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Emma JM. Ates 



Emma JM. Ates is the founder and program developer of the Centre for Contemplative Creative Science (CCCS). Contemplative Creative Science is informed by the many forms of contemplative science and arts in traditional and Buddhist modernism (McMahan), and the latest research on Buddhist psychology, neuroscience, mindfulness- and compassion-based interventions.

Emma received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from Aix-en-Provence University in France, and she holds a Master Level Diploma’s 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).


I am a registered psychotherapist (CRPO), a registered Canadian art therapist (CATA), a contemplative creative psychotherapist (CCCS).

  • Psychotherapist and art therapist with humanistic, feminist, and contemplative creative approaches.

  • Helps develop life-enhancing skills such as mindfulness, awareness, self-compassion, self-confidence, creativity, and social skills. 

  • Integrates mindfulness-based approaches, Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT), Narrative Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).

  • Special training in trauma-informed with OCASI, and brief narrative with Windz. 

  • Clinical expertise includes working with youth and adults with depression, anxiety, stress, self-esteem, relationships, life transitions, immigration, and many other issues. Includes works with couples experiencing relational and parenting issues.

  • Over 20 years of meditation practice, and 10 years as a contemplative creative instructor.

For almost 4 years, I was a mental health therapist and provided brief therapy for youth, adults, and couples at the Centre Francophone du Grand Toronto. I am now in private practice and work with individuals who are struggling with anxiety, depression, self-identity and body image, life transitions, immigration adaptation to Canadian life. I work with youth (16+), adults, and couples both in English and French.



Presently, I serve as an instructor for the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies (Mindfulness & Art Therapy). I am also a faculty instructor at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. 


For over 10 years, I have 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.


I am the author of “Contemplative Photo Therapy: Group Intervention for Youth with Anxiety Disorders” (2017). I am currently working on a new book on Contemplative Creative Science (CCS) scheduled to be published in 2021.

*McMahan, D. L. (2008). The Making of Buddhist Modernism. Oxford University Press, New York: NY.

*Prebish, C. S., Baumann, M. (2002). Westward Dharma: Buddhism beyond Asia. University of California Press, London: UK.