Ask your play therapy client to draw themselves as an animal.
Make sure you point out that the animal should relate to the feelings the client has experienced that day or week.
Animals can change from day to day based on the “mood” or “feelings” the client is experiencing. Translate the animal in the Symbols dictionary.
Ask the play therapy client to translate the feelings to the symbol of the animal.
Materials for Play Therapy Animal Self-Portrait:
Markers, Paint, or Crayons
Directions for Play Therapy Animal Self-Portrait:
1. Use this play therapy art activity after you have processed the "feelings" the play therapy client has had that day, or during the week.
2. Ask the play therapy client to draw an animal that represents the feeling(s) they have been experiencing and discussed in play therapy.
3. Give the play therapy client time to draw the animal.
4. After the play therapy client has drawn the animal discuss how the "feelings" relate to the animal.
5. Translate the animal in the Symbols Dictionary book or look on-line. You may want to look up the animal on the Dream Dictionary website.
6. Ask the play therapy client how they feel about the translation from the Symbols Dictionary or the Dream Dictionary website. Does any part of the translation make sense to them?
7. Try drawing other animals to represent other feelings. The play therapist will need to note that the animals can change based on the feelings that are experienced.
8. This play therapy activity is a great way to warm up to the Sand Tray and other miniature work.
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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