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Ideal World TV Shopping Online: Exploring a New Era of Retail Therapy

In today’s fast-paced world, shopping has transformed from a leisurely activity to a time-consuming chore. However, with the advent of online shopping platforms like Ideal World TV, retail therapy has taken on a whole new meaning. This article explores the concept of Ideal World TV Shopping Online and how it has revolutionized the way we shop.

The Rise of Ideal World TV Shopping Online

Ideal World TV Shopping Online is a unique platform that combines the convenience of online shopping with the excitement of television shopping channels. It allows customers to browse and purchase products from the comfort of their own homes while enjoying an interactive and engaging experience. With just a few clicks, shoppers can explore a wide range of products, from fashion and beauty to home appliances and electronics.

The rise in popularity of Ideal World TV Shopping Online can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, it offers consumers an alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar stores, where long queues and crowded aisles can be off-putting. Instead, customers can relax on their couches and explore numerous products without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

Secondly, Ideal World TV Shopping Online provides shoppers with access to exclusive deals and discounts that may not be available in physical stores. This is particularly appealing for bargain hunters who are always on the lookout for great deals.

The Benefits of Ideal World TV Shopping Online

Ideal World TV Shopping Online offers numerous benefits that have contributed to its growing popularity among consumers. One key advantage is the convenience it provides. Shoppers no longer need to battle traffic or navigate through crowded malls; instead, they can simply log onto their computers or mobile devices and start browsing.

Another benefit is the extensive product range available on Ideal World TV Shopping Online. From fashion-forward clothing brands to state-of-the-art home appliances, there is something for everyone. Customers can explore different categories and find products that suit their preferences and needs, all in one place.

Furthermore, Ideal World TV Shopping Online offers a seamless shopping experience. The platform is user-friendly and intuitive, making it easy for shoppers to navigate through the website or app. Customers can also read reviews from other buyers, helping them make informed purchasing decisions.

The Future of Ideal World TV Shopping Online

As technology continues to advance, the future of Ideal World TV Shopping Online looks promising. With the integration of artificial intelligence and virtual reality, shoppers can expect an even more immersive experience. Imagine being able to virtually try on clothes or test out electronics before making a purchase.

Additionally, personalized recommendations based on individual preferences and previous purchases will become more prevalent. This will enhance the overall shopping experience by saving customers time and effort in searching for products they may be interested in.

Furthermore, as e-commerce continues to grow globally, Ideal World TV Shopping Online has the potential to expand its reach to international markets. This would allow customers from different countries to access a wide range of products that were previously unavailable to them.

Embracing the Evolution of Retail Therapy

Ideal World TV Shopping Online has undoubtedly changed the way we shop. It has transformed retail therapy into a convenient and enjoyable experience that caters to our busy lifestyles. As more consumers embrace this new era of online shopping, it is clear that Ideal World TV is here to stay.

Whether you are looking for a wardrobe update or searching for the latest gadgets, Ideal World TV Shopping Online offers a world of possibilities at your fingertips. So why not embrace this evolution of retail therapy and start exploring all that Ideal World TV has to offer?

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


art therapy activities group

art therapy activities group

12 Most Interactive Art Therapy Group Activities For Adults

Art therapy is “a distinct discipline that incorporates creative methods of expression through visual art media.” There are a few different forms of art therapy, but, overall, it works as a form of psychotherapy to encourage creative expression while promoting healing and wellbeing.

For many, creative therapies — which also include dance, music, or writing therapy — can help those suffering from mental health issues to express themselves without having to talk or use words. This covers a wide range of both mental and physical illnesses by helping to provide focus and even hope for the future. 

The great thing about art therapy is that it can be facilitated in person, remotely, on a one-to-one basis, or in a group environment. This makes it flexible for those leading art workshops and easy for participants to access therapy.

With that in mind, let’s explore some art therapy group activities for adults.

What happens in art therapy?

The specifics of each session are shaped by the various activities for art therapy that can be used. Generally speaking, the aim of a session is to help participants explore their emotions by giving them an outlet for self-expression. This can boost self-esteem and positivity, which can help to heal.

Art therapy doesn’t require any art skills or training for the participants. For those who run it, they generally need to have a master’s degree with 120 hours of supervised practice and 600 further hours of supervised art therapy internship. 

The general structure of a one-to-one art therapy session includes:

  • A client assessment
  • Post-art making
  • Conclusion.

Group sessions can be held less formally, with a group assessment to start with, and then art-making to follow. However, it’s important to take into account the needs of each individual . Instead of asking them all to draw something similar with one art medium, try coming up with a theme or prompt and giving them the freedom to choose which medium they’d like to use. 

We hope the following 12 interactive art therapy group activities for adults will give you a source of inspiration… 

Art therapy techniques and exercises for adults

If you’re ready to start facilitating group sessions as an art therapist, the following ideas should give you a good starting point. Remember that you don’t just have to use one — a range of techniques can complement each other. 

Some of your clients may feel more comfortable building or creating using clay, yarn, or Lego. Others might prefer drawing using markers, an ink pen, crayons, or paints. 

The ideas below are all fun, easy-to-do, and will also encourage conversations between the group.

Helpful art therapy activities for anxiety

While art therapy supports recovery from many forms of mental and physical illness, anxiety and depression are often the common denominators. Below are a few art therapy ideas for anxiety, backed by psychologists.

Build a safe space

Encouraging your participants to build their own safe space is an important and eye-opening art therapy exercise. First, ask them to visualize a safe space . This might be an imaginary place or a mixture of places and objects that have made them feel safe previously. This can be built with a few easy resources such as magazines, glue sticks, and scissors!

Create a collage of emotions

Similar to the emotions color wheel above, a collage of emotions can help participants to better identify and understand their feelings. Themes could include family, emotions, identity, hopes, relationships, dreams, or the future. 

Draw in response to music

Music can often be very emotive. While music therapy is its own entity, music can be used in art therapy to bring emotions to the forefront. It can be employed as a vehicle of self-expression on its own or when drawing, painting, or creating as part of art therapy. Ask your participants to draw while the music is playing, or have them sit and listen to a piece and then create something to represent the emotions they felt. 

Zentangle® drawing

While the term Zentagle® is trademarked, this method has been proven to reduce stress and promote relaxation by allowing lines and shapes to simply emerge. The official Zentangle® method follows the following eight-step process :

  • Gratitude and appreciation
  • Corner dots
  • Initial and sign
  • Appreciate.

How to use essential oils alongside art therapy activities

Aromatherapy can create a calming atmosphere and promote relaxation. So, where appropriate, essential oils can be used to complement and enhance art therapy activities. Use a diffuser in the corner or the center of your space to diffuse and spread the scent throughout the room. Some essential oils are even thought to help reduce pain , promote mood and lessen anxiety. 

The 9 Best Tactics For Promoting A Workshop Like A Pro

The five most common essential oils are:

  • Frankincense.

Below, we’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about art therapy activities.

What can art therapy treat?

While it won’t necessarily treat or fix the root cause of the problem, art therapy can be used to help boost self-esteem, express emotions, and to help lessen the feelings of anxiety and depression.

Who can benefit from art therapy?

Art therapy is generally applicable to anyone who needs emotional support. It’s most commonly used for people who have:

  • Chronic or life-limiting illnesses
  • Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • Addictions 

How does art therapy help anxiety?

Art therapy can help anxiety by promoting calm and relaxation, giving an outlet for emotional expression, and helping to boost self-awareness and self-image. It works with other therapies such as CBT or medication to help soothe and lessen the symptoms experienced by those with anxiety – but is not a substitute for holistic treatment. 


We hope that this article has given you some inspiration on art therapy group activities for adults. Many of these can be adapted for kids and teens, too. 

Remember to take the needs of each individual into account, even during group art therapy activities. By providing various options for expression, the therapy can be made more individualistic and impactful — rather than if you encouraged everyone to simply paint using watercolors, for example. After the piece has been made, have a conversation about what the piece means, what’s reflected within it, and the author’s creative process. This can shed some light on their inner dialogue and point you to ways you can help them.

To give you the maximum amount of time to focus on the sessions and the needs of your patients and to promote your workshop , consider using a workshop booking software system . It will help you free up valuable time from managing clients, payments, and your calendar. With automated reminders, you will help your clients to remember their sessions to ensure they’re getting the maximum benefit from their therapy.

References and further reading 

  • Wikipedia: Art Therapy 
  • How To Sell Out A Workshop Online In No Time
  • The 8 Best Tactics For Promoting A Workshop Like A Pro
  • Creative Therapies Introduction
  • The American Art Therapy Association

Creative Therapy Ideas

Creative Therapy Ideas

Inspiring Resources for Therapists

5 Amazing Art Therapy Activities for Adults

art therapy activities for adults

While working with adults, you will likely come across a wide variety of issues. From anxiety to PTSD, to grief to substance use, therapy with adults covers a broad range. But there are some issues that are universal. Many adults struggle with things like unresolved loss, life transitions, identity development, and conflict in relationships. And there are some art therapy activities that work well with these common issues. That’s why I put together this collection of art therapy activities for adults. These art therapy activities provide a helpful springboard for your work with adults. 

* Disclosure : This post contains affiliate links, including links to Amazon, and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend resources, products, and services that I adore and find to be useful.  If you happen to make a purchase using one of my affiliate lin ks, I will earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Read more about our policies here .

art therapy activities for adults blog post

Using Art Therapy Activities with Adults

Some people believe that art therapy is the province of children, and that most adults would balk at the suggestion of making art in sessions. There’s no doubt children can do well in art therapy. This is due to a number of reasons, including things like their natural drive toward play and creative expression. But adults are driven to create, too. Plus, many adults appreciate the way art allows for nonverbal communication and exploration of issues on a symbolic level. 

What’s more, art-making creates a safety buffer for adults who struggle with direct talk therapy. Art externalizes their issues, making it easier to communicate concerns by delving into the art, rather than themselves. 

The Efficacy of Art Therapy Activities with Adults

An art therapy literature review published in Frontiers in Psychology (2018) looked at studies conducted between 2000 and 2017 to examine the efficacy of art therapy with adults. Researchers found that art therapy can be an effective treatment option for adults, especially for certain populations (i.e. cancer patients, adults who have experienced trauma, & the elderly), and especially when therapy is long-term.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Hayley Gallagher, MA, AT, LPC (@creativetherapyideas)

Art Therapy Activities for Adult Populations

Although more research is needed to further determine how effective art therapy is with adult populations, there are certain groups for which art therapy appears to be a promising option. 

Here are some of the adult populations that could benefit from art therapy:

  • Cancer patients
  • Adults who have experienced trauma
  • Elderly people
  • Adults with depression
  • Adults with anxiety
  • Prison inmates
  • Adults with dementia
  • Adults experiencing high stress/burnout

Engaging Adults in Art Therapy

As mentioned above, adults often experience similar presenting concerns, but for some adults, things like health, stage of life, family constellation, and other personal circumstances create unique issues that require special attention. That is where art therapy can really shine. The client has control over the art-making process and the art will take them where they need to go.

The client has control over the art-making process and the art will take them where they need to go.

Some adults are not initially open to art therapy. That’s where it’s helpful to get creative. The Handbook of Art Therapy (2003) suggests you offer the following details about art therapy to help put them at ease:

  • Art is another form of communication.
  • Art provides an opportunity to explore problems and discover possibilities for change.
  • Art externalizes the problem, making it easier to explore.
  • Art therapy has little to do with esthetic value, or making something pretty or Pinterest-worthy.
  • Artwork can provide visual representations that allow clients to picture scenarios, experience possibilities, participate in role plays, and reframe their meaning.
  • Art therapy can provide a “visible trail”, or visual record, of their therapeutic journey.
  • Art therapy taps into different parts of the brain than talk therapy alone.

art therapy infographic

Creative Ways to Use Art Therapy Activities with Adults

There are lots of ways to use art therapy activities with adults, including the standard drawing, painting, and sculpting. But here are a few more art therapy ideas for creative ways to use work with adults:

  • Photography
  • Mixed Media, Collage, Assemblage
  • Comic Strips & Comic Books
  • Sand Trays and Zen Gardens
  • Altered Books
  • Activities that Use Bridge, Road Map, or Container Metaphors
  • Combined Expressive Arts (i.e. visual, dance, movement, music, creative writing)
  • Group Art Therapy

While there are countless art therapy activities for adults that could work well, these 5 art directives include some of my favorites.

  • Draw Your Wall Art Therapy Activity
  • Identity Collage Art Therapy Activity
  • Unfinished Business Container Exercise
  • Bridge Drawing Art Therapy Activity
  • Meaning Machine Series
  • Draw Your Wall Activity

This straightforward art activity provides an excellent metaphor for your adult clients to work through any number of issues. You can explore past trauma, current boundaries, life stuckness, and even check in on the therapeutic relationship.

A Metaphor for Adults Who Have Experienced Trauma

While the Draw Your Wall activity can benefit treatment no matter what the issue, in my experience, the Draw Your Wall activity is especially useful for clients who have experienced trauma. 

Sometimes when people experience trauma, their brains and bodies go into protective mode, locking down the painful memories and physically embedding sensory data for future reference. This is helpful on a survival level, but when clients get stuck in that mode, they can experience all kinds of issues and symptoms.

That’s why I find the wall metaphor to be incredibly powerful for clients who may not be ready to delve into their trauma. The wall metaphor presented in this art therapy activity respects the power of the traumatic experiences. Instead of directly targeting the trauma, it respects those built up protective devices and explores their purpose. 

Respecting the Client’s Need for Protection

I was working with a 23 year-old woman (I’ll refer to her as Sydney) who was having trouble opening up about a past trauma. After assessing that she was just not ready to go there, I gently introduced the wall metaphor into the session. I told her that we didn’t need to go deep into her trauma.

Rather than explore the details of her experiences, I asked Sydney to depict the wall that got built as a result of those events. This opened up a productive dialogue in which Sydney felt safe to discuss the function of her wall and the impact of the trauma in a broader sense, thus allowing her to keep necessary protections intact until she was ready to dismantle them.

How to Facilitate this Art Therapy Activity for Adults

Facilitating this art therapy activity for adults is pretty straightforward and can be done in a single session, or carried over several sessions.

Provide them with paper and drawing tools. It can be any size, but should probably be at least 8.5×11. Depending on the client’s issues, you may tailor the directive prompt to meet that need, (i.e. draw the wall between you and your partner, draw your wall in therapy, etc.), or you can leave it open-ended, and simply say ‘draw your wall’.

Once your client has finished, run through some open-ended processing questions to explore their meaning.

draw your wall art therapy activity for adults

  • Identity Collage

This simple yet powerful art therapy directive works well for clients who are struggling to define who they are. Whether their identity struggles are related to childhood trauma, unresolved loss, or a life transition, the Identity Collage art therapy activity can help them explore who they are. Because it’s collage, it’s super accessible for most clients and there is a lot of versatility in terms of what kind of prompt and materials you provide.

Identity Formation and Art Therapy

Research has shown that social-cognitive processing that is centered around self-exploration, self-reflection, and an integrated self-knowledge is crucial when it comes to developing a meaningful  sense  of identity (Beaumont, 2015).  Beaumont (2015) surmises that “art  therapy  approaches that  focus  on  increasing  self-exploration,  self-reflection,  and effective  emotional  coping  will  promote  the development  of the  integrated self-knowledge  that  is  necessary for  coherent identity formation” (p.7-8).

Exploring Identity Through Collage Art Therapy Activities

Art therapist and author Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT, explains in a Psychology Today (2010) article on art therapy interventions that collage is an excellent intervention to use with adults because they “don’t have to go through the agony of drawing something realistic and are spared the feeling of embarrassment that [their] pictures look like a 10-year-old drew them; this is welcome relief to most of my adult clients who bring this worry to initial sessions.”

Assemble as many different kinds of old magazines as you can find. You may also want to include printed images, mixed media supplies, and found objects, depending on your client’s preferences. You will need glue and scissors, too. 

Arrange the supplies and provide a prompt for your client. For this activity, the prompt should relate to identity in some way. I usually say something like “Explore the materials provided. You may cut, rip, or select the images, words, or objects that resonate with you. Assemble and glue the collected pieces in a way that feels representative of your identity and inner sense of self.” 

When they are finished, give them a chance to present what they have created. Ask open-ended questions about what you see and also offer up any “noticings” that occur to you about their process, product, and symbols. Be mindful not to assign your own meaning without allowing the client to do so first.

identity collage art therapy activity for adults

Container exercises are wonderfully versatile art therapy activities for adults and kids alike. Containers provide an excellent metaphor to work through a number of issues, including anxiety, unresolved grief, family secrets, and childhood trauma, to name a few. This art therapy activity for adults explores “unfinished business”, using the container as a metaphor for repressed/buried/unresolved feelings, regrets, goals, dreams, etc. 

How Boxes and Containers Can Help in Art Therapy and Counseling

According to an article published in the American Journal of Art Therapy (2001) on using boxes in art therapy , boxes are a promising therapy tool. In fact, Farrell-Kirk (2001) states that “the use of boxes to enclose and conceal contents, create a new realm of space, and unite opposites makes the box effective in therapy. Due to the symbolic value of these characteristics, the box has been utilized throughout art history. This presence in art history is one of the characteristics contributing to the effectiveness of the box as a tool for art therapy” (p. 88).

When we go through something painful, whether it’s as intense as losing a loved one or as everyday as not accomplishing a professional goal, our brains and bodies sometimes do things with that pain without us even knowing it. Feelings and associations related to the pain can get jammed up, repressed, or acted out/expressed in less than desirable ways. 

The container metaphor can serve as a physical symbol that can tap into those feelings and experiences. Exploring the concept of “containment” through art can help clients uncover things that are being contained. It can also help them contain things that may feel overwhelming or out of control through visual and/or tactile means. Containment activities provide a way for clients to protect, preserve, and honor those parts of themselves that feel vulnerable. 

Containment activities provide a way for clients to protect, preserve, and honor those parts of themselves that feel vulnerable.

The Power of the Container Symbol for Processing Our Stuff

For example, when I was in grad school, our studio art therapy professor asked us to make a box out of cardstock that represented our memory bank. She then asked us to create small visual images on paper for each of the important things we kept in there. This activity allowed us to explore the parts of ourselves that we were holding onto, both positive and negative. Let me just say, when it came time to process as a group, things got emotional . ? In a good way.

The act of taking those little bits of paper and ink out of the box, holding them, talking about them, and putting them back in the box (and sometimes slamming the lid closed!), had a powerful impact on each one of us.

For me, honoring those parts of myself, bringing them into the light, and then containing them once again brought about a new level of self-awareness that I remember fondly to this day. 

There are so many variations for how to use boxes and containers in your work with adults. They can be drawn, sculpted, or crafted. You could also use a ready-made container to build upon. For the purposes of this exercise, I prefer to use these small premade cardboard boxes that get assembled by hand (see below).

art therapy activities group

You could also have your client craft their own box out of cardstock or cardboard, too. For many containment art directives, the process of building the box from scratch can have immense therapeutic value, in and of itself.

However, for this art therapy activity, the contents of the box is the star so the premade option works well and saves time.

Materials and Directions

I give the clients various drawing tools ( these sharpies work really well on the boxes ), cardstock in various colors, and I also like to offer these brightly colored index cards . I ask the client to think of the flattened box as their ‘self’. I instruct them to decorate the outside in ways that represent how they show who they are to the world.

Next, I tell them to put the box together. After that, I encourage the client to draw symbols, images, shapes, words, etc. on paper that represent the parts of themselves that feel unresolved, AKA their “unfinished business”. Once they have all of their symbols inside the box, I ask them to take them out, one at a time, and talk about each one. 

During processing we explore things like how their unfinished business impacts the way they show up in life, whether their unfinished business affects that way they show who they are on the outside, and whether any of their symbols could be explored with magnification, just to name a few. 

container drawing art therapy activity for adults

  • Bridge Drawing

I love bridge drawings. They offer a simple, accessible prompt that can elicit so much meaning. Bridge drawings make excellent art therapy activities for adults because they can help with processing problematic situations and difficult life transitions. 

The Benefits of Bridge Drawings in Art Therapy

Sometimes the clients we work with come to therapy because somewhere along the way, they got stuck in a life transition. For some reason, they couldn’t quite navigate the developmental milestone, and they got stuck.

Bridge drawings make excellent art therapy directives for exploring these life transitions. They can also help clients explore what they need to get to the other side of a tough situation. Bridge drawings also help clients identify the barriers that are in the way through symbolic imagery and meaning-making. Additionally, when you ask clients to place themselves in their drawings, you get lots of good information about where they might be stuck and why. 

There are many ways to conduct bridge drawings with your clients and I will put forth two options: a classic from the Handbook of Art Therapy , and my own variation geared toward difficult life transitions.

Classic Bridge Drawing Technique

This version of the bridge drawing technique comes from the Handbook of Art Therapy , from the section on clinical application with adults. In the chapter on using art in counseling, Gladding and Newsome (2007) describe a solution-focused bridge drawing.

Clients start by dividing a piece of paper into three sections.

  • In the first panel, they depict a current problem.
  • Next, clients shift to the third panel where they draw the solution to their problem. In other words, “what things would look like if the problem were solved” (p. 247). In the center panel, clients draw symbols for the barriers that are keeping them from solving the problem. 
  • Lastly, clients draw a bridge over the obstacles, creating a connection between the problem and the solution. With support from the art therapist, the client can add symbols, words, lines, and shapes to the bridge that represent ways to get around their obstacles. Clients may also depict themselves somewhere along the bridge.

Further processing can provide more clarification on how the client can solve their problem based on where they are along the bridge.

Bridge Over Water Drawing

In this art therapy directive, you can draw upon elements of the classic bridge drawing above while also “diving deeper” into the metaphor (please excuse the water pun).

For this activity, clients are asked to think about a difficult life transition. It can be something they have already gone through, something they are experiencing now, or something on the horizon. Next, clients are asked to draw a bridge across the page, drawing their bridge over a body of water. They are also asked to place themselves somewhere in their drawing. 

In my experience, it’s most helpful to leave some parts of the activity open-ended. In other words, don’t specify what kind of bridge or body of water they should depict.

When they are finished, ask them to explain how their bridge drawing represents the difficult life transition portrayed in the art. Ask processing questions to further explore their drawing. For example, you could ask about what the body of water might represent for them, or how sturdy and reliable their bridge is, and what it’s like to be where they are in the drawing. 

Bridge drawing art therapy activity for adults

The Meaning Machine Series is an art therapy directive that allows clients to explore their frame on a particular issue, as well as what meaning they are assigning to things related to that issue. They get the opportunity to define and redefine their meaning around a given stressor or problem in order to work toward healing.

About the Meaning Machine Art Directive

I came up with this art therapy directive while working with a parent who was stuck in a pattern of self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. Her meaning around her ability to be a good mom was wrapped up in guilt about her past drug use. Her immense guilt seemed to rule her decision-making more often than not, and it seemed to extinguish any instincts she may have felt with regard to self-care. 

I developed this series as a means to explore that meaning and help her discover a more positive frame.

The Meaning Machine drawing series serves as a springboard for learning how internalized messages, polarized thinking, and unprocessed emotion (i.e. guilt or shame) can keep us stuck in a rut. I chose a machine metaphor because of the way machines are designed to solve problems. 

The basic idea behind the activity is for the client to take their current unhelpful view of their problem and put it through a “meaning machine” in order to fabricate new meaning that serves them better. 

Exploring Meaning and Using Reframes in Art Therapy

When you assess that a client’s view of their situation is self-defeating, it can be really helpful to walk them toward a reframe. By confirming the objective facts of the situation, and then adjusting the lens through which they are viewed, you can help the client seize a more positive frame of meaning that can inspire them to approach their problem differently.

Reframes can honor and highlight the client’s mission versus focusing on the negative. For example, for the mother I mentioned above, I’ll call her Jane, a reframe of her past drug use and subsequent recovery allowed her to process through the guilt she felt. Through our work together, we determined that Jane’s drug use was a way for her to ‘sound the alarm bells’ about the overwhelm she felt as a single mom of 3 young children. 

She found respite in her heroin use, and fully escaped the only way she knew how. This method of escape pulled in much-needed supports for her and her family. As things stabilized, she embraced recovery. She ultimately stepped back into her parent role, surrounded by a supportive community. 

Using the Meaning Machine Art Directive

In therapy, Jane drew her unhelpful view of the problem as a dark, messy blob of lines and jagged shapes. The meaning machine she created was made of clean, round shapes and bright colors. After “sending” her old view through her meaning machine, a large heart filled with brightly-colored segments “came out” the other side. 

Through the reframing process, we owned that the method wasn’t the best, as it caused damage in its wake, but we honored that her mission was good, and in the end resulted in her family’s unmet needs getting met. 

This art therapy activity can be done in one session or over the course of several sessions, depending on how long the client needs. Using three large sheets of paper, preferably 9×12 or something similar, ask your client to do the following: 

  • On page one, draw their current (usually unhelpful) frame of their problem. Take some time to process their view of the problem. Explore ways this could be reframed. Ask them to look past the not so good method and identify the good mission behind the problem.
  • On the second page, draw the machine that will fix it. If they need guidance, ask them to describe the tools they would need to get past the problem and their current negative view. Tell them to fashion a pretend machine that could shift their thinking about the problem. Once they have finished their machine, help them process what they came up with.
  • Finally, ask them to envision putting their problem into the machine. On the third page, they should draw what comes out.

Once they are finished, explore what they have created. Ask them how their meaning has shifted and how their new frame will serve them. 

meaning machine series art therapy activity for adults

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Art therapy disclaimer:.

Introducing art into your work with clients can be powerful. There are so many benefits to art therapy, it’s easy to see why the field is growing. While it is possible to include art in your practice if you aren’t a professional art therapist, it’s important to ensure you have training on art therapy and how to use art effectively. 

It’s also important that you are clear with your clients that you are not an art therapist, and you are not providing art therapy.

Though there are ways to incorporate art into your practice, the general practice of art therapy by untrained or non-credentialed art therapists is not recommended. According to the American Art Therapy Association, “art therapy can only be practiced by an individual who possesses the required training, certification, and/or state licensure. Bona fide art therapy is beyond the scope of practice of non-art therapists.” 

Additionally, some art therapy directives can be self-guided, but they work best under the guidance of a trained art therapist. 

About the Clients Referenced in this Post

Every vignette, case study, or reference to a client has been adapted and adjusted for legal and ethical publication. Names, demographics, and other identifying information have all been changed in order to protect client identity, confidentiality, and privacy. The information presented in each example is for educational purposes only, intended to illustrate a concept, technique, or activity.

About the Artwork in this Post

All artwork used in this post was created by me. The images serve as a reference for the reader. Most of the artwork I feature in blog posts is “response art”. That means that when I set down to create each piece, I reflected on my work with a specific client, and then created the artwork with that experience in mind. All efforts were made to comply with HIPAA law and confidentiality and privacy of all clients.

Beaumont, Sherry. (2015). Art Therapy Approaches for Identity Problems during Adolescence. Canadian Art Therapy Association Journal . 25. 7-14. 10.1080/08322473.2012.11415557.

Farrell-Kirk, R. (2001). Secrets, symbols, synthesis, and safety: The role of boxes in art therapy, American Journal of Art Therapy , (39), 88-92.

Fiese, B. H., Tomcho, T. J., Douglas, M., Josephs, K., Poltrock, S., & Baker, T. (2002). A review of 50 years of research on naturally occurring family routines and rituals: Cause for celebration? Journal of Family Psychology , 16(4), 381–390. https://doi.org/10.1037/0893-3200.16.4.381

Malchiodi, C. A. (2003). Handbook of Art Therapy . New York: Guilford Press.

Regev, D., & Cohen-Yatziv, L. (2018). Effectiveness of Art Therapy With Adult Clients in 2018—What Progress Has Been Made? Frontiers in Psychology , 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01531

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Hayley Wilds, MA, LPC

Hayley Wilds, MA, LPC, is a licensed counselor, art therapist, certified family-based therapist, and clinical supervisor from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Hayley has worked in the mental health field for 20 years, helping both clients and clinicians.

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100 Art Therapy Ideas and Prompts

Last Updated on January 27, 2022 by Carol Gillette

Art therapy is an experience-based approach used to face emotions, decrease anxiety, enhance social skills, build confidence, and encourage mindfulness. It can help enrich the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

A professional art therapist uses art therapy activities to help treat personal and relational issues with individuals or a therapy group. He or she uses art projects to help improve a patient’s cognitive and sensorimotor functions.

Art therapy also fosters self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivates emotional resilience, promotes personal insight, aids in the reduction and resolution of conflicts, and advances change.

Art therapists use art and applied psychological theory and experience to make art therapy effective, as shown by this study from the American Art Therapy Association. The method engages mind, body, and spirit in a manner different from that of talk therapy. Expressive visual and symbolic communication allows people to express themselves when words don’t work.

Art therapy goes beyond simple arts and crafts and coloring books, and you don’t need to be good at art to take part in this mental health care method. Also, it’s not just for kids or the elderly. Everyone can benefit from art therapy when working with a professional art therapist.

Art Therapy Prompts

The following are art therapy ideas that use a person’s creative process, self-expression, and a lot of DIY, and which may have beneficial effects on the individual’s mental health.

1. Freedom looks like …   Engage in visualization to create a piece of artwork that represents your idea of freedom and what it means to you.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to bring awareness to your vision of freedom.

2. Emotions wheel exercise.   Think about your emotions and the colors that best represent those emotions. You can use the prompts to assign an emotion to each section of the wheel, and then designate a color and/or a picture you would like to draw that represents each emotion.

  • Goal:   This exercise will help you view your emotions, such as anger and sadness, through a more objective lens.

emotions wheel exercise

3. Sculpt your emotions.   Make a physical representation of the anger or sadness you feel or have in your life. You can create shapes, structures, and images that show your emotions.

  • Goal:   Physically mashing and shaping sculpting materials will help you express and release some of your negative feelings.

4. Send artwork or a message away with a balloon.   Use this exercise to get rid of negative feelings — such as writing down the word “angry” or a sentence about a negative situation in your life — or to send out positive feelings.

  • Goal:   This exercise offers a physical representation of shedding negative emotions and/or spreading positivity to the world to enhance your well-being.

5. Document a happy experience you had.   Using various art tools, document a happy experience you recently had. Create a visual representation of the event, the feelings, and the joy.

  • Goal:   The exercise will help you express happiness and be a reminder of good times.

6. Heart exercise.   Using an outline of a heart, draw the emotions, feelings, and experiences that live within your heart.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to track your view of your world and to identify feelings and healthy expressions of emotion.

7. How I feel today.   Using the template above, choose colors, and/or emotions, to demonstrate where you feel certain emotions by coloring in the human outline.

  • Goal:   This exercise will help you visually express how you are feeling.

how I feel today exercise

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to help understand how you think about yourself.

9. Color with crayon.   Crayon is an imperfect art tool. Use it to be at peace with imperfections by creating not-so-straight lines, uneven colors, and patchy shading.

  • Goal:   Learn to cherish human errors and be liberated from the constraints of perfection.
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Create With Your Eyes Closed

10. Draw freely.   Feel free of your own judgment by drawing in the dark or with your eyes closed; draw shapes, patterns, or whatever feels right.

  • Goal:   Through this exercise, you’ll be able to create and express yourself without judgment or self-criticism.

11. Draw how you feel.   Close your eyes and listen to your breathing and your body. Using drawing tools, draw and color your physical sensations to create an emotional and physical self-portrait.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to provide you with an image of how you view your physical and emotional being.

12. Flower exercise.   With your eyes closed, think of a flower you love or would like to see. Think about your flower in terms of sight, smell, and touch. Draw what you imagine.

  • Goal:   This exercise will help you overcome stress while training your imagination.

13. Imaginary planet exercise.   With your eyes closed, draw a planet that you imagine would be in space, including details of the surface you see in your mind.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to help relieve stress while developing your imagination and fine motor skills.

Lines, Symbols, and Shapes

14. Draw a zentangle design.   Zentangle is unplanned and abstract art that is created by various patterns and symbols, often made by drawing borders, connecting dots with lines, and shading open areas, usually done in black and white.

  • Goal:   This exercise helps you let go and reduce stress.

15. Draw a mandala symbol.   These geometric symbols, which can be drawn with traditional sand or with lines on paper from a center point, help aid in meditation.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to help you loosen up your mind and body and lessen fatigue.

16. Draw with symbols and shapes.   Using lines, shapes, and colors, create images that express your feelings while thinking about why you used the lines, shapes, and colors you did.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to help you understand your feelings.

17. Create art using only lines.   This simple art form can be used to express emotions you’re feeling.

  • Goal:   This therapeutic activity will provide you with a visual representation of your feelings and emotional state.


18. Paint with your hands.   Get your hands messy and have a good time with finger painting, spreading the paint, creating shapes and blobs and anything that comes to mind.

  • Goal:   Allow yourself to have fun and be messy. Let your inhibitions go for a while.

19. Paint with just your body.   Feel free and empowered by painting with your body as the paint tool. Use fingers, toes, hair, and other parts to create shapes and shades and apply color to a canvas.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to help you explore the possibilities and the beauty of your body.

20. Paint, scribble, or draw your stress out.   Choose colors and other art tools that represent your stress and scribble and paint those stressors away through lines, colors, and your creativity.

  • Goal:   This exercise helps relieve stress while allowing you to explore your creativity.

21. The unsent postcard.   Express your feelings to someone that you might still be angry at by designing and writing a letter or postcard — that you don’t plan on sending — with words, images, and colors that express your feelings.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to provide an outlet for negative emotions you may be holding on to.

unsent postcard exercise

22. Create an invention.   With your favorite art tools, design an invention that would make you happier. Don’t be constrained by reality. Create whatever would make you happy every time you use it.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to help you better create your own happiness and express your creativity.

23. Make short-lived art.   Using sand, chalk, paper, or water, you can create a piece of art that can easily be destroyed after you’ve created it.

  • Goal:   Letting go is not easy; this therapeutic activity will help you accept that some things are temporary and learn to release those things.

24. From illness to art.   If you have a serious, potentially life-threatening illness, use your art skills to turn it into something beautiful by representing your emotions through shapes and colors; perhaps even imagine life without the illness.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to work through depression, anxiety, and other emotions related to having a serious medical issue.

25. Make art based on a quote or poem you like.   Quotes and poems have the power to change our moods. Use words to create a visually inspiring piece of art, such as drawing the image the words evoke or sharing the colors you think of.

  • Goal:   This exercise combines the meaning and beauty of the words with your art to create a visual reminder of the words’ effect on your life.

26. My life is like …   Fill in the blank: “My life is like ____,” and draw a representation of your life today, such as a river, a mountain, a desert, etc.

  • Goal:   Through this exercise, you’ll create a visual representation of your emotions — your view of your life — that you can compare to reality.

27. Use plaster to make a sculpture out of your hand.   After it dries, you can write all of the good things your hand does for you directly onto the plaster.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to reflect on the things that make you happy and express gratitude for them.

28. Use a rock as your next canvas.   You can use this exercise to paint the things that empower you or the struggles you want to overcome on a rock.

  • Goal:   Rocks are solid and stable. This exercise is meant to offer you the strength to achieve and overcome challenges.

29. Write on leaves.   Create a gratitude tree by writing what you’re grateful for on leaves you find. Then hang the leaves on branches or paste them to a banner.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to remind you of all the good things and people in your life for which you are grateful.

30. Just create.   Let yourself be free and make the art how you want to make it without judging yourself. Draw, paint, sculpt — whatever you want, however you want — without concern for any “rules.”

  • Goal:   By letting yourself be free to create, you’ll be more laid back and relaxed.

31. Create artwork using your nondominant hand.   Give yourself grace and a chance to try something new and discover new ways to create.

  • Goal:   This exercise will help you “unlearn” what you know about style, control, and discipline, and to recapture the freedom you felt as a child.

32. Mix colors.   On a sheet of paper, draw several circles with a pen. Color in each circle with a different color. Once the colors have dried, apply different colors to each circle to see what the new color will look like.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to overcome emotional stress and develop the imagination.

33. Create your own permission slip.   We all have personal traits, but sometimes we view those traits as faults. Create a physical permission slip to give to your future self so that instead of feeling defeated about a personality trait, you may give yourself permission to minimize the feeling of defeat.

  • Goal:   Minimize feelings of defeat, or even self-hatred, with this exercise.

permission slip exercise

34. Draw something large.   Move around and draw something very large. You can even go outside and use some chalk on the sidewalk to get your body moving.

  • Goal:   The range of motion needed to create a large drawing can help release stress.

35. Scribble draw.   You can turn a scribble into something beautiful with your creativity. Make lines, add color, and create a scribbled masterpiece.

  • Goal:   This exercise helps you tap into your creativity and relax as you do so.

36. Color in a drawing.   Use a coloring book, or create your own drawings and outlines to color.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this simple exercise is to help relax your mind and body.

37. Draw in your favorite place.   Traveling opens the mind to new ideas. Pick your favorite place to be in and go there to draw something you want to draw.

  • Goal:   This exercise takes you out of your normal environment into a different, yet familiar, setting, unleashing creativity and promoting a positive mood.

38. Draw outside.   Literally, take your art out-of-doors. Getting closer to nature can get your creativity flowing and relax you.

  • Goal:   Being outside is fun and relaxing and promotes a connection with nature.

39. Draw your fears.   Get closer to facing your fears by making what scares you more real, and relatable, through a drawing.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to bring your fears to light and work toward facing them.

40. Draw your favorite childhood memory.   Take a few moments and think back to your childhood, recalling especially pleasant times. Using your favorite art supplies, draw a visual representation of your favorite childhood memory.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to help relieve stress and fatigue.

41. Sketch a mountain and a valley.   A mountain represents your happiest times, and a valley represents your saddest times. You can add specific events into the artwork.

  • Goal:   This exercise will help you find balance in the good and bad times of life.

42. Create unique drawings for the people you love the most.   Show your gratitude by creating something for a loved one.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to bring to light what is most important in your life — your loved ones — and express gratitude for them.

43. Sketch your body image.   On a canvas or paper, draw how you see your body to help with body image issues.

  • Goal:   This exercise can help you discover how your body perceptions compare to reality.

44. Draw your mirror reflection.   What is reflected in the mirror when you look at it? Is something standing in the way of your reflection? Depict what might be standing between you and your reflection.

  • Goal:   Discover how what you see in the mirror compares to the reality of who you are, and what needs to change to clear up the reflection.

45. Draw your name.   On a large piece of paper, draw your name as large as you can to take up as much space as possible.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to explore your identity and promote self-acceptance.

46. Draw a portrait of a past and current self.   Divide a piece of paper down the middle by drawing a line. Draw yourself as you’ve always seen yourself with the line dividing your face down the middle. Now, choose one side for your past self and one side for your current self to represent the change you’ve made from past to present.

  • Goal:   This exercise helps illustrate how much the self can change over time.

47. Use objects that mean something to you as inspiration for a self-portrait.   Instead of drawing yourself as you look, draw yourself by drawing various types of objects that mean something to you.

  • Goal:   This exercise offers a chance to reflect on who you are and how you see yourself by examining why you chose the objects you did.

48. Create a portrait of your future self.   Create a visual representation — a drawing or painting — of how you wish to see your future self.

  • Goal:   Learn about yourself, your goals, and how you might become who you want to be in the future.

49. Create a visual of how you think others see you.   Use this to compare to the self-portrait you made of how you see yourself.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to get to know yourself and examine your relationships with others.

50. Draw yourself as a strong warrior.   What is a warrior to you? Pick up a pencil or paintbrush and create an image of yourself as that strong warrior.

  • Goal:   This activity will help you begin to think of yourself as strong and capable.

51. Draw yourself as a superhero.   Decide who you would be as a superhero and what your superpowers would be, and draw what that would look like.

  • Goal:   This project will help you see yourself in a more powerful light.

52. Draw a picture of someone who changed your life for better or worse.   Draw a person who has impacted your life in one way or another.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to acknowledge the people who have affected your life.

53. Create a portrait series of yourself over time.   By drawing self-portraits of yourself over time, you create visual representations of how you’ve changed.

  • Goal:   You’ll be able to see how you’ve grown and changed in your life with these drawings.

54. Draw yourself as your spirit animal or plant.   Use your creativity to draw yourself if you could be an animal or plant.

  • Goal:   This exercise will help you understand your self-identity.

55. Draw your favorite character traits.   Celebrate yourself by drawing representations of all of your good character traits as you see them.

  • Goal:   This exercise can help you relax and relieve stress and fatigue while creating a more positive self-image.

56. Draw all of the positive things in your life.   Think of all of the things in your life that have helped you in one way or another and draw them.

  • Goal:   Acknowledging positive life elements will evoke happiness while allowing an expression of gratitude.

57. Draw your inspirations.   Draw the things and people that inspire you. Give them the colors and forms that represent the feelings you have about them.

  • Goal:   The exercise will help you realize what you have and be happy.

58. Create a drawing of your dreams.   Keep a dream journal and then use your descriptions to draw what you dream about.

  • Goal:   You can learn about yourself from your dreams and tap into your inspiration.

59. Butterfly dream and nightmare exercise.   Draw a silhouette of a butterfly. Fill it in with one wing depicting a dream and the other wing depicting a nightmare.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to study your fears and discover your inner resources.

60. Do one doodle a day.   Doodle your emotions, how you feel, what you’re doing, or what you want to do.

  • Goal:   This exercise offers you a chance to take a break from your hectic day to reflect and be creative.

61. Draw monsters in place of your real fears.   Think about something that frightens you and use your tools to give it form, color, and shape.

  • Goal:   Creating your own representation of a monster based on your fear will take some of its power away.

62. Spontaneous drawing.   Draw an illustration of your idea of a fairy tale or an element from your favorite fairy tale.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to draw your attention to your real experiences.

63. Doodle without purpose.   By yourself, or with a friend, draw random doodles and pass your pencil along to your friend.

  • Goal:   This exercise helps you enter deeper into your world and reflect.

64. Connect your doodles.   Start with one doodle and create other doodles from that one doodle.

  • Goal:   Open your mind to possibilities and delight as one doodle grows into something magical from your efforts.

65. Use calming colors.   Create artwork using colors that you find calming.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to calm both the mind and body and offer a feeling of wellness.

66. Paint to music.   Music reveals and unleashes emotions. Play some music that resonates with you and express your feelings through a paintbrush.

  • Goal:   Through art and music, you can begin to relieve emotional stress and also to relax.

67. Make a painting of a perfect day.   Paint your ideal perfect day and see how much of it you can turn into reality today.

  • Goal:   This exercise will help you think about possibilities and how you can make positive events happen in your life.

68. Paint a loss.   Painting a loss, whether it be a lost loved one or a loss of another type, can help you remember and recover.

  • Goal:   Remembrance and recovery go hand in hand. This activity will help you learn how to express grief and negative emotions.

69. Paint your safe place.   Using art and your memory, create a place that makes you feel safe.

  • Goal:   This exercise will help you find safety in a scary world.

70. Paint a spiritual experience you had.   Draw or paint the emotions you felt when you had a spiritual experience.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to reflect and grow from your spiritual experience.

71. Happy moments.   Paint positive memories or moments in an abstract art form.

  • Goal:   This exercise will tap into your creativity while creating a positive life feeling.

72. Paint your feelings.   Focus on your feelings and emotions and paint what and how you feel.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to help you identify and better understand your emotions.

73. Create a family tree painting.   Think about those family members who have supported you and given you strength, and paint a representation of them.

  • Goal:   Use this project to honor the people you are grateful for and who support you.

74. Use watercolors to express your bodily state.   Decide how you feel on a given day or at a given moment. Draw an outline of your body on a canvas or piece of paper and use watercolors to demonstrate how you feel, physically and emotionally.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to analyze your physical and emotional feelings while entering a state of relaxation.

75. Wet paint exercise.   Keep your thoughts and creativity flowing by painting on an already wet canvas.

  • Goal:   This exercise will help you develop your imagination and ease emotional stress.

76. Paint blowing.   After adding paint to paper with lots of water, use a thin tube to blow toward the painting to create various color spots and mix the colors.

  • Goal:   This exercise benefits coordination and helps alleviate stress.

77. Paint different moods.   Paint the various moods (sorrow, happiness, depression) you might be feeling in the moment.

  • Goal:   This project helps you develop your empathy.

78. Make your own stuffed animal.   Using different materials, you can create a stuffed animal that is comforting or means something to you.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to explore your happiness and find comfort.

79. Create snowflakes out of paper.   On each snowflake, write out what you’re grateful for or what makes you unique.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to celebrate you and acknowledge what you’re grateful for.

80. Create a confident mask.   Instead of making a mask to hide yourself, make a mask that expresses how you feel and empowers you. Cover the mask in symbols that make you feel strong.

  • Goal:   This mask can help empower you overall or before difficult situations.

81. Make an art journal.   Instead of writing, use a different type of journaling — your artwork — to tell a story and represent your emotions as events, both positive and negative, take place in your life.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to help deal with your emotions.

82. Pilot your dreams.   On a piece of paper, draw a happy dream you’ve had on the left half of the paper and a nightmare on the right half. Fold it into a paper airplane, and let it go.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to recognize trauma or stress in your life in order to overcome it and eventually achieve inner peace by releasing the paper airplane.

paper airplane exercise

83. Create a New Year’s resolution object.   Instead of writing down a New Year’s resolution, create an object that visually represents a promise you have made to yourself.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to help you set a visible goal to inspire your progress.

84. Create your own emblem.   Superheroes aren’t the only ones who can have emblems. Create a sign that symbolizes who you are as a person.

  • Goal:   Emblems help create awareness of interests and aspirations.

85. Decorate a souvenir.   Use a souvenir as a memory holder and decorate it with abstract or concrete representations of special days from your past.

  • Goal:   The positive memories from these special days will help on the not-so-good days.

86. Make an intention stick or object.   Create or find a physical object (such as a stick) that can work as a symbol for strength or comfort, and decorate it with string, feathers, glitter, beads, etc.

  • Goal:   This physical object can provide a reminder of strength and offer peace of mind when you recall its creation.

87. Make a dreamcatcher.   Create a dreamcatcher that you can keep with you to encourage good dreams while you sleep.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to create a time of peace and good dreams.

88. Create a stencil.   Use cardboard or various other materials to create your own stencil for a more personal drawing.

  • Goal:   This project focuses your creative mind on the tools you need to create works of art.

89. Forgive and create.   Decorate a box for a person you wish to forgive. Write the person’s name on a slip of paper and include it inside the box. Decorate the box with nice images and words that represent how you hope to feel by forgiving them.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to draw you closer to your desired inner state of forgiveness.

Architectural Style

90. Map a visual representation of your brain.   Draw what you imagine your emotions and thoughts and your brain look like to get a better idea of how your brain works.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to help you better understand how your mind works.

91. Create an art installation of a safe space.   Instead of physically building a safe space for yourself, draw your most realistic version of a safe space you would like to go, filled with meaningful, nostalgic objects.

  • Goal:   This exercise creates a visual “place” for good feelings to enter your mind and body.

92. Design a home.   Design your version, no matter how outrageous, of what a home means to you.

  • Goal:   This exercise creates a warm, safe place for you to imagine.

93. Map out the people you have in your life.   Draw yourself in the center and then map out all of the connections you can think of in your life and how close each one is to you.

  • Goal:   With a visual representation of the people close to you, you won’t feel so alone.

94. Construct a collage of your stress.   Using magazines, newspapers, or old books, create a collage using various images to represent your worries and stressors.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to give expression to your stressors and help you begin to relax.

95. Create a color collage.   Use a single color to express the emotions you’re feeling and create art by finding images with that color, writing with that color, and painting with that color, and then collaging with those items.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to help you make sense of your current emotional state.

96. Paint, draw, or collage the things you’re grateful for.   Document the things and people you are grateful for in the form of a collage using mixed media.

  • Goal:   This project will help you to feel happy and grateful for the good people and things in your life.

97. Cut and paste a painting to make a collage.   Cut up a painting you made and use the pieces to turn it into a collage — a new work of art.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to show how closely related creation and destruction can be.

98. Collage a poem.   Cut out random words from old books, newspapers, or magazines to craft your own poem.

  • Goal:   This project will tap into your creativity and inspiration to use found words to write something new.

99. Torn drawing exercise.   Rip up a drawing you made and use the pieces to create a new work of art.

  • Goal:   The purpose of this exercise is to unlock new levels of creativity.

100. Self-portrait with words collage.   Draw a self-portrait. Cut out words from old books, magazines, newspapers, etc., that represent who you are and paste them around your self-portrait.

  • Goal:   This is an exercise in self-exploration for positive self-thinking and well-being.
1. “ 15 Art Therapy Activities, Exercises & Ideas for Children and Adults ” Positive Psychology.com [cited July 28, 2021] 2. “ Art Therapy Exercises To Try at Home ” PsychCentral, Medically Reviewed by Scientific Advisory Board, August 2011 [cited July 28, 2021] 3. “ COVID-19 Resources for Art Therapists ” American Art Therapy Association, 2017 [cited July 28, 2021] 4. “What Is Art Therapy?” Verywell Mind, Medically Reviewed by Amy Morin, LCSW, July 2021 [cited July 28, 2021] 5. “ Art Therapy Techniques ” AllPsychologyCareers, 2021 [cited July 28, 2021]

Originally Published August 23, 2021 by Lyle Murphy

Lyle Murphy

Lyle Murphy is the founder of the Alternative to Meds Center, a licensed residential program that helps people overcome dependence on psychiatric medication and addiction issues using holistic and psychotherapeutic methods.

100 Art Therapy Ideas and Prompts

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5 Projects For Group Art Therapy

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Art therapy projects for groups.

  • Feeling Codes
  • Collage and Group Collage
  • Mask-Making
  • Altered Photo
  • Wise Puppet

Group art therapy has been used since the 1940s in diagnosis and treatment of emotional and mental illness. Therapists can use the facial expressions of clients as they work in addition to the words they use in discussing and interpreting the art process. Art is a sensory exercise, and that is an important aspect of the therapy when using it for children with attachment disorders. This type of therapy involves non-verbal communication. People store thoughts and feelings as words, but they also store them as emotions and images. Sometimes the process of creating an image can summon those feelings and thoughts so that client and therapist can both examine them. Therapies based in art also include dance, music, and theater. More traditionally, though, we think of visual art. Here are five visual group art therapy projects that can be used in group therapy sessions.

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1. Feeling Codes

Each person in the group has both a poster-sized piece of paper and a piece of notebook paper. On the smaller sheet, using images, clients devise a code for several feelings. Although many people might draw a smiling face to express happiness, others may draw a kite or just a yellow squiggle. Once their codes are devised, the participants make a poster on the large paper using their codes as elements of the painting or drawing to express how they are feeling. The therapist tries to “break” the code, and that leads to discussion.

2. Collage and Group Collage

An exercise especially helpful for teenagers or even adults asks them to choose images from magazines, cut them out in various shapes and glue them to a poster board. The colors chosen, the theme of the images and even the emotional tones expressed can help the therapist understand where his client is emotionally. That is the assessment. When the client examines his art, though, he may recognize thoughts or feelings that hadn’t been evident to him. The project can be done in a group mode to help subjects connect to one another through working together.

3. Mask-Making

Carl Jung theorized about the darker, repressed aspects of the human personality. Mask-making can help people get in contact with the things they may be shoving aside or even hiding. It may bring out concepts that the client hadn’t realized were there. It can also introduce the idea that clients may project one identity but are completely different inside, just as a mask has an inside and an outside. The finished masks can also be used to role play and fanaticize. That feature requires interaction with the group and may be useful in helping clients develop relationships.

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4. Altered Photo

Group members choose from black-and-white photographs of people that they can then alter using oil pastels or acrylic paint. This is another group activity that works well with teenagers. Kids love to deface photographs and the results can be humorous. The exercise is relaxing and therapeutic at the same time. Therapists who use this technique advise that if magazine pictures are used, they should be cut out ahead of time so that clients don’t begin reading the articles.

5. Wise Puppet

Like the mask-making, the value of this exercise is in both the creation of the art and in the role-play that can follow. Each person in the group creates a puppet, and then asks his creation for advice about an issue with which the client is struggling. The resulting role-play can be enlightening as a tool of assessment, can help clients think through issues, and can foster interaction between group members.

Visual art is a catalyst for human emotion and thought on every level. This is especially true when the art is used as a tool in the hands of a trained and engaged practitioner. These five examples of group art therapy give readers an idea of the value of innovative therapies in helping individuals work through issues and crisis points in their lives.

Source:  Psychology Today

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Expressive Arts Therapy: 15 Creative Activities and Techniques

Expressive arts therapy

It is especially well suited to clients who lack the ability to articulate their inner world with words alone. These clients can use the many forms of creative arts to express themselves.

In this article, we will discuss expressive arts therapy by explaining the interventions used and the difference between expressive arts therapy and creative arts therapies. You will be introduced to expressive arts therapy techniques and ideas for your psychotherapy and counseling sessions, both with individual adults and groups.

The article will also introduce training programs and degrees in expressive arts therapy and present a brief review of some of the best books on the subject.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free . These science-based exercises will provide you with detailed insight into Positive CBT and give you the tools to apply it in your therapy or coaching.

This Article Contains:

What is expressive arts therapy, expressive arts therapy vs creative arts therapy, 12 techniques and ideas for your sessions, 3 activities for adults and groups, training in expressive arts therapy, top 14 courses, programs, and degrees, 3 best books about expressive arts therapy, helpful positivepsychology.com resources, a take-home message.

Expressive arts therapy incorporates elements of all forms of creative expression into a multimodal expressive form of integrative psychotherapy (Knill et al., 2005).

Expressive arts therapists are proficient in interpreting creative expression, rather than arts practitioners who have trained in a specific form of therapy.

In expressive arts therapy, each client is encouraged to use multiple forms of creative expression to articulate their inner world, including drawing and painting, photography, sculptures using a range of materials from clay to paper mâché, music, drama and role-play , poetry, prose, and dance and movement.

Expressive arts therapy focuses on four major therapeutic modalities:

  • Imagination
  • Active participation
  • Mind–body connection

Human beings have used expressive arts as healing modalities since ancient times (Malchiodi, 2020). Expressive arts therapists facilitate multimodal creative expression, sometimes in one session, usually non-directively.

In other words, the therapist provides the materials, equipment, and media required to facilitate a client’s creative expression during the therapy session.

Dr. Cathy Malchiodi is a psychologist and expressive arts therapist who explains the four core healing practices when using expressive arts to work with trauma: movement, sound, storytelling through image, and silence through contemplative and self-regulatory practices.

Expressive arts therapy involves a multimodal integration of varied elements of the creative arts therapies into psychotherapy and counseling.

Creative arts therapies include art therapy, dance therapy , music therapy , drama therapy , and writing therapy . Creative arts therapists tend to be expert arts practitioners in one specific area who have gone on to train in a specific type of creative arts therapy (Stuckey & Nobel, 2010).

For example, a painter who has graduated with a fine art degree may then complete graduate training in art therapy to practice as an art therapist, or a professional performer may train as a dance or drama therapist.

However, expressive arts therapists are not expert arts practitioners. Rather, they are proficient in the skilled use of expressive arts as an integrative intervention in psychotherapy (Knill et al., 2005).

Drawing in art therapy

1. Drawing and painting

Intuitive drawing and painting with pastels, chalks, acrylics, and watercolors can be useful for expressing emotions, mood states, or relational dynamics that are difficult to express in words (Laws & Conway, 2019; Stuckey & Nobel, 2010; Trevisani et al., 2010).

Take a look at the video under the next item for an example of an intuitive drawing session.

2. Sculpting

Clay sculpting during a session can be very therapeutic, as clay is moldable and remoldable. Clay can take a lot of impact, and sculpting can be used to represent abstract inner states, a self-image, and other people (Vaartio-Rajalin et al., 2020). It can then be stretched, pummeled, and flattened as a means of expressing emotions.

In the video below, expressive arts therapist Natalie Rogers uses the two techniques mentioned during a therapy session with the same client.

Mask making using a range of materials such as tissue paper, clay, or paper mâché can be a powerful tool for expressing the many different roles people play in different relationships and life situations (Jones, 1996).

It can also express personal strengths. In this article , art therapists Gioia Chilton and Rebecca Wilkinson describe how they use mask making while working with people in addiction recovery.

4. Movement

Movement can be a powerful form of self-expression to connect to the wisdom of the body and its innate healing capacity. This may include dance, but not necessarily.

Movement can relieve stress and can be a powerful tool for self-regulation (Jones, 1996). In the video below, somatic psychologist and dance/movement therapist Dr. Jennifer Tantia explains how she used movement to transform her client’s anxiety into a sense of agency.

Expressive journal writing can combine words, drawings, sketches, collages, or photos to represent emotions, thoughts, events, memories, aspirations, strengths, and other inner experiences.

The journal provides a safe place for a client to express their authentic voice and practice honest self-expression (Knill & Atkins, 2020).

It can help clients clarify thoughts and feelings and forge a deeper connection to their needs, aspirations, and goals. This activity can also be continued between sessions as an adjunct to therapy then discussed during sessions. In this article , expressive arts therapist Shelley Klammer explains the wider benefits of expressive journaling.

Poetry writing is a central technique in expressive arts therapy that aims to mobilize artistic language, symbolism, and poesy as the source of creative expression. Clients can be encouraged to write expressively but also share poems written by others that have moved them.

The video below is the trailer for the book Poetry in Expressive Arts: Supporting Resilience Through Poetic Writing  by Margo Fuchs Knill and Sally Atkins (2020) and presents examples of poetry written as therapy.

7. Role-play

We all play many roles in our lives – at work, in social situations, and in our relationships.

Drama therapy is a safe method for exploring these roles in a nonthreatening way (Jones, 1996). Masks and puppets can also be used to explore roles and express difficult feelings rather than participating in active role-play if a client is uncomfortable expressing themselves directly.

This drama therapy intervention enables clients to explore roles they dislike, roles they aspire to play in the future, and current roles they’d like to expand. Role-play may be used in interventions designed to enhance self-awareness, strengthen a sense of identity, and enhance relationships.

Collage can be used to make emotionally expressive images using cut-outs, photos, paints, and felt pens. The key to this exercise is working quickly and spontaneously, as free of internal verbal commentary as possible.

The expressive collage-making exercise by expressive arts therapist Shelley Klammer in the video below is designed to enhance self-acceptance.

9. Self-portraiture

Self-portraiture using a range of materials can be very cathartic, and a series of self-portraits can reflect how a client sees themselves changing over time. These can be made by drawing, painting, mask making, sculpture, photography, or mixed media using a combination of these materials.

10. Photography

Photography used in a therapeutic context is often called photo therapy or therapeutic photography (Gibson, 2018).

Photo therapy can enhance clients’ appreciation of their environment and what they love about their daily life. It can also be used to journal the healing process after trauma or loss.

In the TED Talk below, How Photography Saved My Life , Bryce Evans explains how therapeutic photography helped him recover from depression and anxiety.

11. Mandala making or coloring

Mandala making or coloring can be a wonderfully meditative exercise for emotional expression, centering, and self-soothing.

Mandala derives from the Sanskrit word for “circle,” and in Eastern religious traditions, mandalas are often used as an aid to contemplation and meditation.

To make a mandala from scratch, the client needs to draw a circle (perhaps tracing around a circular object or using a compass) and then fill the circle in with spontaneous patterns and colors.

Alternatively, mandala coloring books such as 150 Mandalas: An Adult Coloring Book With 150 Beautiful Mandalas in Various Styles for Stress Relief and Relaxation can be used to relieve stress and for self-soothing purposes (Koo et al., 2020).

12. Filmmaking

Filmmaking is another powerful expressive art form that is now available to most of us, given we can all make videos with our smartphones and edit them with various low-cost or free video-editing apps online.

This video trailer for the book Video and Filmmaking as Psychotherapy (Cohen et al., 2016) gives a taste of how filmmaking is being used in psychotherapy with veterans to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

All the techniques above are used in expressive arts therapy in conjunction with person-centered, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and mindfulness-based approaches to maximize and integrate psychological healing.

We share three activities with which to get started.

1. Mindful painting for stress relief

For this activity, you will need drawing pencils, ink pens, felt pens, colored pencils, pastels, chalks, crayons, acrylic and/or water paints, and brushes. This activity can be conducted with an individual or in a group.

The activity involves intuitively drawing or painting abstract representations of the things that stress your clients in response to the prompt ‘pressure.’ The idea is for clients to express how pressure makes them feel by making marks on the paper without judgment, rather than holding them in their bodies.

This exercise should begin with a brief mindful breathing exercise for each participant to relax and register their stress levels. Then, encourage them to make marks with colors that represent their feelings and draw and paint their problems away.

This video by Mindful Creative Muse for World Mental Health Day explains the process in more detail.

2. Guided imagery with music into a safe place

This activity can be conducted with individuals or in a group and was devised by music therapist Paula Higgins. For this activity, you will need space for clients to sit or lie down, yoga mats or cushions for them to lie on, and a device that can play music either using the video below or your own source.

The activity uses relaxation, guided imagery , music, and the mindfulness of breathing to create a sense of safety and stability. It could be particularly helpful for clients who are grieving, experiencing stress or anxiety, or in recovery from addiction.

You can download the transcript by clicking on the three dots on the right-hand side under the video and then clicking “open transcript.” You can copy and paste the transcript from the text box on the right. Adapt it for your session.

3. Mindful photography as phototherapy

This activity is again suitable for individuals or a group and involves slowing down through mindfully looking at photos to relieve stress through appreciation. Ruth Davey, the founder/director of Look Again has made a short video to give a taste of mindful photography and its benefits.

For this activity, each participant will need access to a digital camera of some sort. A mobile phone camera is more than adequate. Access to nature in either a garden or park is also preferable (Atkins & Snyder, 2017), as it’s much easier to slow down in nature than in a busy urban setting.

Participants benefit by relaxing, becoming more present, and through an enhanced sense of creativity and flow.

The International Expressive Arts Therapy Association has a searchable list of training programs. The following are some of the top courses available, from certificates to diplomas and degrees up to PhD.

Some are offered purely remotely, some are hybrid courses that combine a residential component with online learning, and some are campus based. Most of the training programs are currently based in the United States. There is also one training institute in Europe and one in Hong Kong, with new trainings emerging all the time.

art therapy activities group

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The best place to get started with expressive arts, is by learning more about it. Have a look at the following selection of courses, spread out over the globe.

1. Expressive Arts Florida Institute

Expressive Arts Florida Institute

The following courses range from an introductory online program to a series of campus-based master’s degrees in expressive arts therapy in conjunction with other approaches, such as coaching, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding.

  • Creative Wisdom – Introductory Online Training in Expressive Arts
  • Certificate Training Program in Intermodal Expressive Arts
  • Master of Arts Degrees in Expressive Arts Therapy; Expressive Arts Coaching and Consulting; and Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding (offered in conjunction with the European Graduate School, Switzerland).

2. Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, United States

Lesley University has a range of on-campus courses available from undergraduate to graduate certifications and a doctoral program.

  • BA in Expressive Therapies
  • Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Expressive Therapies
  • Graduate Certificate in Expressive Therapies Studies for mental health professionals
  • PhD in Expressive Therapies – low residency

3. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, United States

art therapy activities group

  • Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Concentration in Expressive Arts Therapy
  • Graduate Certificate in Expressive Arts Therapy

4. The European Graduate School (EGS), Saas-Fee, Switzerland

The courses listed below and other programs at EGS are the only expressive arts therapies training options currently available in Europe.

They offer hybrid study options that comprise a residential component on campus in Switzerland with other studies conducted at a university in your home country. Programs include the following:

  • Continuing Education CAS Expressive Arts Practice
  • Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Expressive Arts
  • MA degrees in the fields of expressive arts therapy
  • Doctoral program

5. The University of Hong Kong, Centre of Behavioral Health, Hong Kong

The University of Hong Kong

This graduate degree program with a duration of two years full time or three years part time at Hong Kong University is the only one available in Asia.

  • Master of Expressive Arts Therapy

These books are highly recommended and created by experts in the field.

1. Principles and Practice of Expressive Arts Therapy: Toward a Therapeutic Aesthetics – Paolo J. Knill, Stephen K. Levine, and Ellen G. Levine

Principles and Practice of Expressive Arts Therapy

This book begins by describing the philosophical foundations of expressive arts therapies in poiesis (creating by making) as an antidote to mind–body dualism and modern alienation as the root cause of many mental health problems.

This book will really appeal to practicing psychotherapists who want to understand how to incorporate expressive arts techniques into their existing approach.

Find the book on Amazon .

2. Nature-Based Expressive Arts Therapy – Sally Atkins and Melia Snyder

Nature-Based Expressive Arts Therapy

This book is also aimed at practicing therapists and helping professionals with an interest in expressive arts and ecotherapy.

This book explains how environmentally aware creative expression can be used to heal the relationship between human beings and nature that can exacerbate and even cause mental health problems from an ecotherapy perspective.

3. Trauma and Expressive Arts Therapy: Brain, Body, and Imagination in the Healing Process – Cathy A. Malchiodi

Trauma and Expressive Arts Therapy

This book is specifically aimed at therapists and helping professionals who work with trauma.

Malchiodi explains the neuroscience of trauma and how expressive arts can reprogram the nervous system through holistic acts of creative expression, by helping to process traumatic experiences that often evade language.

PositivePsychology.com has free resources that can help you introduce expressive arts interventions into your practice.

Try our Self-Love Journal worksheet, which provides 10 journal prompts for those clients needing to cultivate self-compassion.

Alternatively, try our Mapping Emotions worksheet, which uses visualization and color to enhance emotional awareness.

Our Positive Psychology Toolkit© also contains numerous expressive arts therapy tools, including Rewriting the Narrative With Humor, a tool for promoting emotional wellbeing and resilience using writing therapy to reframe a narrative about an embarrassing event with humor.

Also in the Toolkit is Drawing Grief,  an expressive arts tool that aims to help bereaved clients explore their thoughts and feelings about their loss through drawing.

If you’re looking for more science-based ways to help others enhance their wellbeing, check out this signature collection of 17 validated positive psychology tools for practitioners . Use them to help others flourish and thrive.

Some pre-linguistic symptoms from trauma, grief, addiction, and anxiety may be inaccessible to conventional language processing. New neural pathways can be built through creative expression, which is a much more potent approach than talking.

Expressive arts therapy is an intervention that can help heal the body and mind, with ancient roots in ritual, music, song, art, poetry, dance, and drama across all cultures.

And although this approach is relatively new to Western psychotherapy, it is growing in relevance as our understanding of the functioning of the brain and nervous system explains why expressive arts therapy can be so effective.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. For more information, don’t forget to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free .

  • Atkins, S., & Snyder, M. (2017). Nature-based expressive arts therapy: Integrating the expressive arts and ecotherapy . Jessica Kingsley.
  • Cohen, J. L., Johnson, J. L., & Orr, P. (2016). Video and filmmaking as psychotherapy: Research and practice . Routledge.
  • Gibson, N. (2018). Therapeutic photography: Enhancing self-esteem, self-efficacy and resilience . Jessica Kingsley.
  • Jones, P. (1996). Drama as therapy: Theatre as living . Routledge.
  • Knill, M. F. & Atkins, S. (2020). Poetry in expressive arts: Supporting resilience through poetic writing . Jessica Kingsley.
  • Knill, P. J., Levine, E. G., & Levine, S. K. (2005). Principles and practice of expressive arts therapy: Toward a therapeutic aesthetics . Jessica Kingsley.
  • Koo, M., Chen, H. P., & Yeh, Y. C. (2020). Coloring activities for anxiety reduction and mood improvement in Taiwanese community-dwelling older adults: A randomized controlled study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2020 , 6964737.
  • Laws, K. R., & Conway, W. (2019). Do adjunctive art therapies reduce symptomatology in schizophrenia? A meta-analysis. World Journal of Psychiatry , 9 (8),107–120.
  • Malchiodi, C. A. (2020). Trauma and expressive arts therapy: Brain, body, and imagination in the healing process . Guilford Press.
  • Stuckey, H. L. & Nobel, J. (2010). The connection between art, healing and public health: A review of current literature. American Journal of Public Health , 100 (2), 254–263.
  • Trevisani, F., Casadio, R., Romagnoli, F., Zamagni, M. P., Francesconi, C., Tromellini, A., Di Micoli, A., Frigerio, M., Farinelli, G., & Bernardi, M. (2010). Art in the hospital: Its impact on the feelings and emotional state of patients admitted to an internal medicine unit. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine , 16 (8), 853–859.
  • Vaartio-Rajalin, H., Santamäki-Fischer, R., Jokisalo, P., & Fagerström, L. (2020). Art making and expressive art therapy in adult health and nursing care: A scoping review. International Journal of Nursing Science , 8 (1),102–119.

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Dr. Jo, thanks for citing me and sharing the film! I appreciate it! What a great website, too. I have it bookmarked.

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100 Art Therapy Ideas & Art Therapy Exercises: Your Path to Harmony from Artistro

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Table of Contents:

Simple art therapy techniques, some more creative therapeutic activity ideas, original therapeutic art projects, the magic of therapy drawing, finishing touches from the list of 100 art therapy exercises.

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy based on creativity and self-expression. The approach is used as a means to relieve stress, increase self-esteem and awareness, and for post-traumatic recovery aims. Mostly, other forms of therapy use verbal language to express feelings and overcome personal obstacles. On the contrary, art therapy allows for more abstract forms of communication. This tactic involves the manifestation of elements of the subconscious, for which there is no willingness or ability to be voiced.

You don't need to be an artist to benefit from art therapy. In fact, most of the exercises do not rely on the end result that you create, but on the therapeutic effect of the ritual of the creative process itself. If you are intrigued by the possibility of relaxation through your artistic imagination, then this list of 100 art therapy exercises is just for you.

art therapy ideas-art therapy exercises- art therapy prompts- art therapy techniques- art therapy examples-therapeutic art-therapeutic activities- art therapy  projects

1.The masks art therapy ideas. On the prepared stencils, draw the emotions of those masks that you usually wear. This exercise helps you develop empathy skills, listen to yourself, tell your story on behalf of each mask. 2. What is the feminine and masculine art therapy ideas. This is one of the simplest therapeutic art activities. First, it is discussed in groups how to create a collage on a given topic. During the creative process, the opinions of both groups are taken into account. The exercise expands the understanding of social interaction and human behavior. 3. Drawing yourself art therapy ideas. Draw yourself as a plant or animal are the easiest paint therapy ideas. The exercise helps to know yourself, to open your inner world. 4. Scratching art therapy ideas. Graphic work on a soapy lining is velvety due to the scratching of its surface. This exercise improves fine motor skills, relieves emotional stress. 5. Salt drawings art therapy ideas. If you cover colored paper with glue and salt, you get beautiful snowdrifts. You can also use toothpaste by squeezing it along the outline. This exercise develops fine motor skills.

art therapy ideas-art therapy exercises- art therapy prompts- art therapy techniques- art therapy examples-therapeutic art-therapeutic activities- art therapy  projects

6.Wet paint art therapy ideas . A drawing is created when paint is added to a non-dried background and shaded with a sponge or a wide brush. In this way, it is convenient to draw sunrises and sunsets, as well as the coloring of animals. This exercise develops imagination, relieve emotional stress. 7. Splashing art therapy ideas. For the color splashing technique, use a comb, brush, or toothbrush. Bright splashes will help express seasonal changes (leaf color changes, wind direction). This exercise improves creative vision, relieves emotional stress. 8. Egg mosaic art therapy ideas. Add some crushed eggshells in several glasses with multi-colored paint. Draw a picture, sprinkle it with eggshell mosaic. This exercise develops fine motor skills. 9. Monotype art therapy ideas. Spatter the paint onto the glass with water and a brush to form stains. Cover the puddles with clean paper to create a beautiful landscape. The exercise is aimed at developing imagination, creativity. 10. Invisible or Candle art therapy ideas. Drawing Exercise First, paint a magic drawing on a blank sheet of paper with a candle, then wash it with watercolor. Such art therapy activities develop imagination, fine motor skills, relieves emotional stress.

art therapy ideas-art therapy exercises- art therapy prompts- art therapy techniques- art therapy examples-therapeutic art-therapeutic activities- art therapy  projects

11. Pair drawing art therapy ideas. Try to create a drawing or applique together without discussing the topic in advance. Talking during the creative process is prohibited. Creating of such therapeutic art projects develops self-regulation, the ability to constructively interact. 12. Walk in the woods art therapy ideas. While listening to music, draw a forest, transferring your feelings from unity with nature. This therapy drawing develops the imagination, helps to discover the inner corners of the soul. 13. Drawing circles art therapy ideas. Several participants at the same table draw circles of any color and size on a large sheet of paper. The middle of the circle is filled with any images, creating a chain from them. Such group art therapy techniques reveal interpersonal and group relationships and offer the potential for building cohesion. 14. A fairy tale of a butterfly and a dream art therapy ideas. Draw your dreams to the sound of music on the silhouette of a butterfly. On one wing, depict the content of your nightmare, and on the other wing, the content of your pleasant dreams. The purpose of such art therapy exercises is to study night fears, to find an inner resource. 15. Spontaneous drawing exercise. Draw an illustration for your favorite fairy tale. The exercise provides an opportunity to become aware of your real experiences.

art therapy ideas-art therapy exercises- art therapy prompts- art therapy techniques- art therapy examples-therapeutic art-therapeutic activities- art therapy  projects

16. My planet art therapy ideas. Close your eyes and imagine a planet in space. Draw this planet. This exercise and similar examples of art therapy develop imagination, fine motor skills, relieve emotional stress. 17. The two with one piece of chalk art therapy ideas. This is one of the best therapeutic activity ideas for collaboration. On the board or on the asphalt, the two of you need to draw a picture together with one chalk, alternately passing it from hand to hand. You cannot talk while drawing. The exercise develops cooperation, the ability to work in a team. 18. Drawing on crumpled paper art therapy ideas. Crumple a sheet of paper, tear off the edges in the form of an oval or circle. In the middle, create a drawing on any topic. Exercise trains the imagination, helps to overcome stress. 19. Ink blots and butterflies art therapy ideas. Drip a drop of ink on thin paper and roll it up or fold it in half. Expand the sheet and transform the seen image. The exercise sets you up for reflection, develops imagination and ingenuity. 20. Paint blowing art therapy ideas. Apply paint to a sheet of paper with plenty of water. At the very end of the work, blow color spots through a thin tube, forming droplets, splashes, and color mixing. Try to see the image and transform it. This exercise hones hand coordination, helps to overcome stress.

art therapy ideas-art therapy exercises- art therapy prompts- art therapy techniques- art therapy examples-therapeutic art-therapeutic activities- art therapy  projects

21. Drawing with charcoal crayons art therapy ideas. Take charcoal crayons to create this therapy drawing. Use charcoal along with colour pencils or wax crayons. The art therapy ideas of such activities are to relieve emotional stress by immersion in oneself. 22. Doodle art therapy ideas. Let the pencil flutter freely on the paper, draw doodles without any purpose or intention and pass it on to your partner, who must create an image from them and develop it. The exercise helps you immerse yourself in your own world, sets you up for reflection. 23. Draw a mood art therapy ideas. Paint different moods (sad, cheerful, joyful, etc.). The exercise develops empathy. 24. Rainbow art therapy ideas. When doing this, apply each strip with a partner in turn. The exercise develops the emotional world, communication skills. 25. Group drawing in a circle art therapy ideas. Discuss the idea of the future drawing in the group. The picture must be drawn, alternately passing the task to the next participant. Exercise develops empathy, goodwill towards each other.

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26. Drawing with music art therapy ideas. While listening to Vivaldi's 4 Seasons Symphony, paint the landscape in large strokes. Exercise helps relieve emotional stress. 27. Finger drawing art therapy ideas. Draw a plot in the air with your fingers. Your opponent must guess the drawing. The exercise develops imagination, communication skills. 28. Draw your mandala art therapy ideas. Use a pencil to draw a circle with a diameter that matches the size of your head. Find a center and start drawing from it, depicting a specific figure, and let the composition of your drawing form by itself. Mandala exercise relieves stress, fatigue, tension. 29. Magic paint art therapy ideas. Paint a magical land with magical colors. Stir flour, salt, sunflower oil, gouache, water and create a drawing with your hands. Exercise helps to overcome emotional stress, develops imagination. 30. Colors Life Story art therapy ideas. Apply yellow on a sheet of paper, apply blue on top of it. So a new color was born, it's green. The exercise develops sensory abilities and imagination.

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31. Inner world map art therapy ideas. In the likeness of a geographic map, create a map of your inner world. To do this, think about what feelings, states prevail in you ("ocean of love", or "mountain of courage"). Leave the "undiscovered islands" to discover new qualities. The exercise forms an idea of yourself; helps to understand and express your feelings. 32. Envelopes of joy and sorrow art therapy ideas. A lot of different events take place during the day, both joyful and sad. Make two paper envelopes. In one of them, collect your joys, and in the other, hide your sorrows in the form of drawings. The exercise develops the ability to express your feelings in relation to various life situations. 33. Family poster art therapy ideas. Stick the envelope onto a large sheet of A3 paper. Place your family photos that show the brightest events in an envelope. Add a small symbolic drawing to each photo. This exercise brings family members together emotionally and helps to strengthen family values. 34. My emblem art therapy ideas. An emblem is a distinctive sign that depicts a symbol of an idea or person. Use plasticine to make your own emblem. The exercise forms an idea of oneself, awareness of one's interests and aspirations. 35. My family's coat of arms art therapy ideas. Look at family photos. Use generalized knowledge about the history of your family to make the coat of arms of your family. Exercise forms an understanding of family values, strengthens blood ties.

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36. Flower art therapy ideas. Close your eyes and imagine a beautiful flower. What does it look and smell like? Make your own unique flower using colored paper, glue, and scissors. This exercise trains imagination and helps to overcome stress. 37. Cheerful fingers art therapy ideas. Take a piece of paper and gouache. Put your fingers in colorful paints and create a pattern that matches your mood. The goal of such an exercise is to relieve emotional stress, train fine motor skills and imagination. 38. Postcard without addressee art therapy ideas. If emotions or feelings about a person are raging within you, release them in a letter. To enhance the therapeutic effect, draw an additional postcard. The purpose of the exercise is to pour out negative emotions. 39. Collage from a torn painting art therapy ideas. Draw a picture and then tear it apart. Use the pieces of the drawing along with other elements to create a new work as a collage. This exercise unlocks your creativity. 40. Creation of the altar art therapy ideas. Build an altar for someone who is important to you (this could be a deceased relative, your first school love, or a brother with whom you quarreled). Decorate it with shared memories: photos, souvenirs, gifts, letters, and crafts. This activity helps you to understand the value of human relationships, as well as helps to heal wounds and find comfort in difficult times.

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41. Alone in the dark art therapy ideas. Create a drawing in complete darkness. Creative tension comes from criticism and condemnation of the people around. This exercise will allow you to free yourself from perfectionism and enjoy the original creativity. 42. Color your physical condition art therapy ideas. Close your eyes, relax, and listen to your body. Using watercolors, paint your physical sensations: your pulse, breathing. This is your most authentic self-portrait. 43. Zentangle meditation art therapy ideas. Create a series of patterns and repeating ornaments in black and white zenteling technique. Such an activity reveals creative potential, giving the right to a creative mistake: nothing can be erased. 44. Allow yourself a mistake art therapy ideas. Think about the traits you don't like about yourself, the failures or mistakes you have made. Focus on one of these blunders and draw it in your artwork. In this way, you give yourself the right to make a mistake, forgive your being imperfect. 45. Poetic collage art therapy ideas. Cut out inspiring phrases from old letters, newspapers, or brochures and create a collage from them. You don't need to have an initial idea, you can come up with an idea as you create.

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46. Nominal drawing tool art therapy ideas. Come up with your own paint brush. It doesn't matter if you glue the toothpicks to a cardboard base or attach a skein of thread to a pencil. The purpose of the exercise is to free yourself from control over the drawing process. 47. Forgiveness box art therapy ideas. To get rid of negative emotions in relation to a person, you need to forgive him or her. Take any cardboard box and decorate it with calming patterns. You can add a letter or a photo of this person. The purpose of this activity is to create pleasant memories that connect you with this person. 48. Happiness card art therapy ideas. Choose and draw three habits for happiness. The purpose of the exercise is to become aware of your feelings, to understand where to move to improve the quality of your life. 49. My good sides art therapy ideas. To relax, relieve stress and fatigue, you can use light art exercises. Draw your good character traits. 50. Fingerprint art therapy ideas. Contour your hand (palms with fingers) and create unique patterns inside.

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51. Childhood memories art therapy ideas. Draw your childhood memory. This will help relieve stress and fatigue. 52. Happy moments art therapy ideas. Draw an abstraction of the positive moments in your life. 53. Kindness marathon art therapy ideas. Paint a stone or a brick, take part in the Kindness rocks marathon. 54. Collage of leaves art therapy ideas. Collect a collage of leaves, twigs, glue them to paper. Then finish painting the background, draw pictures around them. 55. Imitator art therapy ideas. Create your own interpretation of a famous painting.

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56. Dreams art therapy ideas. Draw your dreams using exactly the shapes and images in which they come to your mind. 57. Drawing with symbols and abstractions art therapy ideas. Use colors, lines, shapes to create images that express your understanding of feelings of guilt, grief, happiness. It is important to discuss the author's reasoning for the choice of color, shape, and composition. 58. The color of my mood art therapy ideas. Each member of the group is invited to walk through a drawn maze and stop in a zone which color matches his or her mood. Further, work is carried out on individual signs (images, symbols) of mood. 59. Image and mood plastic art therapy ideas. Each participant is asked to choose a piece of plasticine of a certain color and give it a suitable shape that is relevant to the topic. Exercise is useful when dealing with aggression, destructive behavior, fears. 60. Series of drawings art therapy ideas. 3-4 art exercises are performed at once. It is necessary to develop the background of the offered drawing: next to it, depict your condition. Don't analyze or criticize your drawings, allow yourself to do whatever you want.

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61. Drawing on wet paper art therapy ideas . Drawing on wet way actualizes the feelings associated with a person's attitude to himself, reflects a person's ability to relax, without control, to accept life as it is. 62. Drawing on crumpled paper art therapy ideas. Drawing on crumpled paper actualizes the topic of relationships with loved ones, growth and overcoming conflict. 63. Drawing on checkered paper art therapy ideas. Drawing on checkered paper actualizes the interaction of a person with the system, with society, finding his vocation. 64. Drawing on torn paper art therapy ideas. Torn paper artwork reflects a person's ability to recover, survive crisis periods, integrate, and change. 65. Drawing a name art therapy ideas. The focus of these therapeutic art projects is on the phenomena of identity and self-acceptance. With a wide brush and oil paint in your hand, write your name so that it takes up as much space as possible. Draw your name on a piece of paper with symbolism.

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66. Visualization art therapy ideas. Visualization exercise Sit comfortably with your eyes closed. The assistant pronounces separate phrases, and you should focus on their content. After that, you need to draw images of the words you heard. 67. Two randoms art therapy ideas. Take a dictionary and pick two random concepts at random. Match them up, come up with a crazy story with these concepts, and draw a picture. These art exercises is great for training the brain and helps develop creativity. 68. Crazy geneticist art therapy ideas. Draw something that combines as many features of all the animals you know as possible. The goal of the therapy drawing is to turn off logic by focusing on creativity. 69. Mad architect exercise. Choose any 10 words. Imagine that you are an architect and your client has set these 10 requirements. While drawing on paper, simultaneously imagine what it might look like in real life. 70. Five plus five art therapy ideas. Pick any noun and draw this object. Now come up with 5 adjectives that suit him and draw them. After that, come up with 5 more adjectives that do not fit, and draw them too.

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71. Naming art therapy ideas. Every time you are interested in an object, come up with a name and artistic symbol for it. Draw the symbol using paints. 72. Working with salt dough art therapy ideas. Such paint therapy ideas transform images, supplement them with new details, destroy and create again. You can mold your fear out of salt dough and destroy it, decorate it, or transform it into something else. 73. Metaphorical self-portrait art therapy ideas. Draw yourself as an object, plant, or animal that you want to be. Then write a short story about it. The therapy drawing develops flexible role-playing behavior, the formation of identity. 74. Day events art therapy ideas. Pick a day you would like to remember and draw its content in every detail. The task is to actualize the feelings; distance from negative events. 75. At the crossroads art therapy ideas. Divide the sheets into several rows, name each row one of the options for your behavior model. Model the result of solving your question in accordance with a certain model after 1 year and draw on the first sheet. Move all 5 rows this way, going further into the future each time. This is suitable for those in a situation of choice in making vital decisions.

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76. Protective amulet art therapy ideas. Collect all kinds of art materials and make yourself a personal amulet to protect you from your fears. The goal is to reduce psycho-emotional stress. 77. Emotional body atlas art therapy ideas. Write down five emotions on a piece of paper: fear, joy, anger, sadness, shame. To the right of the title, you need to make a note with paints of the color with which you associate these emotions. The purpose is to investigate a group of irritants that are most clearly manifested in bodily reactions. 78. The sun art therapy ideas. In the center of the sheet, write the subject (key word), find associations to a word that reveal its meaning. Write down each association and connect it to the word in the center with a line. This is how the sun appears with the rays coming from it, which you need to color. 79. This is me art therapy ideas . Paper and pens are distributed to all participants. Each one comes up with 10 phrases that characterize him or her and depicts it in the form of a picture. The purpose of the exercise is to help the participants get to know each other better, to establish cooperation. 80. What's in your heart art therapy ideas. Take your time, use art materials you like (pencils, crayons, markers, paints) and listen carefully to yourself. Fill the drawn heart with those emotions, feelings, experiences that live in your heart.

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81. The letter of anger art therapy ideas. Spill out on paper with the help of paints all negative emotions in relation to any person or event. This exercise helps to remove negativity and teaches you to understand your emotional state. 82. I'll give the pain to paper art therapy ideas. Use a straw to blow out your pain. Place diluted watercolor paint in a cocktail straw and blow onto a piece of paper. From now on, thoughts of love, not pain, live inside you. 83. Drawing the spasm art therapy ideas. If you are experiencing physical discomfort, draw a picture of the spasm. Completion of the item from separate details, in order to form new images, helps to overcome traumatic psychoemotional conditions. 84. Cast drawing art therapy ideas. One of the simple and effective therapeutic art ideas is liquid paint cast. This exercise makes it possible to blur the meaning of psycho emotional experiences symbolically. cast 85. Depth casts art therapy ideas. Completing monotypic casts on a separate sheet with a search for deep saving meanings is a very effective art therapy crafts.

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86. Colored sheets art therapy ideas. Sketch in any color as many sheets of paper as many negative words you can use to describe the pain. 87. Geometric figures art therapy ideas. Draw your pain in geometric shapes in different color range. 88. My life is like... art therapy ideas . Make a series of pictures on separate sheets. Draw your feelings today. The theme of the drawings: My life is like a road, river, mountain, game, fire. 89. Facets of myself art therapy ideas. Create a collage on the topic "The Facets of My Self" from magazine clippings and newspaper pictures. Draw the missing details. 90. Associations art therapy ideas. On a piece of paper, draw associations for your partner: if he were a color, an object, an animal, a musical composition, then how exactly do you see him or her.

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91. Fell the rhythm art therapy ideas. Play the rhythm of your choice by clapping your hands, tapping the table, clicking, etc. Draw what you feel along the way. When you get used to it, play it in a different way or choose a new rhythm. 92. Plasticine modeling art therapy ideas. Sculpt the image that first comes to your mind. Modeling from plasticine, dough, clay is an effective means of modeling a new self-image, productive relationships, values.

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93. The lacking person art therapy ideas. Remember childhood and draw a lacking person, thanks to whom your life could change for the better. 94. Man and the planet of one's treasures art therapy ideas . From pieces of dough, mold a sculpture of a person and the planet of his treasures. Place the sculpture in paper space (the universe). Paint the dried sculpture. The goal of such art therapy activities is to reflect and analyze your behavior. 95. The letter from the future art therapy ideas. Come up with a fictional written message to yourself from yourself from the future detailing the life you want. The drawing will complement the effect perfectly.

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96. Feeling to feeling art therapy ideas. Draw your feeling at the very moment (type, shape, color is determined by you). In each subsequent part of the sheet, it is necessary to draw an image of feeling in relation to the previous drawing. 97. Five wishes art therapy ideas. Write your wishes on 5 sheets. Choose the color and composition of the picture for each of them. The main thing is that the color combination matches your idea of the very desire. 98. Acceptance art therapy ideas. Cut the completed abstract drawing from a magazine or newspaper into pieces of any shape. A fragment of someone else's drawing must be integrated into your work. Glue the collage and paint the rest. 99. Reference geometric shapes art therapy ideas. Draw a circle around the point in the center of the sheet and continue spinning in a circle for one minute. In the same way, inscribe the star in the circle. Monitor your sensations as you exercise. 100. My house art therapy ideas. List all of your relatives on a piece of paper. Draw a house and place your family inside it. The goal of such art therapy techniques is to diagnose family relationships.

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We offer to consider 100 simple exercises that will help you explore your inner self and unleash your creative potential. Perhaps not all of them will be useful or convenient to use specifically for you, but at least some of the list you can use on an ongoing basis. These simple art therapy techniques will help you open up new facets of yourself, as well as release stress, tension, and just relax after a hard working day.

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