About Dr. Bonnie Nish

bonnie nish speaking

Being a writer, I understand how words can change someone’s life. Over the course of 20 years, I started Pandora’s Collective, a non-profit organization that facilitates writing and reading events, ran monthly writing workshops in a drug rehab centre and facilitated a writing group with youth in transition at Covenant House. 

I have been witness to how writing could affect a person and change a life. I had the honour of standing by a father as he stood silently in tears, listening as his son, who had been addicted to heroin and living on the streets not long before, read a poem that we had helped him to get published.

These were the kinds of experiences that made me realize the impact writing and the expressive arts can make in someone’s life. As I continued to work with youth, I brought the arts into our interchanges and watched as they played out, drew, wrote, what they couldn’t say out loud. I have witnessed the power that moving from one modality to another in sessions with clients can have. Magic happens in these spaces.
 
I live and work in Vancouver, BC. I can deliver talks and conduct workshops from Zoom all over the world and can come to you once travel becomes safe again.
 

One Moment Can Change Everything

In 2012, something happened that changed my life completely. While working as an Educational Assistant, I was accidentally hit in the temple by a student’s head while dismounting a zipline. In that moment the world as I knew it stopped. I couldn’t eat, speak without a stutter, retain anything I read, initiate movement on my left side, tolerate loud sounds or lights, or just be around people in general.

Slowly I worked my way through recovery, only to be hit in the same spot on my head with a basketball just one year later.

The road was hard, but over the last seven years I have returned to work and have been able to find myself again. I understand the loss involved in these kinds of injuries and the hardships which they bring the people who support them.

I have gone on to complete my PhD, entitled The Promise Of Returning Home After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and worked with other concussion survivors to compile their stories into a book, Concussion And Mild Brain Injury, Not Just Another Headline, to bring awareness to the impact these types of injuries can have. 

concussion and mild brain injury book cover
Colour Pencils grouped together

What Is Expressive Arts

Expressive Arts is truly for everybody! Working through problems using expressive arts can be extremely helpful, whether you’re a group of corporate executives wanting to rejuvenate your out-of-the-box thinking, or an individual seeking to find reconnection after the pandemic. Expressive Arts can help to make these discoveries significant, exciting, and profound.

Expressive Arts are for anyone who finds themselves dealing with many of life’s struggles. 

Expressive Arts is known as ‘low-skill, high sensitivity’, meaning it is only your willingness to try that counts. It is about the process, not the final product. 

Expressive Arts allow you to move through issues, thoughts, and events, taking you out of your everyday experience to a place of exploration and imagination. This is achieved by physically interacting with different artistic modalities to explore the complex depths of one’s issues at hand. 

Concussion Talks And Speaking Engagements

Whether you are a medical practitioner or a room full of registered physical therapists wanting to find ways to deal with your patients or a caregiver trying to understand how you can help your loved one work their way back to themselves, I can talk to any size group about the challenges someone faces and the strength that it takes for someone to come back from this kind of injury. If you are someone who has experienced a head injury you will find that it is possible to reassemble a life from the pieces into a new whole and feel less alone. 

For speaking engagement information please Contact Bonnie.