Art therapy is a great way to reduce stress, engage young people, or just work through some stuff! There are so many great art therapy games that you can do on your own in order to help you process your feelings. Or, if you are a clinician these are some great games to try with clients. You don’t necessarily need to be an art therapist in order to do these games. Having a few in your back pocket is great when you are feeling like you need a little boost.
1. The Squiggle Game
This game works better with two people but you can do it by yourself as well. It is also very low tech, all you need is a piece of paper and a pen. What you do is take a blank piece of paper and draw a squiggle on it. Don’t put any thought into it just draw a random squiggle.
If you are doing this with another person you then hand them the piece of paper that has your little drawing on it. If you are doing this by yourself just keep the paper in front of you. Then, out of the squiggle create a drawing. So maybe you see how this random mark can be turned into a balloon or a fire breathing dragon. Whatever it is that comes to you first let yourself transform the squiggle into this new idea.
It is important not to get hung up on how “good” the drawing is or how much sense it makes. Rather just allow yourself the freedom to be silly and creative with this drawing.
2. Feelings in Colors
This is a great prompt for people who have trouble connecting with their emotions. Here is what you need: a piece of paper and colored pencils or markers. The prompt is very simple, draw your feelings using only colors. Don’t use any shapes or symbols just put color on the paper.
It can be helpful to pick a time frame you are going to work with. For example, draw your emotions right in this moment using only color. Or draw your emotions from the last month using only color. It can be really amazing to take a step back when you are done and see what the most dominant color or emotion is. This game can truly help you see how you have been feeling.
3. The Safe Space
This game like the others requires very few supplies. You can do it with only a paper and pen but it can be nice to have the option of colored pencils, crayon, or makers. What you are going to do is take a blank piece of paper. On it you will draw the physical place where you feel the most safe. Allow yourself to give it as much detail as you want, but remember this is not about how good an artist you are.
You can do this game by yourself or with another person. If you are doing it with another person when you are done explain to them how you feel when you are in this safe space. If you are doing it by yourself take a moment to reflect or even explain to yourself how you feel in this place. I even recommend explaining it to your self out-loud!
Take some time to really talk through why this place makes you feel safe. What is it about it that feels like a refuge? Next talk to the other person or yourself about how you can create this same feeling inside yourself. Can you find a way for this safety to become a part of you?