Below is an example of a coloring digital illustration I created from a bridal bouquet as part of my daily self healing "Beyond Art Therapy" counseling meditation. I love to use the computer program "Paint" as it is simple and so much fun!
The "it" product out right now is the expensive adult art therapy coloring books. I think these adult coloring books are an amazing idea, but coloring has been around for a long time. However, these books allow the adult to "think it is okay to color" and opens up the valuable self "Beyond Art Therapy" counseling technique to many adults.
Everyone of us started out in this world as an artist. We were all born this way and came out of the womb seeking to explore the artist inside of us. However, for many of us (myself included) we lost the "Inner Artist" within ourselves somewhere along the way.
For me, I lost my inner artist when I was in college studying art. I had some art teachers that critiqued me to death. They did not see my potential as an artist (I call myself a butterfinger artist) because I did not fit into their perspective of what an artist should be. I stopped doing art for a very long time and dropped my art major. I also completely stopped doing my art which was not good for my inner child and my creative self.
Fast forward years later when I was working as a school counselor at a horrible school with a monsterous principal and assistant principal in an elementary school Lawrenceville, Georgia. These two women had the entire school staff terrorized. The teachers were so stressed out and living in fear due to the treatment they received from these women principals who were big bullies!
I knew I had to do something to get myself and these poor teachers through this terrible time. I went back to my inner child and started to color before it was cool to color as an adult. I spent five to ten minutes a day coloring with crayons and thus began my "Beyond Art Therapy" practice.
As I moved the crayon around a piece of copy paper and sometimes just scribbled I began to relax. It was truly a form of meditation and self healing Beyond Art Therapy". The teachers started to try my "Beyond Art Therapy" techniques.
We all got through that year and the cruel principal finally retired. Looking back, I can see how this self healing "Beyond Art Therapy" counseling technique taught me so much about myself as an artist, and helped me get through a very difficult year.
Recently, a subscriber of my website, who is a counselor in a third world country, asked me to offer her some "Beyond Art Therapy" techniques to give her clients as homework. I suggested that she suggest the simple art of coloring to her clients. She used this idea and has reported many benefits from this self healing "Beyond Art Therapy" counseling technique.
Try this self healing "Beyond Art Therapy" counseling technique for yourself. You don't need a fancy adult coloring book. Just gather up some crayons and copy paper. If you are feeling adventurous then get some fancy markers, or colored pencils.
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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Sand Tray Therapy 101 eBook:
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