About Positive Shift - Who 


Wesdyne A. Otto - Owner, Expressive Arts Practitioner

You can trust me because I strive to accept people where they are, as they are.  You are valuable and deserve to be happy. 
I have a disability. That only means that I know how to live with my disability; you are the expert in your life. My job is to improve your expertise. 

I try to hire people who either have a disability or a family member with a disability. Disability and chronic illness are often seen as problems to be "fixed". Some folks think that until your body is "fixed" that you must be miserable. People in able-bodies have a difficult time believing that life with disability can be happy. Trying to imagine and empathize with a person with a disability is really hard for someone who has never experienced disability or illness. 

My role models are people with disabilities. Successful people with disability, like Dr. Temple Grandin, John Elder Robison, Dr. Elizabeth Barnes, and so forth created successful lives that include their disability.  Our bodies and minds set us apart. We navigate a world that is designed for an imaginary, able-bodied worker or student. We are asked to conform to work hours and conditions in environments that exclude our disability.  Learning to express your needs in order to succeed is one way that every person with disability has succeeded in creating a happier life. Speaking up, especially for your needs when they are different from the standard model, is hard. That is where we help. 

I have a masters certificate in Art Therapy, 5 years of Expressive Arts training, and 8 years of experience leading Creative Arts Healing groups. I do this work playfully, letting new possibilities bubble up while exploring useful insights to help with daily life. Positive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, affective neuroscience, and disability ethics help me discover how to live happier, more productively, and with a greater sense of peace. I am a fairly chill lady with a big laugh, husband, dog, interesting haircut, and a neurological disorder. I am excited to make some art with you. 

Wesdyne Otto smiling at the camera

Some things I've done

An interview for the Chrysalis Society Edmonton Annual Art Show, when Wesdyne was an Art Specialist at Chrysalis. 

A Technical Research Paper where I assisted the Principle Investigator, Dr. Sherry Chapman, titled Reflecting on Feelings and Emotions in Graduate, Experiential Learning about Community-Based Research (CBR) https://www.ualberta.ca/community-university-partnership/research/methods-in-cbr/reflecting-feelings.html

A podcast episode of the interveiw Wesdyne gave on Monetizing Your Creativity https://soundcloud.com/monetizingyourcreativity/069-wesdyne-otto-chrysalis-a-nobel-career-as-an-arts-therapy-teacher


GENEVIEVE MCNAB IS AN EXPRESSIVE ARTS THERAPY INTERN at Positive Shift.  Genevieve is completing her Masters of Expressive Arts Therapy from the European Graduate School.  Gen is a gifted Expressive Arts Therapist with an extensive background in dance.  Gen, Brooke and Wesdyne studied Expressive Arts together in Edmonton.

Gen is a mom, a dancer, a wife, and a lovely human.  Will put up her bio and photo soon. 


This short film, created by Heath Birkholz and Brooke Leifso, (Masters in Expressive Arts - Peace Building) titled This is Self Advocacy.  Brooke works with Positive Shift Creative Arts when she has time.