Essential Art Therapy Exercises:

Effective Techniques to Manage Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD

Process difficult thoughts and feelings with art therapy

Essential Art Therapy Exercises shows you how creating art can help ease depression, anxiety, PTSD, and life’s other challenges. Art therapy activities like drawing, painting, and sculpting will help you better understand your state of mind in order to gain control over your emotions and improve your self-esteem.

From drawing a representation of your favorite song, to writing affirmations and taking photos to match, these therapeutic exercises will help you overcome the mindsets that are holding you back and lead you toward inner peace. Some take only five minutes, others up to an hour, but all of them explore a range of artistic mediums, so you can choose exactly what works for you.

Essential Art Therapy Exercises offers:

  • The art of getting better―These sophisticated exercises are a springboard for insight, self-expression, mindfulness, acceptance, and self-compassion.
  • Insights and questions―Every activity describes its benefits and offers thoughtful prompts to help you get the most out of each experience.
  • No experience required―You don’t need to be an artist to use art therapy. It’s about the experience of creating―without worry or judgement.

Let art therapy help you paint, draw, and write your way to a happier frame of mind.

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Let’s do an activity together. Go ahead, gather your materials and claim your space.

Emotional Landscape

Identifies feelings to gain
mastery over emotions

Prep time: 5 minutes
Exercise time: 45 minutes

1 sheet of 18-by-24-inch
drawing paper
Drawing pencil
Paint brush
Cup of water

An emotional landscape is a metaphor for how you feel. This
is an opportunity to explore your feelings in a symbolic way.
How do your current emotions translate into a scene? Think
of your landscape as having a background, middle ground,
and foreground. Be creative with your visualization. Your
emotional landscape could be rolling hills, mountains,
raging seas, barren desert, or a lush garden. Your emotional
landscapes may also vary on a daily or weekly basis.

1. Sit for five minutes and evaluate your current state of
mind. Consider what feelings and emotions are with you
at this moment. Think of a landscape that would visually
represent your current mood. Feel free to find images in
books or on the Internet to inspire you.

2. On the paper, use a pencil to sketch the landscape
you’ve visualized.

3. With a paint brush, use the watercolors to add blocks
of color to your landscape. You can choose to dip your
paint brush in the water to change colors, or to make a
particular color lighter or darker.

4. Give your artwork a title.

Questions for Discussion:
·· Does your painting speak to the emotions you’re
feeling at this moment?
·· How long have you been feeling this way?
·· If you could shrink in size and jump into your
painting, where would you land in the image?
·· Is there a message in your painting?

You can share your image in the Creative Soul Online Retreat Facebook group.