Swetha is a person-centred counsellor who believes in the ability of her clients to maneuver difficult situations with appropriate support. She approaches counselling from the basis of her knowledge gained through other professional roles as a teacher and artist. Swetha sees herself as a guide who can use interventions, conversations, and art-making to reveal realizations and transformations.
Swetha approaches the counselling space with an emphasis on being her authentic self so that a strong and honest connection can be built in a safe and inclusive manner. She brings her experience as a high school teacher, art therapist, artist, dancer, conflict resolution practitioner, and life-long learner into her therapeutic work. She strongly believes in a multi-faceted approach to mental health and in the value of having a strong therapist-client connection.
Swetha is absolutely in awe of the possibilities within counselling and believes in the need for more care and healing in our world.
Swetha Ranasuriya is trained as an Artist (B.F.A) and a teacher (B.Ed). She holds a Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Management and is Registered Canadian Art Therapist (CATA)Swetha gained her initial experience in therapy and counselling within the school system as a high school art teacher. It was her ability to build strong relationships with students that led her to pursue becoming an art therapist and clinical counsellor. She currently works in Surrey Schools with teens who struggle with depression and anxiety. Swetha has a diverse background working with multiple age groups struggling with addiction, trauma, abuse, and grief. Swetha particularly enjoys working with teens as this age group was her introduction to therapeutic work.
Swetha also has experience with grief work through Surrey Hospice, where she was a counselling intern. There she was able to work with all age groups. She finds being the therapist in grief work and being able to add grief counselling to her experience a privilege.
Swetha is trained in EMDR and is pursuing EMDRIA certification. She has additional EMDR training in working with complex trauma and dissociation. In Art Therapy, Swetha is an instructor at Vancouver Art Therapy Institute and joined as faculty in 2022. At VATI she supervises art therapy students in their practicum work and teaches courses in family art therapy and studio techniques.
In her personal time, she enjoys leading professional learning groups on mental health and working for non-profit organizations that encourage mental health and wellness.
Swetha was raised in a family that emphasizes the strength found through diversity and compassion. She had an early introduction to dance and is classically trained as a Bharata Natyam dancer (Indian Classical Dance). Through dance, she has a keen interest in story-telling, mythology, history, Ayurveda, and philosophy.
Swetha enjoys travelling, especially with her family. She believes in the power of experiencing different places and cultures. She is also an avid reader who insists on the benefits of reading books that you can hold and weigh down your luggage with when travelling.
When at home, Swetha enjoys spending time with her family and friends, especially her two young daughters. She particularly likes working on DIY projects and building her art practice in her studio – this she considers to be her chosen method for self-care.