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Emma JM. Ates is the developer of the Contemplative Creative Therapy (CCT) model and CCT specialization. She is the founder and director of the Center for Contemplative Creative Science (CCCS). Ates’s work integrates Buddhist psychology, Dharma art and Miksang contemplative photography with art therapy, contemplative science, and embodied creativity.

Emma is a registered psychotherapist (CRPO) and art therapist (CATA) in private practice who draws upon Buddhist psychology, contemplative psychotherapy, meditation-based therapy and interventions (ACT, DBT, CFT), and contemplative creative therapy (CCT) in her work with adults and couples. Her most recent work promotes gradual and empowering embodied mind training with the CCT model of eight levels.

Based in Toronto, where she lives and practices, Ates has been an instructor for the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies Applied Mindfulness Meditation certificate (course: Mindfulness & Art Therapy) and the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. She has been asked to develop and facilitate workshops on mental health and contemplative creative approaches with Glendon York University (2020/2021), the Mindful Society Global Institute (2021/2016), and Sick Kids Hospital Toronto

Emma received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from Aix-en-Provence University in France, and she holds a Master Level Diploma in Art Therapy (DTATI) from the Toronto Art Therapy Institute (TATI). She completed training and certifications in contemplative psychotherapy and compassion-based resilience training (CBRT) with the Nalanda Institute; applied mindfulness meditation at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies; and trained in Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT).


Book (2017): Contemplative Photo Therapy: Group Intervention for Youth with Anxiety Disorders


Emma took refuge in the Tibetan Mahayana lineage in 1999 in France and continues her Buddhist studies and practice in Canada with Gaden Choling for the West and the Paramita Center in Toronto. She has continued regular multimodal Dharma Art practices with Miksang contemplative photography and Zen Art practices with Jody Hojin Kimmel Sensei from the Zen Mountain Monastery since 2022. 


For over ten years, she has been a contemplative arts practitioner. I was trained with Nalanda Miksang Contemplative Photography (level I, II, III, Absolute Eye & Maitri Space Awareness) with John McQuade. I am trained in Shambhala Art with Steven and Anne Saitzyk and in Brushwork and Big Brush Mind with Barbara Bash. I was also introduced to Ikebana, E-Tegami with Sachiko Hata Pereklita, and Sumi-E (brush painting) with Hiroshi Yamamoto (Hakuho) at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Center of Toronto.

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