A Lifes Journey Counselling and Art Therapy

About Helen

Professional Background

Helen Stirling (Bzdel) has both a Master and Bachelor degree in Social Work, a post-graduate/advanced diploma in Art Therapy and a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree. Helen is a Certified Laughter Leader - Expert Level Practitioner and is the Canadian trainer for the World Laughter Tour. Helen is also a Certified Zentangle Teacher.

Helen obtained her certificate in Choice Theory and Reality Therapy in February, 2010 through the William Glasser Institute. Helen holds certificates in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM): Individual Crisis Intervention, and Peer Support and Critical Incident Stress Management: Group Crisis Intervention. Helen offers traditional psychotherapy as well as art therapy.

Helen brings a variety of education, work and life experiences to her practice. Helen has over twenty-five years of experience in working with children, adolescents and adults of various ethnicities and cultures. These clients have often been in crisis, whether in the community, or in youth and adult correctional facilities. Helen has extensive experience facilitating groups. She is registered with the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers (SASW) as a Registered Social Worker and is also on the SASW Private Practice Registry. Helen is also registered as a Social Worker for web-based therapy in the province of Alberta. She is a Registered member of CATA (Canadian Art Therapy Association), a Professional Member with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), and a member of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association (CPPA). Helen has presented on the benefits of art therapy in an adult forensic/psychiatric setting at conferences at both a national and international level.

Helen is a graduate of the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute's eighteen-month distance post-graduate program on Granville Island in Vancouver, British Columbia. Helen also holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Sociology, and a Master of Social Work.

The Vancouver Art Therapy Institute's program includes course work in areas such as human development, psychology, art therapy history, grief and loss, equity and diversity, ethics, group art therapy and family art therapy. There are two intensive residencies where there was course work as well as open studio time for Helen to learn about herself as an art therapist and a counsellor, as well as to try out various types of art supplies and techniques.

Helen had the benefit of delivering over 350 hours of individual and group art therapy in the areas of anger and emotions management, mental health/wellness, grief and loss, addictions, anxiety, depression, at-risk/unhealthy behaviours/lifestyle, family of origin issues, relationships, trauma, identity, self-esteem, self-harming behaviours, adjusting to incarceration, insight into offending behaviours, domestic violence, treatment readiness, mood disorders, personality disorders, behavioural disorders, and improving interpersonal skills during her practicum and she has continued to work in these areas since then. Helen achieved registration with the Canadian Art Therapy Association after receiving 50 hours of supervision for 1,000 hours of offering art therapy to clients after she completed her post-graduate diploma in art therapy.

Practicum and work settings have included an adult forensic/psychiatric facility for male and female federal offenders, her own private practice (A Life's Journey Counselling & Art Therapy), a program for youth in the care of the Ministry of Social Services through Big Brothers Big Sisters Saskatoon, a program for matches between ‘Bigs' and ‘Littles' with Big Brothers Big Sisters Saskatoon, inner-city youth and young adults who participate in programming at Core Neighbourhood Youth Coop through Boys & Girls Club of Saskatoon, and a home for young mothers who live with their young children.

Interests

Helen enjoys reading, photography, learning new things, laughing, knitting, scrapbooking and card making, spending time with family, friends, and her fur babies, as well as riding her Harley Davidson motorcycle that she named Brutus. Helen has been involved in teaching therapeutic laughter sessions and giving presentations on the many benefits of laughter since December of 2007. Helen volunteered as a Social Work Mentor at the SWITCH (Student Wellness Initiative Toward Community Health) Clinic in the Westside Community Clinic from its inception in October of 2006 until January of 2010 when she no longer had time to mentor. Helen was a volunteer member of Saskatoon Search and Rescue from February, 2009 until December, 2011 and was their Clinical Consultant. Helen has always been creative. She is excited to have added art therapy to both her life and her therapy practice with clients and is finding the benefit that art brings in her own journey.


Helen Stirling (Bzdel)
BA, MSW, RSW(SK, AB), RCAT, DVATI
Registered Social Worker, Registered Art Therapist
Approved Mental Health Therapist for Indigenous Services Canada
EAP/EFAP provider, Victims Services provider
Certified Laughter Leader - Expert Level Practitioner
Canadian trainer for World Laughter Tour

Macro Building (3rd floor)
316 - 115 - 2nd Avenue North
Saskatoon, SK S7K 2B1

Phone: 306-222-0563

Contact Us Online

Helen Stirling

Helen Stirling

Testimonials From Current & Previous Clients


"A Life's Journey Counselling has been my 'Road to Recovery'. Helen has given me the tools in which to grow and when I stumble, she picks me up and encourages me to laugh and try again! I can't imagine going through life without her support." C.S.

"Helen's mentorship and support is deeply respectful and non-directive. She listens carefully and gently offers insightful questions and ideas to consider, creating a very comfortable and inviting space to creatively express and explore oneself." K.B.

"I highly recommend Helen as a counsellor and Art therapist. I have been seeing Helen regularly since November of 2019. She was always available if I needed help between sessions. I had never tried art therapy, it has helped in every aspect of my life. I was having trouble sleeping and experienced panic attacks at night. I am able to sleep now and rarely have a panic attack. I have been able to get back to enjoying my own art making and creativity. I feel am much more assertive at work and home, and am able to establish healthy boundaries. I am much more relaxed in general. I am able to allow myself time to heal and be more creative. I was experiencing creative blocks prior to seeing Helen, these blocks are also going away. She is such a great person, very easy to talk to, best counsellor I have had period." T.B.
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