Our Story

 

Full Circle -Art Therapy Centre was founded by Pearl Lee and Lacey Ford, two classmates from the Toronto Art Therapy Institute (T.A.T.I) in 2014.

 

Through personal experiences, they both found mental health services to be quite limited for individuals in low-economic situations. Although affordable services are available, to receive assistance, individuals are placed on long waiting lists.  They both understood that therapy and the personal decision to seek help does not start with the first session, but the moment an individual decides to seek help. And the waiting time and financial constraints make the long waiting process unbearable for those in great need of assistance. Full Circle- Art Therapy Centre was created in the hope of filing this gap.  
Full Circle -Art Therapy Centre is committed to operating with full integrity and authenticity.  We are committed to constant personal growth and continuous education in the field of Art Therapy and within it's community.  We are motivated and driven to fulfill our vision of affordable mental health services for all.  
 

Our Mission

We provide affordable mental health services to a variety of populations in the GTA, through group and individual art therapy sessions. We focus on client-centred treatment and an individual's positive strengths which allows for the expression of their authentic self, through creative means tailored to their needs. 
 

Our Vision

We are committed to delivering affordable mental health services for all individuals and creating strong connections and partnerships with different communities and organizations.  

Our priorities as an organization

1) Increasing Availability & Accessibility to Art Therapy

Through on-site and off -site art therapy services, we aim to increase availability and accessibilities to affordable art therapy services to communities in the GTA. This serves to decrease wait times for local mental health support and to provide individuals with access to ‘alternative’ mental health treatment.


2) Increasing Awareness about Art Therapy

We will educate the public about art therapy through information sessions and workshops designed to show how art therapy can be used to maintain mental wellbeing (proactive approach rather than solution based as we traditionally treat mental wellbeing).  


3) Community Engagement and Advocacy

Empowering individuals in the community to find their voices through art therapy projects, and engage other community members to contribute to positive changes in their community.


Our Team

 
Pearl.jpg

Pearl Lee

Co-founder/CEO, B.A Honours, D.T.A.T.I

Pearl grew up in Hong Kong and Malaysia. She never thought that she had the ‘artistic skill’ or ‘technique’ to create any meaningful art, since she always failed her art classes. But during her high school years, she became more interested in graphic design and enrolled in Art as one out of the six subjects for her International Baccalaureate diploma. In the beginning, she was meticulous and measured every single angle, until one day, she was given a 72” x 72” canvas. She no longer had the mathematical patience and just ran with it. That piece was the beginning of her therapeutic journey through art.
From a young age, she learned to put up a strong mask and concealed her emotions. During her International Baccalaureate course, she was guided to create a series of paintings circling one theme. Through that process, she was able to find healthy expressions for her concealed emotions and began to discover, explore, learn and heal.
She moved to Toronto at 19 and attended York University, obtained my B.A Honours in Psychology and took a year off to spend time with her father before his passing. After that incident, she thought about the moments she used to spend in the art room and the effect it had on her. She decided to follow intuition and pursue a career as an art therapist, and applied to the Toronto Art Therapy Institute.
She is currently persusing her vision of affordable mental health services through the work of Art Therapy, to promote the importance of mental health and self-awareness.

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Lacey Ford

 Co-founder/ CEO, B.A Honours, D.T.A.T.I

Lacey Ford was born 1989 in rural Prince Edward Island, Canada. Lacey is a self-taught artist and began showing an interest in art when she was only seven years old, and started out by doodling cartoon characters she saw in children’s books. In high school Lacey began using art creative as a form of therapeutic relief and self-expression.
In 2012, Lacey obtained her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). During the last year of her undergraduate at UPEI, Lacey randomly came across the definition for art therapy for the first time online, and realized this is what she had been practicing on herself, and decided then that she wanted to share the power of healing through art with other people in the world. Immediately after completing her undergraduate degree at UPEI, Lacey moved to Toronto to study art therapy at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute and graduated from the program June 2016.
On October 9th 2014, Lacey launched a grassroots non-profit organization with her friend and business partner Pearl Lee, called the ‘Full Circle-Art Therapy Centre’. The aim of the organization is to deliver art therapy services throughout Toronto and making mental health services more accessible to those who cannot afford private services. She has experience in providing art therapy to a variety of populations including: older adults diagnosed with dementia and Parkinson’s Disease, young adults with developmental delays, at risk youth, individuals struggling with mental health and addictions, and survivors of trauma. 

 
 
  Carla Williams   Secretary

Carla Williams

Secretary

  Mitchell Ford

Mitchell Ford


  Karen Shay

Karen Shay

  Naeimeh Shakoori

Naeimeh Shakoori

  Mark Treleaven

Mark Treleaven

  Raquel Siu Chock

Raquel Siu Chock