Band-aid Directive

I probably use one or two band-aids a week. Pretty band-aid + Neosporin = quick way to feel better.

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I was thinking the other day that the simple act of picking out a band-aid, pulling it out of it’s sleeve, slapping it on—almost a ceremony—leaves me feeling better. And there’s a knowing. I know if I have a cut on my finger that as soon as I put a band-aid on I will feel better. And sometimes I’ll go all day without one, but I’ll look at the little cut when it catches my attention, and wonder why I haven’t gone and put on a band-aid.
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Jealousy (and a know thyself art therapy directive)

I have jealousy on my mind. What is it? Why do we feel it? What’s the message?

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Jealousy, by definition, is the fear that someone else will take what you perceive to be yours—you feel jealous when an attractive (better), powerful (better), amazing (better) person is talking to your significant other.

I know the feeling. It sucks. It’s fear and anxiety. Anger, to try to fend off the fear and anxiety. There is certainly a feeling of crazy. Pain, hurt, doom, those come to mind as well. And physically I feel jealousy right in the pit of my stomach. Where it likes to punch me until I feel like even more of an idiot.

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Spring

Welcome Spring!
Spring mandala. Don’t think, just do. Paper, circle, paint/color/draw:

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I like to think of spring as our reward after the long, cold winter. It’s my favorite season. I love the geese, the first cardinal, hanging clothes on the line, hands in the dirt, crocus shoots.

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Speaking of hands in the dirt. Do you garden?
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Mindfulness :: Scribble Directive

The Scribble Directive. I used paper, a pen, and water colors.

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Okay, I can’t take credit for the actual scribble, that was done by the little person that snuck into some of the pictures. The Scribble Directive is great for practicing mindfulness. It’s great if your working on living in the here and now. It’s great if you want to paint something. Here’s how this went for me this morning:

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Find scribble (you can make your own).

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Practice breathing while child joins in on the action (take notes on how child stays in the moment).

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Add paint.
As you can see this is simple stuff. Paper and paint. Some inspiration from the bluff I can see out of my window. This is about movement, clearing out the brain, and simply allowing whatever wants to happen happen.

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As ever, check out what’s happening through the process. Be an observer of your thoughts. See if you can stay in the present. When thoughts creep in you can acknowledge them and then simply ask them to leave. Practice being here now.

Scribble–Art Therapy Directive

The scribble art therapy directive is a nice way to let your brain relax and simply allow things to happen. All you need is paper and scribbling utensils of your liking.

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Step 1: Scribble

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Step 2: Check out your scribble. What do you see? Is anything in there? Does anything want to emerge?

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Keep going!

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And going…

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And that’s it! Really. It’s simple and relaxing and might point to something that’s been on your mind, known or unknown. I created this while listening to a story about living on a boat house in Miami. And I’ve been wishing I was far away from this polar vortex…

Create | Josh Kale

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I recently came across these beautiful illustrations of art therapy directives, assessments, and exercises. Josh Kale, a graphic design and advertising professional, created this series entitled Art Therapy Fundamentals, where he visually describes the process of assessments such as the DAP (draw a person). They are not only lovely to look at, but give a very straight-forward and quick look at what some art therapy might entail. Of course, it all depends on the art therapist, I tend to lean toward directives that allow for a more open interpretation. I think the series might be most enjoyed by art therapists, however. Personally, they took me back to Southwestern College, where I got my masters in Art Therapy and Counseling, right into my art therapy assessment class with Deb John. Take a closer look at Kale’s work here.

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Silhouette Directive

Wading through Pinterest I came across this piece of art and thought what a great art therapy directive. I am uncertain who the artist/author/creator of this piece is, but I found a trail that might eventually lead to it here.

Silhouette Directive:

1. Draw a silhouette (or print one off of the internet)

2. Ask your client a question: What’s on your mind? What’s happening in your head? Or, it could be used as a response to guided imagery work, dream work, visualization, etc. More, it has great potential as a check-in and would also work wonderfully as a thoughtful piece to consider how to clear one’s head. Better yet, don’t say anything at all and simply allow your client to respond without any direction.

3. Create. Great for collage, drawing, painting…

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birth

I’m about to give birth. Well not exactly minutes away, but days and maybe hours if I’m lucky. I ran across the artwork of Adrienne Slane the other day and I can’t stop thinking about it. I appreciate her use of symmetry and negative space in the collages she creates; the mandala-like quality to them, not to mention her chosen imagery of human anatomy, insects, and plants. Her work is striking and beautiful and overall very compelling. I woke up quite early this morning, baby on my brain…willing him to make his exit and thought, why don’t I make a personal response to Slane’s work and encourage this kid to get a move on? I was surprised to find, as I did a little more digging around on Slane, that she also includes imagery of deities. In my pre-dawn collage-making I had quickly decided that I would include the Virgin Mary in some form, because she’s my girl, and later this morning found her in Slane’s work as well. Coincidence? Interesting to say the least. There is also something Frida Kahlo-esque about it all, but that is merely my experience of it.

Is it the art process that is therapy? Or is it processing the art that is therapeutic? Regardless, the entire process helps move energy out of the body and into another form. In the hour I spent on my collage I was able to spend some time thinking about my birth process, about the baby inside of me, about the thoughts, feelings, intentions I want to take with me into the birthing process. I want to thank Adrienne Slane for inspiring this process and I encourage you to experience her art here.