Catastrophe or Not?

An Art Therapy Critical Thinking Skill Activity with Free Printable Worksheet:

Help your clients problem solve and practice critical thinking skills with this unique art therapy activity.


A long time ago I used to use a catastrophe scale worksheet on clients and students that was very complicated.

I changed some things around and came up with this unique art therapy / visual imagery / critical thinking activity.  

The “Catastrophe or Not?” worksheet is a simplified visual to help clients / students see if their issues are really a catastrophe, or not!  

This activity is a good way to promote critical thinking with all ages. The visual imagery part of the activity will teach your client / student transfer and apply other situations in a critical thinking manner. It will also help clients / students to reframe thinking patterns when they are stuck.

Materials Needed for the Art Therapy Creative Thinking Activity:

“Catastrophe or Not?” Worksheet Below

Markers or Crayons

Directions for the Art Therapy “Catastrophe or Not?” Activity

1. Look at the waves on the worksheet. Ask the client which wave they think matches their problem and then color in the wave chosen.

2. Have the client / student draw a face and body on the stick figure.


3. Ask the client / student to visualize what it would be like to be soaked by the wave they chose. Would the wave wash them under the ocean, or just get them wet?

4. Once the client / student has completed the worksheet and visualization ask the client if the wave they chose was actually the correct one.

For instance, if you have a death in the family you would probably chose the highest wave. If you have someone call you a name you would probably pick one of the smaller waves.

Note: Basically, the smaller waves correlate to smaller problems. The bigger waves correlate to larger problems.  

By using this worksheet and visual imagery technique the client removes exaggeration and can relate the problem to real life situations in a realistic way.


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