Play Therapy Mandela – My experience


(Play Therapy Student)

Play Therapy Mandala: My Experience

Play Therapy Mandala: My Experience

I thought this play therapy mandala was amazing. Making a Mandela in class was the first time I had created one. I had been introduced to the already made ones that you color in and was not impressed by them.

I did not understand their use. So being able to put whatever I wanted in it was liberating. I ended up drawing a beautiful picture and had no idea why that came in my head. Mine seemed so simple as compared to my partners.

We started to talk about mine and nothing really fit. I think we hit a few points, but it still didn’t become clear until my ride home. On my ride home I continued to dwell on my drawing. Then suddenly something clicked and I felt so many things!

I was embarrassed because it was kind of personal. I was thankful and relieved that I didn’t understand it in class with my partner. I was amazed that something so personal could emerge through something so simple.

I got home and immediately showed my husband. It took him a while to understand, but I totally got it.


When I set out to create another Mandela I wanted to use chalk. My grandmother had given my son a bucket of chalk and I thought it would be fun to draw on my driveway with my son. I think that gave me my inspiration also!

My son was drawing nearby and kept stopping and coming over and tackling me with a big hug. I began drawing my circle and using blue. Blue is serene and a foundation for me.

Then something made me draw two stars in the top of the circle. Then I drew a tree in the bottom of the circle. Something made me make it an apple tree.

At this point I kept staring at it and knowing it wasn’t done, when I saw the purple chalk. I used it to create clouds behind and around the stars.


Then I took my picture and began my analysis. I started thinking about the two stars and decided that they represented my boys. They are the shining stars in my life.

Then the tree with the fruit of knowledge represents the continued growth in life and the gaining of knowledge that we do every day.

Finally why did I draw the clouds? Well there are always a few clouds in life, but the point is to be optimistic (thus the purple) and to never let the clouds overshadowed the good in life.

I think this Mandela is very optimistic which is one of my best qualities!

This was a fantastic play therapy technique.

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