This past week I have been on the road a lot, moving from California to Texas. With this journey on my mind, I thought I would share about an art therapy intervention to represent one's life like a road. I usually give the client a prompt that goes something like this: "Imagine your life is like a journey along a road. Draw a picture to represent what this road would look like. Think about the the important events that have happened so far and where you hope to be heading." This intervention can be used with children or adults. I have often used this intervention toward the beginning of treatment to help gather information about the client's history and future goals, as well as to help the client put their current situation into context. I have also used this activity recently with a child to aid in the transition to another therapist. After creating his road art piece, he was able to have a transition piece and timeline that he could use to fill in the new therapist on the major people and events in his life.
Here are some examples of art pieces about life as a road. Please note that in order to protect confidentiality I never post actual client artwork. The first two pieces are loosely based on themes and images I have seen in client artwork. The third piece is based on my own life and transitions. Have you tried this intervention with your own clients or for yourself? Please share your thoughts, experiences, and comments!
Carolyn Mehlomakulu, LMFT, ATR is a psychotherapist in Austin, Texas
who works with children, adolescents, and families. For more
information about individual therapy, child counseling, family therapy, and art therapy services, please visit www.therapywithcarolyn.com.
Labels: adults, Art therapy, assessment, children, intervention, transition