Pleasure and Hope
"I came here full of hopes, sorrows and fears. I was hiding inside my body and my mind. I felt so small; I did not want to be seen. Each day I would look in the mirror at my body and could not love it. It took up too much space. I called Expression LaSalle and was informed of a space in drama therapy. I plunged-in with dread and pleasure. Others looked at me and I looked at them as well. Together we created stories and tales, played out scenes from our lives. We were able to touch and acknowledge each other. I learned to trust very slowly; while giving furtive looks around myself, while smiling. We started to play, to create little universes and characters. We shared them, we cried, and also laughed a lot. Voila, it is now finished, but I take with me the little sparks of life found in each and every one of us. Thank you Carrie and Maud for all your guidance on the road of our lives and thank you Line for your warm welcome."
"I'm extremely grateful for my experience at Expression LaSalle. It always seems to pull out of me thoughts and feelings I didn't even know existed or had simply forgotten. Group therapy is already so dynamic to me and with the added elements of art, music or drama it's also exciting and challenging. I could be laughing one minute and then suddenly be crying either tears of compassion, pain, sadness or joy. I really appreciate the feedback from the therapist as well as input from the other women in the group as we developed trust and shared in the wonders of the healing and growing process, all while offering me an alternative to just talking and getting lost in words. I feel like I'm participating in a shared and individual experience. Taking a journey into the unknown with a creative guide and beautiful travel companions. Stepping out of my comfort zone and finding new ones in a safe environment. My heartfelt thanks to Expression LaSalle for giving me such easy access to these magical ways of finding, expressing and loving my true self."
"When I started at Expression LaSalle I hoped to discover through art therapy what was always going wrong with me. After years of individual therapy, I had difficulty recognizing my identity and inherent value. I was missing something. I registered for an art therapy group on the theme of sexual abuse. It was a first for me. To freely share my experiences with others and to listen to theirs, in a trusting and respectful environment, allowed me to feel normal in my reactions and unique feelings, in the after-effects of an abnormal situation. I had read testimonials, but being in the presence of people who had a similar experience to mine made a big difference. Our therapist Anne Benoit was from my point of view extraordinarily efficient. Through her pertinent themes she fostered the exploration of our internal meanderings. The ambience during our workshops assisted us to externalize ourselves into our art. To have the opportunity to look at what I expressed through my drawings or collages allowed me insight into my past and what I was currently going through. My whole life took form like a sequence of events that had repercussions on the future. What was awakened in me was a feeling of pride to be who I am, despite and because of this traumatizing past. It will soon be a year that I finished this therapy. I can say at this time that it has had some permanent effects; I feel happier, more confident, safer, and there are some memories that have not returned. Thank you to Anne and to my group. Thank you to Line for her warm welcome every week. During the fall season in which my group started, we received an invitation to join the Board of Directors. I decided to get involved and I do not regret my decision. It makes me feel like I belong and I am validated. I also find it important that the members have an opportunity to express themselves about the functioning of the organization. There as well, I received a warm and favourable welcome. The initiation to the tasks was simple and I encourage those interested to try out the experience."
"Hello my name is Jennifer and I am currently a member of Expression LaSalle. I am very grateful for having the opportunity to take art therapy with them as I was struggling with depression and isolating myself. I couldn't find the strength to do things that I once enjoyed doing. I attended my first group therapy meeting and found that I felt safe and I could talk about feelings that I never would have addressed on my own but would have kept covering up with my addiction. It is at the end of my group now and I feel a lot better having expressed myself through my art and talking about what is happening with me. I now take the time to sit down and do something that I once enjoy again."
"I have been in group therapy for a few years now, I have learned a lot about myself by interacting and getting support from the people participating in the group and from the therapist. This has been an extraordinary journey, I found that I have progressed a lot in this environment and am very grateful towards Expression LaSalle for helping me regain my self-esteem with dignity, in a compassionate and dynamic way."
"At Expression LaSalle I received a warm welcome from the wonderful Line. Through the clinical workers such as Julia, Blanche, Julie, Esther, and most likely another that I am forgetting; I never felt judged, belittled or neglected. On the contrary, I received warmth, listening, empathy, comfort and reassurance on my core self. You have to come to Expression LaSalle to receive all of this. Expression LaSalle must stay here always. It's not everyone that can afford to pay therapy at $80 a visit. A million congratulations to Julia and to her team that know very well how to recruit other clinical workers who have the potential to help us."
"Let me introduce myself, my name is Lise. I have been attending an art therapy group since "93. During these numerous years, I got to know several art therapists and each of them brought me something different. Some were able to help me grieve for things lost. I now leave the group and Expression LaSalle equipped with tools to confront the future and face the reminders of the past. I want to thank all the members that over the years, through their testimonials have brought me aid and comfort."
"As a social work student at Expression LaSalle I found in the clinical team more than colleagues, but kindred spirits who truly believe in the inherent worth of their clientele and strive everyday to support them through their personal paths to recovery. In the guidance and expertise of the director, I was privileged to a treasure trove of wisdom for which I will be ever grateful. Expression LaSalle is truly a gem among community organizations providing services in mental health. Their legacy in the last two decades is more than a pioneering endeavour, but has also been a labour of love."