TESTIMONIALS

DISCLAIMER: Katarina Thorsen is not a board-certified art therapist, but has over 25 years of frontline experience in special needs and in facilitating artistic expression.

It has been an incredible pleasure to watch Katarina work with our youth, some of which were the more difficult youth to manage… She has an amazing rapport with all the kids and staff alike.  In all my years in corrections I have never witnessed an individual with such a powerful connection with the clients we work with.

– Katherine Solkowski, Volunteer and Program Coordinator, Burnaby Youth Custody Centre

I appreciated your honesty and openess about your own experiences.  I had a lot of fun drawing, hadn’t drawn since I was little.

– Criminology Student (Restorative Justice), Simon Fraser University

Made me think about different learning styles… drawing is therapeutic!

– Criminology Student (Restorative Justice), Simon Fraser University

The thing I appreciated most about your work was that you remain open and non-judgmental with every student so that they are free to express their deepest, inner-most thoughts.  Even in our classroom, where we all insisted we were NOT artists, you encouraged us and we all ended up creating our own little works of art that I think we were all quite proud of.

– Criminology Student (CRIM 417), Simon Fraser University

I’m very proud of the artwork I made during your visit.

– K., Criminology Student (Safe Schools & Community), Simon Fraser University

I feel like I really appreciate the use of art for restorative practices, especially by getting to experience it myself.

– C., Criminology Student (Safe Schools & Community), Simon Fraser University

One of the best classes I’ve had at SFU.

– L., Criminology Student (Safe Schools & Community), Simon Fraser University

I never knew I could draw so well.

– J., Criminology Student (Safe Schools & Community), Simon Fraser University

Katarina Thorsen showed me how I could change.

– C.M., Criminology Student (CRIM 417), Simon Fraser University

Since you use art or a creative approach to help these youths, I have decided to add my own creative approach to represent restorative justice and how I view it.

– Criminology Student (CRIM 417), Simon Fraser University

The two drawings you taught the class were very meaningful.  I especially like the second drawing of the boy as my drawing is not that bad.  My self-esteem on artwork has raised after I see the results of my drawings and I realized that I can actually draw a person with their eyes, ears, nose and mouth neatly located and structured.  While we are drawing, I believe I have the sense of something you talked about in how art work open dialogue.  When the class was drawing, unintentional laughs and jokes are created by students.  The laughs and jokes are opportunities for students to interact in a comfortable way.  You also inspire me that I can turn my passion, in your case art, into something I can do as a job.

– J.W., Criminology Student (CRIM 417), Simon Fraser University

Your work with teenagers should be the lead story of every newspaper! I am a Recreation Therapist on a Level IV prison located in Los Angeles County and a lot of these guys could have warded off the boredom and anger of being a teenager by making art.  Thank you for changing lives- you are an inspiration!

 L. T.

You have no idea how big of an impact you have made on all our lives.  You’re not only an art therapist but you’re also a mother to all of us. – M.P., Grade 12 student, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School

You’ve made my life magical. – C.S., Grade 10 student, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School

What can I say though is that you are a true inspiration to me and I wish I could grow up to be half the amazing person you are. – C.E., Grade 9 student, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School

Kat, I can’t explain how much you have helped me the past… two years?  I feel like I’ve know you longer than that!  Thank you for all the meals, sock monkeys and support you have given me. – M.F., Grade 10 student, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School

You are an extremely kind person.  I like it.  You’re real. – M.R. Grade 10 student, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School

Kat, it’s been a great few years.  I don’t know if I would be the the somewhat sane person that I am now.  You have helped me overcome so much and for that I say much love.  You are an amazing person with so much love and are always filling the minds of bummed out kids and adults with positiveness and always filling minds with wisdom and wise words of hope.  You are always willing to give and never let anyone leave your sight without a smile on their face… You have made me realize that we all have something to bring to the table and we are all stunning in our own way. – S. Mc., Grade 10 student, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School

Your presence has impacted this school and you have positively affected many people’s lives, including myself.  – S.A., Grade 12 student, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School

I’ve loved every single guys’ group and art therapy classes I had the privilege to attend… You’re going to be famous and I’m going to brag to everyone!  I will remember you forever and all the lessons you have taught me. – M.C., Grade 11 student, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School

The best day was when we did our self-portraits at Savary Island.  I love my sketchbook.  Thank you. –B.B., Grade 9 student, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School

Thank you so much for showing us all that we have wings and we can use them whenever we want. – L.K., Special Education Assistant, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School

Your presence makes me better as a professional and person. – D.R., Youth Worker, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School

You have made a huge positive impact, not only with the students, but also with the staff.  You made me a believer in art therapy. K.P., Teacher, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School

I don’t think I have ever read so many appreciative comments on a goodbye card.  I echo the thoughts of all the staff in being blown away by how much you have impacted so many kids. – M.H., Principal, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School

Thank you for your patience, steady commitment to all the kids, bringing sock monkeys into our lives…C.H., Teacher, Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School

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