LISA VOTH, MA, BFA, RCC
The three post-nominals behind my name mean I've studied theatre and psychology, and I'm registered as a therapist.
This could mean nothing if it wasn't combined with 2 decades of experience, several experiences of being mentored by gifted individuals, and the expertise of many more experts who have supported and trained me.
What do I do?
I can often spot blindspots and help untie knots so you're not stuck in them.
I help you change your brain in a lasting way by changing the old blueprints of anxiety, not belonging, or not feeling like you're enough.
I like to bring context and understanding to patterns and behaviours that can sometimes feel "crazy."
I can help bring you into your body, your entire brain, because there, in your body, you can start to feel better not just think better.
I find the lightness by attending to the heaviness.
All this can mean you start feeling like you can make decisions, move into the creative process you've been stalling on, and find more lightness amidst the daily to-dos. Doing this work can mean increased understanding and capacity to navigate relationships. You may quit saying mean things to yourself which frees up energy for the things you want to do in your life.
As these changes emerge from deep in your nervous system, you begin to act differently without all the "trying," "striving," "planning," and "white-knuckling".
How do I do what I do?
I would describe my style as warm, down-to-earth, playful, informed, and inter-disciplinary. You may do things and make changes you didn't know you could because you feel safe, supported and curious.
Where am I from?
I grew up outside of small towns that were outside of small cities in Alberta. I lived for two years in Guatemala.
I have lived for about 20 years on the West Coast.
A word about clown/play
Clown is honest. It challenges perceptions. It allows for and evokes emotion. It brings lightness. It teaches about connection by connecting us to ourselves and others.
Clown, in this context, is not for children.
Think of your friend that makes you laugh, is honest about their humanity, and is able to play with who they are and what they do in the world around them. Think of JP Sears, Louis CK, Banksy, Syrian refugees who pretend to be reporters in their refugee camp, Tig Nitaro, The Yes Men, Sacha Baron Cohen, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, the man who wears a pink tutu to make his wife laugh who is struggling with cancer, Mr. Bean, Robin Williams, Melissa McCarthy, Lucille Ball.
A Clown takes their pain and, eventually, plays with it (borrowed and misquoted from Charlie Chaplin).
Work with me
Brief experience history
working with organizations and groups such as RED Academy, THNK School of Creative Leadership, SFU Theatre Department, Vancouver School Board, Energy Trust of Oregon, Naramata Center, Watari Counselling & Support Services, Rhodes Wellness College, SUCCESS Immigration Services, Kingsgate Chorus, Ministry of Children & Family Services, Canadian Mental Health Association, SFU Community Engagement and Chopra Addiction & Wellness Center.
10 years experience as a therapist, with prior experience working in mental health + expressive arts.
teaching and facilitating diverse groups of people, both internationally and nationally, for over 15 years.
training in theatre, theatre of the oppressed, clown, narrative therapy, group processes and facilitation, somatic-based therapy, and working with trauma. Training through living in various countries, working in various collectives, learning spanish, and various Buddhist meditation practices.
over a decade of studying under, apprenticing with, and assisting master clown teacher David MacMurray Smith, creator of Fantastic Space Enterprise, who teaches “Personal Transformation and Creative Character Development through Clown” among other body-based creative practices.
completing a teacher training course with John Turner of Mump & Smoot (Canada’s well loved clown duo). Studying with various theatre teachers internationally, including Lila Monti in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Deanna Fleysher.
completion of a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology with a focus on body-based therapy and play.
creating and performing with an all women’s clown collective, The Assembly.
Directing, dramaturging and co-creating a clown piece with a clown duo in Vancouver.
working for 2 years in Central America, first as head of the artistic committee in a clown collective that worked on HIV/AIDS prevention in Guatemala and then in the theatre department of a women’s collective in Matagalpa, Nicaragua.
it's all connected. we are not islands. sustainable change may begin in ourselves but ideally is co-created with our cities, countries, families, & work.
humour is important. It's a tool that needs to be used with responsibility & kindness.
we do the best we can with the tools we have.
in the plasticity of our neural pathways and the power of connection. Change is possible.
imperfection is a great resource. It is all there is.
we are inherently creative, able to connect the dots in our own lives if given the chance.
in play. Not play that necessarily looks like "play" but a play that makes life feel lighter.
that we should spend as much time creating the world we want as we do resisting the world we don't want.