Psychotherapist & Art Therapist

Ellen-Elizabeth Paonessa, RP, Registered Psychotherapist & Art Therapist

I am an Art Therapist and Registered Psychotherapist with over 10 years of experience helping to empower children, youth and adults through the creative arts.  I specialize in supporting the cognitive, social, emotional, behavioural and psychological needs of persons with dual-diagnoses, complex mental health challenges, disability/unique needs, individuals on the Autism Spectrum, acquired injury, pain and disease.

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (hons) from York University and studied art therapy at the graduate level at St. Stephen’s College, University of Alberta and the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. I have a Master of Arts in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy from the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary at Wilfrid Laurier University and additional counselling education from Tyndale University College & Seminary.

My internship and employment has involved a variety of settings including hospitals, long-term care, acute support units, day treatment programs, TDSB Sect. 23 schools and agencies. Some of those locations included Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Aptus Treatment Centres and TDSB Sect. 23 schooling. Within those settings I worked as an Art therapist, Expressive Arts Therapist, Artistic Animator and Instructor in adapted recreation.


As a registered psychotherapist and Canadian Art Therapy Association professional member, I support individuals in achieving their goals by embracing a strength-based, person-centered approach. Placing the client at the centre of the therapy experience offers an empowering opportunity to share perspectives, build confidence and demonstrate their knowledge.

Creativity is a powerful tool that can be used to embrace mindfulness, to empower, to learn and to heal. I believe each individual is unique, and requires a specific plan to reflect their goals within therapy. By embracing creative approaches to therapy in combination with CBT and DBT informed practice, I aim to support the personalized needs of each individual.

Call our clinic today to schedule a free phone consultation or your first in-person session with Ellen-Elizabeth!