Bevan Klassen

Expressive Arts to enter a story

Meet Bevan...

Therapist and owner of Deep Focus Art Therapy. WHEAT Art Therapy Graduate.

“How do you enter a story if you don't have a narrative that you've processed, and can speak with words? That’s when it becomes about art therapy. It is about images and sounds and music, and could go into drama, movement, poetry. It's just so broad, and now we have film and video making. We start by playing because that's where the energy is, and then we can ground it with understanding, learning and sharing.” 

- Bevan Klassen, Instructor, Graduate

Wheat - spotlight - Bevan



Bevan is a graduate of WHEAT’s Art Therapy program. He’s a family man, father of three and devoted husband, and spiritual seeker. He spent most of his formative years in Brandon, Manitoba, leaving after his first year at Brandon University to attend the University of Manitoba. Upon graduating, he spent 34 years in the technology sector and then went through a career change when he enrolled as a student at WHEAT. 

Since 2021, Bevan has been an art therapist and now has a private practice, Deep Focus Art Therapy, where he specializes in video making as art therapy with teens, adults and children. He has clients that have used his therapeutic video making process at CancerCare Manitoba, Ndinawe drop-in centre, a private Art Therapy Clinic, and Manitoba School Divisions. He offers a variety of creative activities that go into the making of a video including storytelling, drawing, drama activities or video editing to encourage individuals to express their voices, discuss their challenges and reframe their stories.


“It comes back to the heart. For me it comes back to: there's something deep in us, that is guiding, and so being able to listen to that, to what is bigger than the mind, can join us more consciously with others and the world. It's listening to every one as a voice.” - Bevan Klassen


Welcoming Wheat (1)

“One thing I appreciate about art therapy, and WHEAT is the ability to play and find that space because it's our reservoir of life.


Ethics are important to me. When I started at WHEAT, I arrived with my identity as a passionate filmmaker. I did not understand art therapy. Darci Adam was my supervisor. She presented me with a guiding ethical question: “Consider what is right for your client instead of what is best for your vision as a filmmaker?” Initially, it felt restraining.

I was making a documentary with a practicum client and was literally stuck filming in a room. I soon learned and appreciated the knowledge and the tradition within therapy—to understand the importance of “the room” and to hold that room safely. 


My role as a filmmaker was driven by product. I realize now how commercial our creativity can become. My role as an art therapist is about people and a process, the story in the room, and holding all of it in a safe and sacred way. 


“Art Therapy is a combination of psychotherapy (talk therapy) and the creative process (art). It is a potent mix. It takes us back to when we played as children and time flowed and how spacious that felt. In high school and college, I was involved in drama; it was an expressive, wonderful, and spacious place. Accessing this place in our imagination provides us with other dimensions in which to be curious and express ourselves in ways other than words, and including words. It provides an entry point to externalize our stories. The story we tell is the story that we live, so to know that inner story is so powerful. When we hold that narrative in a video, photograph, or a clay object, it is outside of ourselves. And that is the beginning of a conversation.” 


“What is the process of digital storytelling? I'm giving something of myself and my experience that becomes reciprocal, a giving and receiving. Because this is such a new approach, to hear the perspective of someone I’m helping can open up something in me as it opens up something for them. As an art therapist, I’m always watching and listening to further understand and deepen the potential of this new therapeutic art process.”


“Darci (WHEAT) was so supportive in helping me bring this vision for something new to happen in my life. I'm an IT guy, that's what people saw on the outside. I’m also a filmmaker with a spiritual, relational way in the world, so to find a space that was experiential where I could bring my filmmaking background, my spiritual resources, and my IT knowledge all together in a relational way, connecting film with therapy…that was my journey. That was my thesis. Every class I went into, I would say, how does video making fit into this?” 

- Bevan Klassen



“I grew up mainly in Brandon, Manitoba and moved to Treaty One Territory when I went to university.  My father was a teacher. And so we moved around a bit until we found our way to Brandon. 

My ancestral roots are embedded in the Mennonite communities in Manitoba, and while I did not grow up as a Mennonite, it is an important part of my story. My parents were Christians, and this became a foundation for my own spiritual journey and is an integral part of who I am. I am embedded in a deep spirituality and consider myself a Gnostic Christian. Gnosticism is grounded firmly in an inner experience of ‘being’ that transforms the heart and makes ‘doing’ and all life sacred. The outer journey has facilitated my inner journey slowly bringing the inner and outer together into alignment so I can be more and more kind to myself and others.”