Learn how to use a Play Therapy Mandala in Play Therapy

by Play Therapy Student
(Atlanta, GA)

Learn how to use a Play Therapy Mandala Example

Learn how to use a Play Therapy Mandala Example

When I initially began working on my play therapy mandala in class, I have to admit that I was a little intimidated. I somewhat knew a few of the elements that I wanted to include, but my perfectionism kicked in and I became overwhelmed by what the finished product “should” look like. However, after spending some time coloring with my nephew and observing how absolutely proud we both were of his various free-styled squiggles and swirls all over the page, I realized that I should adopt that same freedom of expression for my own work.

The sun in the center of circle of my play therapy mandala represents hope – my spirituality – which illuminates to all aspects of my life. The sun is surrounded by chains of hearts which represent the sources of love I have in my life. In my experience, love serves not only as a unbreakable source of strength – enhancing the hope that I may feel in certain situations – but also as a weighty source of overwhelming pressure and seemingly unbearable disappointment.

The rain clouds at the top of the play therapy mandala represent the bad times that I have experienced in my life and the rain itself represents my tears. Those disappointments have attempted to cloud my sunshine – my hope – and rain on my dreams (represented by the moon and the starts) but instead, by faith, they have provided the elements necessary for growth and maturity – represented by the waters and the rooted tree being sustained by said waters. Lastly, I used the yin and yang symbol to represent my ongoing efforts to create a sense of balance in my life.

Once the initial barriers of perfectionism were down, the assignment became not only extremely fun, but really insightful. I was able to put into visual form what I deem important in my life and also what I feel makes me who I am. Professional counselors always advise us to “know ourselves” – what makes us tick, what makes us happy, etc – and this assignment allowed me to get in touch with just that. I am grateful for this opportunity because I know that under most circumstances, I have a difficult time being able to fully articulate the true essence of what makes me me.

I believe that this play therapy mandala activity has assisted me in becoming more intuitive as well as more creative – something that will help me personally and with my future students.

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Disclaimer: This website and its content is intended for trained licensed mental health professionals and school certified mental health professionals to use for their clients / students at their own discretion.

*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.

Dr. Stangline does not offer advice / suggestions to anyone who is not a professional mental health provider, or a student who is studying this field and has questions about mental health programs of study.

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