ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Do-It-Yourself Art Therapy Exercises

Updated on January 25, 2010

Art therapy is a type of therapy that uses the creative process as a tool to foster self-expression. Though art therapy is beneficial for mental health and stress management, many treatment programs have discontinued art therapy services due to a lack of insurance coverage. However, people who struggle with mental illness or stress can use do-it-yourself art therapy exercises on their own.

As an individual seeking to use art for stress management and self-expression, art therapy offers limitless methods of healthy self-expression. Art is a safe way to express anger, depression, frustration, joy, hope, love, and fear. Often, the individual feels uneasy or critical of their own work. The person should try to accept that there are no errors in art therapy. There’s no “wrong” way to use art. The individual should try not to be critical of their own work. It doesn’t matter if the final product is stick figures or scribbling. The goal is self-expression by any means.

For people who want to use art as an expressive tool but are self-conscious about their artistic ability, collages are an ideal exercise. Focusing on fears, hope, or emotions that the person currently feels, a collection of images and words can be cut from magazines or other printed materials. Collages are usually formed by covering an entire sheet of paper with selected images, but there are no rules. The person may also want to add paint, ribbon, or other embellishments that the person desires.

Many people find keeping a creativity journal to be helpful. A creativity journal can include poetry, drawings, letters, freewriting, or any other mode of self-expression that will fit on the journal page. Freewriting is writing freely without editing. A creativity journal is a safe place for self-expression that does not need to be shared with anyone.

I am a fan of making a self-esteem box. A self-esteem box is a craft box, which are available at Walmart and craft stores, that is decorated with paint of decopodge. The person then cuts strips of paper and writes things that they like about themselves, happy memories, and compliments that they have received. The strips of paper can be just plain squares of construction paper or shapes like hearts. The person could store small keepsakes that remind them of being loved or a happy memory in the box. When people are being critical of themselves or suffering from an episode of depression, the contents of the box serve as a reminder that the harsh or judgmental feelings are temporary.

If you use art therapy on your own, you may want to share your art or creativity journal with your therapist. Though sharing the art is up to the individual, art produced with art therapy exercises can often provide insight which can be helpful in the therapeutic process. For more information on do-it-yourself art therapy, please see my other hubs on the topic: Do-It-Yourself Art Therapy and Jonas Gerard, Abstract Expressionism, & DIY Art Therapy.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Baileybear 8 years ago

      Thanks for this post. I have been recommended to try art therapy and music therapy for my son with Asperger's. To help ease anxiety, for emotional expression and trying new things without fear of being judged

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)