Registered Art Psychotherapist, Registered MOE Instructor
MA Art Therapy, BA Psychology
Specialisation: Pre-teens, Adolescents, and Adults with Complex Trauma
Vaishnavi Bhaskar Dinakar is a trauma-informed art psychotherapist with experience working with pre-teens, adolescents, and adults who have complex traumatic experiences. She spent two years working with adolescent females in a mandated residential rehabilitative setting under the Ministry of Social & Family Development (MSF) Singapore, and facilitated individual and group art therapy sessions aimed at building resilience and empowerment to holistically support each residents’ reintegration into society.
Her clinical experience includes supporting youths and adults who struggle with addiction (drugs, alcohol, shoplifting, etc.), depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE).
During her BA in Psychology, Vaishnavi recognised that her childhood traumas were being triggered. This distress severely impacted her ability to study, perform everyday tasks, and even began straining her relationships with her family and friends. To heal and grow, she began her search for the most suitable therapeutic approach and stumbled upon art psychotherapy, which allowed her to start her healing journey.
Her personal lived experience of trauma and healing through art psychotherapy further fuelled her desire to help others with their mental health, leading her to pursue her MA in Art Therapy at LASALLE College of Arts in Singapore shortly after finishing her BA in Psychology from Murdoch University.
Vaishnavi has been training in Bharatanatyam, an Indian classical dance since she was five years old. While the performing arts have always had a strong influence on her, she has never felt compelled to pursue formal training in the visual arts, which contributed to the development of her personal art practice using various art materials in an unconventional manner instead.
These experiences also sparked an interest in understanding how trauma manifests itself within the body. With this in mind, she developed her trauma-informed practice by training and integrating techniques such as trauma-sensitive yoga and meditation, which aid clients in developing a sense of safety and resolving trauma in one’s own body.
During her clinical internships and thesis, Vaishnavi discovered that she connected with her clients’ experiences of uncertainty, oppression, and shame as a result of complex trauma. This insight shaped her art psychotherapy practice to focus on amplifying the voice of the client as well as promoting safety and empowerment.
Vaishnavi was also privileged to be directly trained via workshops and webinars by experts in the field of art psychotherapy and trauma:
- Trauma-Sensitive Yoga: 20 Hours Foundation Workshop for Health Professionals & Yoga Teachers
- Emotional Competency and Art Psychotherapy by Alexandra Danner – Weinberger
- Dr. Debra Kalmanowitz’s (PhD, HCPC, BAAT) Art Therapy, Stress, and Trauma: Working Inside and Outside of Clinical Settings
- Jennifer Clay (PhD, LMFT, ATR) Creating Community through Creation Stories & Mural Making with Campo Kumeyaay Youth in Southern California
- Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program)
- Dr. Pamela Whitekar’s Art Therapy Out Of Bounds
- Dr. Pamela Whitekar’s Public Relations: Art and Social Enactment
- David Treyvelyan’s Dharma Taksu Yoga: Considerations to Balance Using the Arts and Technology with Application to Art Therapy Practice
- David Treyvelyan’s Cyber Intuitive Balancing Act
- Gráinne T. Young (BA, PG Dip., MA ATh) Embodied Listening through Sensory Perception and Heart Intelligence