy students Raman Samra BA, Sarah Canning BA, Demill Keevil BFA and their Program Director Dr. Duanita G. Eleniak.IMG_9315

The ‘Aloha Team’s” findings, as reported in their paper, sparked keen interest at the conference which brought together hundreds of educators, academicians, mental health practitioners, and professionals in related fields from more than 30 countries worldwide to connect and discuss cross-disciplinary interests relevant to education.IMG_9244

The effectiveness of Open Art Therapy Studios in facilitating community and connection in an academic setting was demonstrated through an experiential workshop created to foster within participants the same “feelings” generated within Open Studios on campus.IMG_9314

Through this integrated experience participants left knowing in the very cells of their Being the beneficial psychological aspects of  engaging one’s creativity and how the experience of Open Studios can result in increasing the well-being and effectiveness of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community partners in an academic setting.IMG_9239


For a full reading and account of the benefits of Open Art Studios on campus, refer to the full paper here.

For a bigger picture and experience of the the MCP: Art Therapy Program at Adler University Vancouver Canada campus click here.



Duanita G. Eleniak, Ph.D., Program Director of the Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy at Adler University, Vancouver Campus is quoted on the Adler blog:
“A socially responsible art therapist will show clients how to ignite the raw material of imagination in order to actually see and touch new possibilities for a hopeful future; to elicit the emotions and vision required to transform systems, thus furthering the well-being of all.”


“Weaving together art, psychology, science, mythology, theology, heart, passion and commitment, we are able to move beyond the limitations of reason to dimensions that easily cross boundaries and allow for new and better forms to emerge.” – Eleniak –

Posted by: mentoringstore | September 16, 2015

Art Therapy Education: Adler University

Please enjoy “A Threshold for Wisdom”, welcoming words for the Fall 2015 Cohort  Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy Students at Adler University, Vancouver Campus written and delivered by  Dr. Evangeline Rand, Adjunct Faculty.


Maggie Hambling, Suffolk, England – In honor of Benjamin Britten – Scallop Shell


The Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy (MCP:AT) Program at Adler University, Vancouver Campus welcomed the  new 2015 Fall Cohort in a moving ceremony called “A Threshold to Wisdom”.

MCP: Art Therapy New Student Orientation Ceremony

MCP: Art Therapy New Student Orientation Ceremony

The ceremony was experienced in an installation created in Studio One which transformed the classroom into a sanctuary held by veils of rainbow colors representing the 7 Female Liberal Arts.

Seven Female Liberal Arts Installation

Seven Female Liberal Arts Installation

Second year students from the very first cohort of the MCP:AT program (Fall 2014) led the new students into the installation across the ‘threshold’ through the replica of a traditional Japanese ceremonial door.  They were invited to symbolically release their “old selves” and their “armour” before entering the liminal space created in their classroom in order to begin their  transformative journey over the next two years of their training.

Japanese Teahouse Styled Door created by MCP:AT student Sun Lee.

Japanese Teahouse Styled Door created by MCP:AT student Sun Lee.

Students line up wearing masks just before the ceremony.

Students donned masks made by the 2014 Cohort Students and moved into the role of their creatures as they entered a sacred circle around the traditional Class Canvass which MCP: Art Therapy students make at the beginning of their studies.

Dr. Rand Begins the Storytelling

Dr. Evangeline Rand, Adjunct Faculty at the Vancouver Campus, led the rite of passage in story-telling fashion.  Dressed in full costume she read her moving speech as she pulled artifacts from her vest pockets (fashioned in the style of a Jewish prayer shawl) to illustrate the story.The Canvas for the Traditional Cohort Mandala is Prepared

The new students were then witnessed by students, faculty, staff, the Dean and Alumni of Adler University as they made their first “marks” on the 2015 Traditional Class Canvass.

The 2015 MCP:AT Cohort Class Canvas is Complete

The 2015 MCP:AT Cohort Class Canvas is Complete

After the ceremony the community enjoyed a delightful feast in celebration of the beginning of a new academic year!

Wonderful Food Amidst a Seashore Theme

Wonderful Food Amidst a Seashore Theme

The feast was prepared by second year MCP:AT students.

The feast was prepared by second year MCP:AT students.

Tea in

Tea in “fancy teacups” are a Signature feature of the MCP:AT Program

Posted by: mentoringstore | August 12, 2015

International Social Justice Practicums at Adler University

Panchayat Students

Younger and older students work together on therapeutic art activities lead by Cassandra Evans.

Adler University prides itself on it’s contribution to the international community and aims to train socially responsible practitioners and international citizens. Three Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy students, along with three Master of Counselling students, traveled to Chennai, and Mamallapuram, in the Tamil Nadu region of India to complete their Social Justice Practicum (SJP). Working closely with local organizations, students will provide skilled volunteer services for one month.

Smiling student working independently on his artwork.

Smiling student working independently on his artwork.

Two of these students, Cassandra Evans and Lauren O’Keefe, are working closely with United Community Action Network (UCAN). UCAN is a not for profit organization run by a Mamallapuram local that has been providing assistance to the rural surrounding areas of the town for over ten years.

Students actively listening to instructions.

Students actively listening to instructions.

 Lauren and Cassandra are working closely to provide therapeutic art activities with students at the Panchayat Primary School, a government school which provides free education to low income families in the rural area. The school is open to gypsies, tribal people and Indians of all religions and castes. The school is a two-room structure that educates 25 students grades one through five under the watchful eye of one teacher and one assistant.

Cassandra Evans working with children at the Panchayat Primary School.

Cassandra Evans working with children at the Panchayat Primary School.

Stay tuned for more images coming out of India!

Posted by: mentoringstore | July 3, 2015

Social Justice Practicums at Adler University

Adler University is dedicated to training socially responsible practitioners. As part of the curriculum, students are required to complete a Social Justice Practicum (SJP) where they serve in the community doing a variety of projects. When the SJP’s are completed there is a Poster Presentation Event which allows students the opportunity to share their work with the community and their peers.


Lauren O’Keefe and Sun Lee with their SJP poster.

Summer 2015 marks the first time Vancouver Campus MCP: Art Therapy students presented posters.  Students Lauren O’Keefe and Sun Lee presented on their work with the Self Compassion Oriented Resilience Building Program at Simon Fraser University.  This is an award winning program developed by Megan Pinfield who supervised the students in their SJP as one of the University’s many community partners.


Raman Samra with her creative SJP poster.

Raman Samra, a creative  leader in the 2014 MCP:Art Therapy Cohort, presented a “poster mural” which illustrated and brought together a number of different Open Studios done by MCP: Art Therapy students in their SJP’s through The Mentoring Store. The Open Studios were held on campus at Adler University and provided a way for students, faculty, staff, and alumni to come together and support each other as a community.

By hosting this SJP on campus, Adler University demonstrated a commitment to social responsibility “beginning at home” and an ability to “walk its talk”.  Open Studios allowed a place for Adler community members to engage in creative explorations in art, conversations and connections.

Raman’s poster inspired everyone to think outside the box, or in this case, rectangle!  Truly symbolic of the forward thinking training provided at Adler University!


Lauren O’Keefe, Sun Lee, & Raman Samra with their program director Dr. Duanita Eleniak.

Posted by: mentoringstore | May 27, 2015

Adler University at CACUSS 2015

lauren meg and craig 2015

Lauren O’Keefe, Megan Pinfield, Craig Lee outside their SCORB presentation.

Masters of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy students Lauren O’Keefe and Craig Lee assist in bringing art into university campuses across Canada at the 2015 Canadian Association of University Student Services conference.
Along side their Social Justice Practicum supervisor, Megan Pinfield; Lauren and Craig assisted in presenting the “SCORB” or Self Compassion Oriented Resilience Building Program to a wide range of student service representatives from all over Canada.

craig 2015

Craig Lee and the ‘Mark-in’ canvas.

Pictured in their SCORB aprons, the trio encouraged adults to pick up a crayon and touch it to paper. Attendees were encouraged to “mark in” on the community canvas prior to receiving their information booklet and finding a seat at the round tables. For many of the professionals it was their first time holding these supplies since childhood.

lauren and craig 2015

Lauren O’Keefe and Craig Lee

The presentation was very well received and included many of the interactive activities students can expect to encounter when they come to a SCORB class. Look for the SCORB program, or any arts based student services coming to a campus near you!

lauren 2015

Lauren O’Keefe and SCORB material

Posted by: mentoringstore | March 8, 2015

Art Therapy Education: “The River of Life” Open Studio

“The River of Life” is a directive that MCP: Art Therapy student Sarah Canning led during Open Studio at Adler U, Vancouver Campus.

Working in Studio One at Adler U, Vancouver Campus

Working in Studio One at Adler U, Vancouver Campus

Open Studio is hosted by MCP: Art Therapy students as part of their Social Justice Practicum at the Mentoring Store.  It’s purpose is to provide a creative environment at the school where students, faculty and staff can experience an ‘oasis’ and connect with the “best versions’ of themselves and with each other.  It has become a great space for the Adler U community members to slow down and reflect during their busy lives in academia and is a focal point igniting strong community connections on campus.

‘The River of Life” was presented as an activity which worked with the image of a  ‘river’ as a metaphor for how one can see their own life journey.  Participants were directed to visualize their own river; some may have started in the mountains, others in a lake.  Each twist and turn the river makes allowed participants to symbolize something in their own journey through life.

Absorbed in the Work

Absorbed in the Work

Some participants used boulders and violent water to depict more difficult times in their life, while happy times were often shown through more serene looking waters and calm surroundings.

This exercise gave participants a chance to reflect on what they have gone through in their life to get to their present point. The sun streamed into the large windows in Studio One as participants engaged with the paint and images that flowed onto the easels.  Soft music played.  A pregnant silence ensued and participants were swept away in their memories and in their imaginings.

“The River of Life” is a great way to honor what our journey has been.  It is a way to be mindful of where we may want our river to go next.

'Rivers of Life'

‘Rivers of Life’

Posted by: mentoringstore | March 8, 2015

Valentines for Veterans


Students, staff and faculty of Adler University, Vancouver Campus rallied together in support of our Canadian veterans. Visitors to Studio One (the MCP: Art Therapy program classroom) created beautiful hand-made cards that contained a special Valentine message.

The cards were then sent to Veteran’s Affairs, where they were forwarded on to veterans living in long-term care facilities all across Canada.

Valentines for Vets, first began in 1989 when American columnist the late Ann Landers asked readers to send special valentines to veterans living in care homes. Veteran’s Affairs Canada began collecting and distributing valentines in 1996 and has since annually continued the program in support of our Canadian veterans.

Adler University focuses on social action and training socially responsible practitioners. These values are reflected in the kindness and support expressed in the loving messages created for our elderly veterans in appreciation of all that they have done for us historically.

For more information on Valentines for Vets please visit Veteran’s Affairs Canada

By: Lauren O’Keefe MCP:Art Therapy Student, Adler University and Dr. Eleniak Program Director

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »