Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Activity || Mandala

I have always loved to doodle.  During school, lectures, staff meetings, church and other situations where I am sitting still I typically fill up the margins of any piece of paper with doodles.  During a play therapy class I learned about the most wonderful excuse to doodle with a purpose - the mandala!  

This activity can be done at any age and is best set up as a reflection of an experience.  For example, have the client sit in front of an empty circle and think about their day, a recent event or a situation.  Ask her to think about her feelings, those involved in the event and each step of the process.  Then allow her to have quiet time to just draw.  

Sometimes it can be difficult to find words to explain what's going on in your mind.  This type of creativity can be especially effective in telling a story without the use of words.  It can also be very relaxing, calming and provides stress relief so it can be beneficial outside of a therapeutic session.

It is important to have a variety of supplies and colors to use when creating a mandala.  Each color, texture and mixed media can signify an important part of the story.  After the client is done, ask about the design, colors used and if the piece has a title.  This may lead to further discussion or the client may have done the work needed in the creation.  Remember to always trust the process.  Also, unless you are a trained art therapist, you should not analyze the art work of another - only use the activity in hopes of creating more discussion and understanding.

A mandala is...
An integrated structure 
organized around a 
unifying center


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