by Play Therapy Student and Therapist
Play Therapy Art Therapy Technique: House, Tree, Sun, Moon, Water, Animal Drawing
I have to admit that I was puzzled by this activity strange play therapy art counseling project. I had excitement and expectation about completing the mandala and sand tray but was reluctant to complete and analyze my drawing. It was mystical and bizare for a mere school counselor.
My drawing consists of a reddish brown brick home located in their far right of the photo which I think represents me living on the East Coast. The house itself is large but and strange looking brick and not uniform.
The windows are all placed next to each other on the top level but the third window looks slightly different than the others which are not fully apparent by the pictures. The third window represents my place in my family as the oldest child of two but feeling out of place and displaced from the family at this time.
The house contains a chimney but no smoke spewing out which represents my tendency to hold things in and not communicate to others how I feel in certain situations. The door of the house is welcoming but not centered on the home but placed more towards the left side of the house than in the center.
The tree is tall and pine and located in the center of the photo and full but the right side of the tree is slightly hidden by the house.
The tree is as tall as the house and very close to the home. This could be a representation of my perspective of my familial and personal relationships at this time. The tree is close to the house but hidden.
The tree represents that I have strong relationships but I feel distant from these relationships even though my support system is in place; I feel like there is distance from these relationships and maybe I am the one “hiding” my true self.
The water in the photo appears to be a lake or a pond in the yard. The pond is close to the tree but away from the house. The water represents my feelings that there is distance in my relationship with mother at this moment because I am feeling like our relationship is not growing or as close as it was before due to previous losses, location, and my feelings that my sister is closer to my mother than I am for all of the previous factors mentioned.
This saddens me and I do not know how to communicate this effectively to my mother. The duck floating on the water is a symbol and tribute to the duckling that died in class on Monday which I could not stop thinking about as I created this drawing.
The sun is at the far left of the drawing with rays and away from the house. This represents my relationship with my dad that is distant but not nonexistent. My dad is present in my life and important but we are not close. We do not speak to each other often by phone due to his work schedule and other factors even though I talk to my mom pretty much daily.
The sun figure in the drawing represents how our relationship has been for most of my life.
The moon is full and next to the sun and between the tree and sun that represents my desire to feel closer to my family but feeling as if it is not hopeless but difficult due to me living so far and not being able to see them in person only about once or twice a year. This saddens me as well.
The two animals in the photos are birds-a duck and a faceless bird. Both birds are facing west that represents my desire to feel closer to my family and see them more often but financially I am not able to travel to California to visit as often as I would like to.
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*If you ignore the disclaimer above are using these techniques on yourself and you feel any discomfort or upset it is highly suggested that you seek out a licensed mental health professional immediately.
"Beyond Art Therapy" is the concept from Dr. Stangline that combines all creative fields in therapy. It is not the traditional "art therapy" but goes beyond to include sand tray therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, meditation, color therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a vast majority of other therapies.
For any other type of mental health emergency call your local 911 / Police Number immediately.
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