May 17, 2024

Former ballet dancer transitions smoothly into a career in psychology

Lauren Buchardt offers clinical psychology services through the Sport Medicine Centre at UCalgary
A woman dances on a bridge
Cork City Ballet, taken during Swan Lake. Matthrew William

Lauren Buchardt, BA, MA, a registered provisional clinical psychologist in UCalgary’s Sport Medicine Centre, has a nuanced perspective in psychology, shaped significantly by her background as a professional ballet dancer. 

Buchardt's early career in ballet, which saw her perform with the Dutch National Ballet and Cork City Ballet, has deeply influenced her psychological practice. Ballet requires both physical and emotional resilience, qualities that Buchardt brings into her therapy sessions. "Transitioning from ballet to psychology was a natural progression for me. As a dancer, I was always drawn to material that explores and appreciates the human condition, and practices that foster resilience, and now I apply these interests to help others,” explains Buchardt.

A woman with brown hair smiles in front of a brick wall

Stepanka Srbecky

Now settled in Calgary after moving from Montreal, where she obtained her degree from McGill University, Buchardt has integrated her interest in sports and athleticism into her clinical work. Adapting to a new city, she has embraced Calgary's great outdoors, which support her holistic view of health—highlighting the role of physical activity in psychological well-being.

Working under supervision as a provisional psychologist, Buchardt is hands-on with her therapeutic approaches, ensuring they are effective and compassionate. Her practice is centered around creating a supportive, non-judgmental space where clients feel comfortable to share and explore their feelings, which is crucial for building trust and facilitating significant personal development.

Buchardt's work particularly focuses on helping clients, including athletes, manage anxiety, enhance the mind-body connection, and navigate life transitions—areas she is intimately familiar with from her own experiences in ballet.

"The challenges I faced as a dancer—both physical and psychological—have greatly informed how I support my clients in developing a healthier relationship with their bodies," she notes.

She emphasizes the importance of considering the whole context of a client's life in therapy, not just the immediate issues they present. "It’s crucial that our therapeutic environment acknowledges the entire backdrop of a client’s life, fostering not just immediate relief but long-term wellness," Buchardt states.

Looking ahead, Buchardt is optimistic about expanding her practice within the Sport Medicine Centre and the wider community in Calgary. She plans to develop her practice to address both acute and chronic psychological issues, fostering enduring relationships and comprehensive wellness plans. Her future goals include integrating more collaborative care models and broadening her community outreach.

Two people perform a ballet

Ballet Performance in Quebec City, Quebec.

IMAGINE Spectacles et Événements

Buchardt's diverse background and thorough training establish her as a unique presence at the Sport Medicine Centre. Her blend of arts, sports knowledge, and psychological expertise offers a distinctive therapeutic experience that supports self-exploration, healing, and well-being. For those looking for a psychologist committed to holistic care and personal growth, Buchardt’s practice provides a valuable resource.

You can find more information on clinical psychology services on the Sport Medicine Centre website

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