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Josée Leclerc, PhD, ATR-BC, ATPQ

Professor, Creative Arts Therapies

Josée Leclerc, PhD, ATR-BC, ATPQ
Office: S-ER 123  
ER Building,
2155 Guy St.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 4795
Website(s): Josée Leclerc

Education and training

  • PhD in Humanities, Concordia University
  • MA in Art Therapy, Concordia University
  • BA in Women's Studies, Concordia University
  • Post-graduate training in Psychoanalytic
  • Psychotherapy, Argyle Institute of Human Relations

Josée Leclerc is Professor in the Art Therapy Graduate Program, Department of Creative Arts Therapies. A board-certified art therapist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist, she has been working in private practice for the last 25 years. Dr. Leclerc obtained her PhD from the interdisciplinary Humanities Doctoral Program at Concordia University. She pursued her interdisciplinary research on the convergence between art and psychoanalysis with a three-year research grant from the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et culture (FQRSC), which culminated in the publication of Art et psychanalyse: pour une pensée de l'atteinte [Art and psychoanalysis: When the image strikes], as well as several articles. Her current research focuses on art and trauma. She has obtained a three-year research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for the study of survival strategies in the art of six women deported from France to Nazi's prisons and camps. More recently, she has been studying the usefulness of response-art to foster awareness of racial discrimination. She has been offering workshops in Europe, the US and in Canada. Dr. Leclerc has published her work in monographs and scientific journals in Canada, the U.S., and in France, and has lectured extensively both at the national and international level.   

Professional affiliations

  • Registry of holders of the psychotherapist permit, Ordre des psychologues du Québec
  • Board Certified-Art Therapist Registered, American Art Therapy Association.
  • Professional Member, Association des art-thérapeutes du Québec
  • Professional Member, Association des psychothérapeutes psychanalytiques du Québec
  • Associate Clinical Member, Argyle Institute of Human Relations

Research interests / expertise

Art and Trauma: To examine the survival strategies in images produced in the context of genocides (SSHRC funded research). To study how response-art may foster awareness of racial discrimination (Concordia Seed Grant)

Research questions include:

  • Can drawings made by deportees in the Nazi camps be understood in terms of their embodied survival strategies?
  • How does the portrait, as representation of a fellow being, both subvert and define the principles of an ethics of reception of concentration camp images?
  • How can the witness function incumbent on the contemporary viewer of the images from the camps be conceived of and defined?
In conjunction with the Canadian and the Québec art therapy associations, and with a Concordia Aid to Research Related Events Grant, she also organized Art as Witness: Art, Art Therapy and Trauma Resolution, the 1st international conference on art and trauma in Canada (  Dr. Leclerc has recently been invited to present her research at the 6th International Summer Institute, Memorial of Ravenbrück, in Germany, and at the 3rd International Master Class in Arts Therapies, Université Sorbonne-Paris-La Cité, in Paris. 

Art and Psychoanalysis: To study the convergence of art and psychoanalysis from a postmodern perspective.  
Dr. Leclerc's FQRSC funded research has led to the development of a theoretical model defining the epistemological stance of the psychoanalytically oriented art therapist from a postmodern perspective. This model takes into consideration the centrality of counter-transference and the witness function of the image in the acquisition of knowledge about the inner world of clients.

Research questions include:

  • Since the art therapist who bears witness to the "image as event" makes herself both subject and object of knowledge, how can the epistemological stance of the psychoanalytic art therapist be explored and defined?
  • How can psychoanalytic and postmodern theories inform the ways in which countertransference to both patients and images takes form in the framework of art therapy?
  • How can the relationship between psychic expression and creative expression be conceived of?

Grants / awards

  • Dispositifs thérapeutiques et institutions de soin: enjeux cliniques contemporains de la consultationthérapeutique, Commission Recherche UniversitéParis 13-SPC; PI: Dr. Catherine Matha, Psychologie Clinique, Université Paris13 (24,500 Euros), 2015-2016.

    Therapeutic settings and care-providinginstitutions: Contemporary clinical issues in the therapeutic consultation, InternationalPsychoanalytic Association. PI: Dr. Isabelle Lasvergnas, UQÀM(15,300 US), 2016-2017.

  • Répondre de l'image, Concordia Seed Funding Grant, 2012-2014.
  • Art as Witness: Art, Art Therapy and Trauma Resolution International Conference, Sept. 18-20, 2008, Concordia Aid to Research Related Events.
  • Étude des retombées thérapeutiques d'un programme d'art-thérapie oncologique: un avant-projet, Concordia Seed Funding Grant, 2007-2009.
  • Art et trauma: Étude des stratégies de survivance dans l'art concentrationnaire, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), 2005-2009.
  • Quand l'image s'écrit: Une anthologie d'écrits d'artistes sur le thème de dessaisissement créateur, Fonds québécois de la recherche en société et culture (FQRSC), 2002-2005.
  • Faculty Research Development Personnel, Concordia University, 2000-2003.
  • Quebec Art Therapy Association Distinguished Service Award, 1997.

Theoretical orientation

  • Psychodynamic (Post-Freudian Theory, Object Relations, Attachment Theory)
  • Theories of trauma
  • Post-modernism

Teaching activities


Participation activities

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