This  is the character for plum blossom. It represents my Chinese name, Amai.

In Chinese philosophy, the plum tree's blossom is a symbol of perseverance, resilience, and hope. The blossoms are known to bloom vibrantly, even in the harsh winter snow, signifying that happiness and beauty can bloom in even the darkest times throughout our lives.

 

*Please note, while I understand and speak Cantonese at a conversational level, I can only offer counselling in English 

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Amai (Emilie) Luc, MC:AT
Registered Psychologist, Art Therapist
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My Approach: As a Registered Psychologist and Certified Art Therapist, I bring a unique perspective and approach to therapy. I use experiential, body-focussed, and process-oriented approaches drawing on Art Therapy, Mindfulness, Natural Processing, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). This means that while we will talk during your counselling session, the aim is to help you to experience the session.

 

I tap into the wisdom of the body and help you to listen to the stories it tells through your felt experiences of chronic stress, pain, and illness. I can support you in learning to recognize and safely feel your feelings so that you are not overwhelmed by them. Whether your distress is from childhood abuse/neglect, long-standing relationship dynamics, or from single incident events such as a motor vehicle accident, I can help you to understand the ways you have naturally adapted to survive the stressful or traumatic experiences.  

Together, we can sift through which adaptations are currently helpful to keep and which are ready to be released. Ultimately, I hope to help you process your feelings and find healing of body, mind, and spirit.

 

Population Focus: During my training (2013) and early career, I worked with traumatized children and their families. It was both difficult as well as rewarding work. These young people had very little control over their environments. They were exposed to domestic violence, had fled war-torn countries, and witnessed events that left them unable to rest, feel safe in their own bodies, and develop normally. Luckily, those children had access to counselling support and have hopefully grown into well-functioning adults.

 

Today, I mainly work with adult populations and I have a special interest in working with adults facing their childhood traumas or other unresolved issues. It's not too late for you to get support if you never had the chance to have early interventions, were not ready, or perhaps never realized how your childhood or adverse events have affected you and contributed to your current experience. I aim to bring the unconscious or subconscious to awareness through examining the somatic (body) cues and thus changing your relationship to that information.

I invite you to connect with me today and take a step toward your personal growth and wellness. 

I offer a free 20 minute confidential, no-obligation phone or video consult to discuss your needs. Take advantage of this opportunity to ask questions and get a feel for whether I might be a good fit for you. Contact now.

 

 

I look forward to meeting. 

If you feel stuck or find that traditional talk therapy has been ineffective for you, process work might be a welcome approach to addressing those issues.

Academic Credentials​

  • Master of Counselling in Art Therapy (MC:AT), Athabasca University

  • Advanced Diploma in Art Therapy, Vancouver Art Therapy Institute

  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology major, University of Victoria

Associations

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In therapy, I sometimes hear, "I have no words for this". We are naturally creative beings and the non-verbal parts of our experience are just as valid and worthy of expression as those parts that we are able to articulate. If you choose to, we can explore your situation through imagery and art making. You do not need any art experience to participate in art therapy and it can be used in combination with other approaches such as EMDR. 

What is Art Therapy?*

  • The research has shown that when people are experiencing stress or trauma, the speech centres in the brain receive less blood, hence there is a sense of having "no words". Art is one way to access those centres in a trauma sensitive way. Art therapy has the power to bring about processing on a body level through channels that talk therapy cannot access readily.

  • Art therapy is the use of imagery, colour, and art materials (markers, paint, pastels, tissue paper, clay) to facilitate expression. It can include poetry, rhythm, body movements or any creative expression. In session, you might engage in an art making process and then explore the "artwork" and the experience of "making" with your therapist. You might gain new insights or find an outlet to express yourself.

  • Art therapy can be thought of as:

    • a meeting place between art and therapy

    • a way of being 

    • another language through which people speak difficult emotions. 

*There are many ways to practice art therapy.  These are my practices based on my own perspective of the theories that resonate with me.

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My Journey: I have been in the helping profession since 2003.  My early work included volunteering as a teacher's assistant to support new immigrants with language skills and customs. I then took this experience with me to Bangkok, Thailand to teach English at an elementary school. I returned to Canada and continued my work with people as a nursing attendant. With each new path I found myself hungry for more meaning and depth in the connections I made with others. After exploring this through my own counselling, I decided to follow my passion to help and continued my journey as a lifelong learner in the field of psychology.

Here are some of the trainings and workshops I have attended:​

  • Psychological Trauma: Neuroscience, Embodiment, and the Restoration of Self - 33rd Annual Boston International Trauma Conference - Virtual attendance, Bessel van Der Kolk et al., May 18 to 21, 2022

  • Introduction to the DNMS: Stabilization Interventions to Prepare Dysregulated, Dissociative, Attachment-Wounded Clients for EMDR - Webinar, Shirley Jean Schmidt, Jan 5, 2022

  • The Psychology of Pain, CAP PD Event - Dr. Michael Sullivan (Keynote), Dr. Melanie Noel, Dr. Bruce Dick, Dr. Lauren Walker, Dr. Caelin White, September 16, 2021

  • Workshop Series on Anti-Oppression Practices in Creative Therapies - Webinar, Virginia Jahyu, CATA-ACAT, Part 1: Liberation Healing, Feb 20, 2021, Part 2: Power Oppression, Resistance, and Resilience, April 10, 2021

  • A Natural Processing Perspective for Working Remotely in the Midst of COVIDTaking a Somatic Approach - Webinar, Craig Penner, April 19, 2020

  • Tele-Play Therapy - Webinar, Theresa Fraser, March 22, 2020

  • 8 Phases of EMDR Therapy with Children and Adolescents, Jackie Flynn, March 14 & 15, 2020

  • Natural Processing Part I: Integrating Somatic Psychotherapy with EMDR TherapyCraig Penner, June 14 to 17, 2018

  • Aggression in Play Therapy: A Neurobiological Approach for Integrating Intensity, Lisa Dion, APTA, May 4 & 5, 2018

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy - Basic Training, Ted Olejnik, Trauma Recovery - Humanitarian Assistance Programs, Parts 1 and 2, January 27-29, 2018 & April 27-29, 2018.

  • Sandtray Revisited, Theresa Fraser, APTA, Nov 11, 2017

  • Partners in Play: Adlerian Applications of Play Therapy, Dr. Terry Kottman, The Rocky Mountain Play Therapy Institute, Nov 2 & 3, 2017

  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training Tune-up, Centre for Suicide Prevention, Oct 4, 2017

  • Self-regulation and Anxiety: Making Sense Through Brain Science and Harnessing the Power of Co-regulation, Hannah Sun-Reid, APTA, May 26 & 27, 2017

  • The Art of Loss, Tatjana Jansen, VATI Course, Jan 11 – Mar 7, 2017

  • Decolonization and Intergenerational Trauma, Kathleen Gorman, ACWS, Mar 3, 2017

  • Ethics: Foundations, Forms/Revisions, Consent & Record Keeping, Dawn McBride, ACWS, Feb 21 & 22, 2017

  • Group Therapy Training Workshop, Gabrielle Korell & Dawn McBride, YWCA, Sept 17 & 24, 2016

  • Reinspired: Resource-Building in Expressive Arts Therapies, Jenne Newman & Carmen Richardson, APTA, April 8 & 9, 2016

  • All In the Family: The Creative Use of Play in Family Therapy, Greg Lubimiv, APTA, Nov 21, 2015

  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT-informed), Lana Bentley, YWCA, Aug 29, 2015

  • Using Popular Culture in Work with Children & Teens, Cyndi Starzyk-Frey, APTA, May 29, 2015

  • Unique Issues in Working with LGBTQ Communities, Jane Oxenbury & Cindy Willet, YWCA, April 30, 2015

  • Putting the Pieces Together Through Play: Healing Trauma and Attachment Wounds, Paris Goodyear-Brown, APTA, April 17 & 18, 2015

  • Expressive Arts Therapy for the Treatment of Trauma in Children and Adolescents: A Four-Phase Model, Carmen Richardson, APTA, Feb 27, 2015

  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, Centre for Suicide Prevention, Nov 20 & 21, 2014

  • Domestic Violence 101, Gary Gibbens, YWCA, Sept 23, 2014

  • Summary of Neurosequential Model Symposium, Rhonda Kent, YWCA, Sept 11, 2014

  • Good Grief 1, Hospice Calgary, Sage Centre, Apr 10 - May 17, 2013

  • Volunteer Training, Hospice Calgary, Sage Centre, Apr 10 – May 29, 2012

  • Aboriginal Awareness, Distress Centre, June 2, 2011

  • Calgary Police Service Hostage Negotiation Information, Distress Centre, Jan 24, 2011

  • Volunteer Training, Distress Centre, Nov 16 – Dec 7, 2010