Claire Nicholls | Art therapist, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), Artist & Studio Owner.

My background includes commercial art, fine art and psychotherapy. Classically trained in Graphic Design with a Bachelors's degree from OCAD U. In 2015, I returned to school to become an Art Psychotherapist. In 2018, I completed the clinical requirements and produced a thesis to obtain a Graduate Diploma in Art Therapy from TATI. My thesis, which focused on improving resiliency in Children of Divorce, resulted in an Art Therapy prevention protocol and program that is now available to students K-12 in the TDSB. I also work as an Art Therapist at Youthdale Treatment Centre with at-risk youth. Prior to and during Grad school, I provided instructional art lessons to creative kids in my Garage Studio. Picasso's Garage Studio was founded in 2005 and has taught over 600 students.

As an Art Therapist, I work primarily with children specializing in anxiety, depression, and children of divorce. I practice Art therapy using a Humanistic-based approach with a foundational belief that clients are their own best experts. Given a nurturing, supportive environment encourages them to discover their inner strengths. Additionally, I provide skill-building through psychoeducational components focused on improving social, emotional and behavioural issues to strengthen resiliency. I also believe that being creative (not necessarily just artistic) is an integral part of a prevention model to improve children's mental health, and I actively promote creative expression in my studio and community.

Back in 2005, with two busy toddlers in tow, I couldn't imagine returning to the corporate world of graphic design, so I swapped my computer mouse for a paintbrush and a corporate boardroom for an atelier. On the advice of friends, I began teaching art classes in my backyard studio. "I've always loved working with kids and have been told I have the patience of a saint,"… "Whenever I hosted playdates, I'd get the kids creating something fabulous. Friends encouraged me to teach art classes, so I went for it, starting with a three-week session of summer camp. I can't imagine not working with kids. It's been wonderful combining two things I'm passionate about: working with kids and creating art."


have questions? ask away


15 min. introduction zoom/Cel

I'd be happy to briefly discuss your situation, answer any questions and share my approach to determine if we'd make a good fit. (Please note, this is not a therapeutic session and is free of charge)