by Play Therapy Student
(Mercer University Student)
Play Therapy Class Assignment Self Portrait Experience
My experience doing this play therapy self portrait was interesting. It was revealing and made me think about what is going on inside of myself. As a hobby I paint and draw, and I often use myself as a model.
So doing a play therapy self-portrait was an easy task. I decided to create a challenge for myself this time by adding to the self portrait. I got the idea to do layers, to express myself in different ways using the same image, but with different colors. I started out with a colored pencil rendition of myself.
Using almost true to life shading, but even then , some other colors started to peak through. Then I added an additional layer with a monochromatic rendition of the same drawing. I added a second layer with yet another prominent color that expressed what I was feeling monochromatically.
Finally I cut the additional layer up and placed them on the original drawing.
The piece left me speechless. It accurately captured how I feel inside. The different layers of emotion. How some of them peak through the surface. How fragmented I feel was reflected in the cut up pieces I placed on and around the main image. The piece spoke louder about how I feel more than I would be willing to do. I think that is what is scary about the projects for this class. They reveal so much, and sometimes more than I am willing to reveal. The projects give me a feeling of vulnerability. I know what they mean when I create a piece, I am aware of what I am saying with these pieces. If I were a client and knew what the pieces meant, I think I would feel even more vulnerable and exposed.
The creative projects are supposed to be a safe way to express yourself, but for me, knowing how to translate them, it is not as safe a place.
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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.
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