About

Kimberly Hetherington | Art Therapy with Kimberly

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
– Carl Jung

My name is Kimberly. I was born in North Vancouver, Canada and I currently live in Sydney, Australia.

However, I must admit I’m not the most traditional Canadian. I don’t ski or snowboard and absolutely hate the cold. Most of my childhood was spent living outside of Canada. My father was a Diplomat so I was raised in Egypt, Pakistan, Ghana, Jamaica and Ukraine. In between all the moving and starting again, Vancouver was our anchor point. It was our home base, the place where we would spend our Christmas’ and summer vacations with extended family so I tend to call it home. 

When I was 17 years old my father was posted back to Canada in Ottawa, Ontario. Ottawa was the first place I lived where I felt like I could grow roots without having to mentally prepare to leave. 

The journey to Australia

My love for Australia started when I was in my early twenties and learned about a Working Holiday program. I knew in my heart there was something about Australia that felt like home, even though I’d never been. But like most things in life, my journey to the land down under took a long time to come to fruition. In early 2013, I graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa. I was burnt out from school and sick of the harsh, cold winters. My father was posted in Beijing at the time so I decided to stay with him and find a job teaching English. I planned to stay three months and then return to Ottawa to get my Master’s in Psychology. The explosion of culture shock was intoxicating and I ended up staying in China for two and a half years. In 2015 my father informed me that he was going to be posted to India. It was a major turning point in my life and the perfect opportunity to apply for a Working Holiday Visa in Sydney.

The gift of Elizabeth

I was raised alongside an incredibly talented and compassionate older sister, Elizabeth. We were 14 months apart and often treated like twins. My sister suffered from debilitating cycles of depression and addiction. While she was never formally diagnosed with a mental health condition, I believe she had bipolar disorder. Elizabeth taught me so much in her short life. She taught me the value in non-judgemental listening when all I wanted to do was solve and fix. I simply could not bare to see my sister in pain, and that feeling of helplessness is a deep wound that I still feel to this day. I owe her more than words can explain for being my sister, and for ultimately teaching me the importance of life. On October 13th, 2013 my sister died. She was only 26 years old. Her loss pierced through the layers of beliefs and foundations on which I saw the world. It led me on a journey towards understanding my own mortality and seeking answers through spirituality.

My sister Elizabeth | Art therapy with Kimberly | Kimberly hetherington.png

Discovering Transpersonal Art Therapy

I’ve been on a harrowing and painful journey through grief which ultimately led to a career in transpersonal art therapy. In many ways, it feels like it found me. I never considered a career in art therapy even though I love both art and psychology. Somehow combining the two never clicked. My sister was also a gifted artist and I believe my work pays tribute to her life. I know she would have loved transpersonal art therapy, I know she would have been so proud of me. I just wish that she could have lived long enough to know about that this form of therapy existed.

Art in all of its forms can be a powerful tool for processing emotional pain, reducing anxiety, and increasing feelings of connection. Especially when it’s held in a group format. Loneliness and isolation is an epidemic in our modern lives. Feeling seen and heard for who we truly are is so critical in our being. 

I don’t see what I do now as work or a career, but more as a life purpose. Everything I went through brought me exactly where I am today. Although it’s not the journey I wanted, I’m grateful for every part of it for making me the person I am today.  


Qualifications

  • Diploma of Meditation Facilitation
    (Meditation Teacher Training College, Sydney, Australia. March 2021)
  • Advanced Diploma Transpersonal Art Therapy & Counselling
    (College of Complementary Medicine, Sydney, Australia. August 2020)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
    (Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. March 2013)
  • Diploma of Travel and Tourism
    (Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology, Ottawa, Canada. 2009) 
  • Certificate of Communication and Media Studies 
    (Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology, Ottawa, Canada. 2007) 

Professional Development

  • Mental Health First Aid Officer, 2021
  • Griefline, Volunteer Counsellor, 2020
  • Solution Focused Therapy Training, 2019
  • Bereaved from Suicide, Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, 2019

Membership & Insurance

International Institute for Complementary Therapists (IICT). Insured by BMS.