Aziza Healing Adventures and Personal Growth Retreats for Women, couples, individuals and corporate groups


Growing up in Ontario, Laila developed a natural love of the outdoors while camping, canoeing and hiking with her friends and family. Her leadership interests took root as a Katimavik group leader and from there she travelled around the world on a many outdoor adventures.

Reflecting upon these journeys
, Laila says the most important thing she has learned is that there are rich rewards for choosing to be awake in this life. In this context, to be awake is to consciously open up to and develop self and environmental awareness through the senses, intuition and a connection to a greater whole.

This learning process has become Laila's way of life and is the very essence of Aziza.

Also a dedicated artist, Laila paints original artwork and has had a series of successful shows in Toronto. Her images are deeply personal and express her joy for the beauty inherent in the simple pleasures of living.

A passionate belief in the healing power of art combined with her enthusiasm for travel and intimate experience of the Gestalt therapy process has led Laila to launch Aziza Healing Adventures.

Laila Ghattas has a private practice in Toronto where she conducts group art and therapy workshops for individuals and corporations, as well as individual therapy and Reiki treatments.

She leads international personal growth retreats in spectacular natural settings. She speaks and publishes on creativity, self-acceptance and compassion, Impeccable Leadership and the healing benefits of retreats.

You can read Laila's personal accounts on the influences and events that lead to the creation of Aziza Healing Adventures by clicking here.

Click here to read an interview with Laila about Aziza Healing Adventures, created by

Employed by Love, the journey to Aziza Healing Adventures, one of 40 stories in Conscious Women, Conscious Careers available at If you would like to purchase a signed copy by Laila Ghattas, please email.


 Laila Ghattas Ontario hiking

 Laila Ghattas international retreats

 Laila Ghattas sea kayaking


Laila Ghattas is an artist, Gestalt therapist, group facilitator, Reiki practitioner and the founder of Aziza Healing Adventures and Deluscious Wearables.

She studied at York University for her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts, concurrently graduating with a Bachelor of Education, Special Education Part One and Ontario Teachers Certificate.

A graduate of the Gestalt Institute of Toronto, Laila holds an undergraduate certificate in Gestalt Theory and Methodology and a postgraduate certificate in Gestalt Therapy.

She completed her Expressive Arts Certificate at Sir Sanford Fleming College.

Laila has her Reiki 1st & 2nd degree in the Usui System of Natural Healing taken with Reiki Master Anita Levin in Toronto.




 art class outdoor painting

 Nova Scotia women's retreat


Gestalt means whole in German. Gestalt therapy came about in the 1950's as part of the Human Potential Movement. It is an accessible, practical psychotherapy that encourages self-acceptance and self-support. At its core is an interest in how, not why, we choose to limit our awareness. It demonstrates ways to work towards expanding our observations of the world and ourselves, and acknowledges the individual as connected and responsive to the immediate environment.

By exploring the emotions, feelings and perceptions of the present moment, Gestalt therapy heightens awareness to behaviour patterns. This is the first step in therapeutic change. Those who practice Gestalt therapy develop an awareness of the excitement and immediacy of being fully present in the moment, which fosters an ability to respond authentically. This leads them to be open to more appropriate choices previously unconsidered, rather than continuing with habitual behaviour. The result is an evolution towards living a more meaningful and authentic life.

For an excellent, more detailed introduction to Gestalt therapy please visit


 art class collage

 art therapy with clay

 art therapy workshop collage

 art therapy class collage


Janie Ryne was the admired and long-hailed expert in the field of combining art and Gestalt therapy. Her own words, sincere and passionate, offer the most eloquent support for including art exercises in the personal growth process.

“We have alternatives....we can begin the courageous search for finding in ourselves what is genuine.
We can learn to give up falseness and grow into realness.... For me.... this experience of unlearning and regrowth a process...(and) the most effective (way) is to use art materials to make images that allow me to rediscover not only some of the simple, naive wisdom of the child I was but provide me with the visual imagery that evokes associations, resonances and insights that are available to me if I just take the time to become aware of them. I think of my expressive drawings as sources of learning....They show how I , as a mature person, can bring all of these realizations together into the pattern of my own gestalt, whose every part is related to the total configuration that is me- past present and future- and that I and my environment are ever-changing and ever- interacting.” p. 4,5. “....your drawing does have a lot to do with you- with the way you see and feel and think and with the way you perceive. When you do an art activity, you are experiencing yourself....” p. 6.

Taken from Janie Ryne The Gestalt Art Experience ,1973, revised 1996, Magnolia Street Publishers, Chicago Illinois. ISBN 0-9613309-6-1

It's the poet Ted Hughes who was once asked in an interview if poetry is something that gives hope. He replied: "For myself, I formulated the notion that art is in general a psychological component of the immune system. As the body tries to heal itself from any stress or shock or infection, the corresponding harmonic, in consciousness, is art. So our constant struggle to pull ourselves together and to deal with difficulty and injury and illness and with threats and fears, manifests itself - at a psychological level - as art. We may not think at the moment that it's the most valuable thing we do, but of any past civilization it's the one thing we want to preserve, because it still operates for us as medicine."

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 healing logo  Adventures logo


Aziza: (Ah zee zah) Is Arabic in origin meaning cherished one, beloved, invincible. It is also the name of a beneficent African Faerie race offering practical and spiritual knowledge to people. It is a word that is in perfect balance, a palindrome.

Heal: to make whole, to restore to health, to restore to original purity or integrity, to cause an undesirable condition to be overcome.

Adventure: an exciting or remarkable experience involving risk.


Circle is the symbol for wholeness, completion.

Water is the archetypal realm of emotions and feelings.

Spiral is an ancient symbol for spiritual journey toward self transformation.

“The center of a spiral is the center of the self as it goes through the forward movement of time yet never loses the essential spirit of its origin. We are who we are and experience deepens and elevates the soul simultaneously.” 1

“If we are intimately connected to the healing and becoming powers of the spiral then why is our world so chaotic? Doczi, Carl Jung, and Joseph Campbell all agree in principle that the ancient masters, unlike our modern selves, were in touch with the actual life essence as a reflection of biological makeup, as their prolific use of the spiral symbol demonstrates (Doczi, p. 28). Because our technological age has pulled us in an outward rather than inward direction, we've lost the generative relatedness between ourselves and everything around us (Doczi, p. 28). That is to say that we have forgotten the sense of awe in our association with the natural world in its ability to provide an example of the naturally assured process of death and rebirth. We have also lost our enthusiasm because we no longer share in the divine energy realized from recognizing the God within. Our emergence into organized religion and politics has acted to suppress our individual stirrings toward mystery and transcendence as many choose to live unaware of the connected, synchronatic fabric of the universe. So how can one reach within to grasp these mind-boggling concepts? We come back again to Jungian psychology and the appreciation and expression of the archetype.” 2

1., 2. Paula Vaughan 1998-2001, reprinted with permission. Research Paper /World Mythologies and Cultural Anthropology.

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