Journal Prompt…and a little bit about art therapy


For all you folks out there who keep art journals (or who just like to be creative or like to work on you personal growth):

When I worked as a psychotherapist I used art therapy with a lot of my clients. It’s a pretty non-threatening approach and not only can people learn a lot from what they create, I was able learn a some things about them and begin a dialogue through the piece of art.

I may have mentioned previously, I myself used art therapy when I was going through a couple of years of significant depression. Nothing like what my art journals of today are…I used mostly crayons, and later colored pencils, to draw with as well as making collages from magazine cut-outs. An interesting art therapy note about my choice of drawing utensils: in depression things can be very out of focus, very fuzzy and hard to grasp on to. My choice of crayons really reflected the way I felt because they do not provide sharpness or clarity like other things do. Then, as I grew personally and my depression improved, I made the move to colored pencils (very unconsciously at the time). Here I was able to express more detail and clarity, things were sharper in my drawings as well as in my mind and soul.

Now for a little fun and self exploration with an art journal prompt: Draw a Tree

Okay, I know it sounds strange, but there are some things to be learned about yourself through this. And it’s a good introduction to art therapy since it is a basic and common exercise. I don’t want to explain here the questions you will ask yourself after you finish because it can alter what you will draw. But, if you would like to participate please take some time to create your tree in whatever medium or mediums you choose (except using another image of a tree from a magazine, book etc) then in several days I will post some questions, some thoughts about how to interpret your tree. *there is no right or wrong way to do this!* It’s all about self exploration. If you like you can then post a link to your tree, and of course any comments about what you learned or what the experience was like for you, but it’s not necessary.

Have fun with this!
Peace to your hearts, Sara


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6 Responses to Journal Prompt…and a little bit about art therapy

  1. Ooooh this sounds fun. I’m in.

  2. artsychicksw says:

    Goodie! Glad you’re going to play with me 😉

  3. craftymadre says:

    I’ve done some art therapy with myself (when I was battling cancer) and some clients. I worked with one women with severe depression who could almost exclusively express her feeling through her drawings… and they were amazing. I love the tree, nest, bird prompt.

    I wish I’d been able to go farther with it, but the next step would have been getting a CAGS in Art Therapy, and I was so intimidated at the thought of having to take studio art classes that I didn’t do it. Maybe in my next life.

    (As I’m typing this, I see my blog’s name in the “Blogs I follow” list and it’s the coolest feeling.)

  4. artsychicksw says:

    Crafty Madre…yes, I love your blog…especially the mandalas you make with fresh “ingredients”! Art therapy is just the greatest, especially when I worked with children, which was most of the time. Some things that came out in art were astounding. One example was a young teen I was working with. I asked her to draw a picture of her and her father. She drew herself running with one leg way to the front and one way to the back; she drew her father as a snake coming up between her legs. I really was shocked at this obvious indication of sexual abuse, but she never shared about it. Still, it did help me in working with her.
    I can understand why you wouldn’t want to pursue a further degree, but the studio classes I took in college weren’t too intimidating. Though they might be in a degree relating to art! Thank you for visiting my blog…I hope you will come again sometime (though I don’t post very often). Peace to your heart, Sara

    • craftymadre says:

      Thank you so much. That poor kiddo. I hope this exercise for her was the beginning of her healing. Stories like that break my heart.

      • artsychicksw says:

        She did do some growing while in therapy, but I did have to leave that job to move to another city before we were “done”. I hope the next therapist was able to continue helping her to grow. I had to put her in God’s care…as I did with all my clients when at the end of our time together. Peace to your heart, S

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