100 Art Therapy Exercises – The Updated and Improved List – Expressive Art Inspirations

art therapy

“The Healthiest Form of Projection is Art”  

(Fritz Perlz – Gestalt Therapist)

Here is a popular internet list of art therapy activities originally posted up several years ago by the Nursing School Blog, and as time has gone by over half of the links have become defunct or out of date. I have researched current links that reflect the inspiring art therapy directives on the internet today, while aiming to keep them as close as possible to the original list:

Emotions

Deal with emotions like anger and sadness through these helpful exercises.

  1. Draw or paint your emotions. In this exercise, you’ll focus entirely on painting what you’re feeling.
  2. Create an emotion wheel. Using color, this activity will have you thinking critically about your emotions.
  3. Make a meditative painting. Looking for a creative way to relax?  Have trouble sitting still to meditate?  Meditative painting might be just the thing you’re looking for.  No painting skill or experience necessary – only a desire to relax and become more creative.
  4. Put together a journal. Journals don’t have to just be based around words. You can make an art journal as well, that lets you visually express your emotions.
  5. Explore puppet therapy. Puppets aren’t just for kids. Make your own and have them act out scenes that make you upset.
  6. Use line art. Line is one of the simplest and most basic aspects of art, but it can also contain a lot of emotion. Use simple line art to demonstrate visually how you’re feeling.
  7. Design a postcard you will never send. Are you still angry or upset with someone in your life? Create a postcard that expresses this, though you don’t have to ever send it.
  8. Create a family sculpture. For this activity, you makes a clay representation of each family member– mother, father, siblings, and any other close or influential family members to explore emotional dynamics and roles within your family.
  9. Paint a mountain and a valley. The mountain can represent a time where you were happy, the valley, when you were sad. Add elements that reflect specific events as well.
  10. Attach a drawing or message to a balloon. Send away negative emotions or spread positive ones by attaching a note or drawing to a balloon and setting it free.
  11. Collage a heart. Collage your childhood memories in a heart formation.

Relaxation

Art therapy can be a great way to relax. Consider these exercises if you’re looking to feel a little more laid back.

  1. Paint to music. Letting your creativity flow in response to music is a great way to let out feelings and just relax.
  2. Make a scribble drawing. With this activity, you’ll turn a simple scribble into something beautiful, using line, color and your creativity.
  3. Finger paint. Finger painting isn’t just fun for kids– adults can enjoy it as well. Get your hands messy and really have fun spreading paint around.
  4. Make a mandala. Whether you use the traditional sand or draw one on your own, this meditative symbol can easily help you to loosen up.
  5. Draw with your eyes closed. Not being able to see what you are drawing intensifies fluidity, intuition, touch and sensitivity.
  6. Draw something HUGE. Getting your body involved and moving around can help release emotion as you’re drawing.
  7. Use color blocks. Colors often come with a lot of emotions attached. Choose several paint chips to work with and collage, paint and glue until you’ve created a colorful masterpiece.
  8. Let yourself be free. Don’t allow yourself to judge your work. If you think your paintings are too tight and controlled, this collection of tips and techniques to try should help you work in a looser style.
  9. Only use colors that calm you. Create a drawing or a painting using only colors that you find calming.
  10. Draw in sand. Like a Zen garden, this activity will have you drawing shapes and scenes in the sand, which can be immensely relaxing and a great way to clear your mind.
  11. Make a zentangle. These fun little drawings are a great tool for letting go and helping reduce stress.
  12. Color in a design. Sometimes, the simple act of coloring can be a great way to relax. Find a coloring book or use this mandala for coloring.
  13. Draw outside. Working en plein air can be a fun way to relax and get in touch with nature while you’re working on art.

Happiness

Art can not only help you deal with the bad stuff, but also help you appreciate and focus on the good. Check out these activities all about reflecting on your personal happiness.

  1. Collage your vision of a perfect day.Think about what constitutes a perfect day to you and collage it. What about this collage can you make happen today?
  2. Take photographs of things you think are beautiful. No one else has to like them but you. Print and frame them to have constant reminders of the beautiful things in life.
  3. Make a collage related to a quote you like. Take the words of wisdom from someone else and turn them into something visually inspiring.
  4. Create a drawing that represents freedom. The Surrealists embraced automatic drawing as way to incorporate randomness and the subconscious into their drawings, and to free themselves from artistic conventions and everyday thinking.

See Full List Here 100 Art Therapy Exercises – The Updated and Improved List – Expressive Art Inspirations.

Homophobe Takes A Vocal Stand: Then Thankfully Shuts His Mouth

After gay marriage was effectively legalised in the US, many companies celebrated by altering their logos to reflect the historic move.

Gay logos

Not everyone was happy, however, including Twitter user @jeha2020, who began tweeting brands that they were never going to receive his custom again.

Jeff Harvey

Jeff Harvey 2

But then it was pointed out that Twitter itself had added a rainbow to its logo as well…

Twitter

Farewell, @jeha2020, we hardly knew ye.

delete

See Original Article Here: What happens when you vow to boycott pro-gay marriage brands | The Independent

Millions of Iraqi Children in Dire Straits – VOA Voice Of America

Iraqi children

Iraqi children, most of them internally displaced persons, wait in line for free food being distributed at a mosque in Baghdad, Iraq, June 23, 2015.

Lisa Schlein

The U.N. Children’s Fund reports millions of Iraqi children displaced by violence are in desperate straits.  UNICEF says growing violence in this war-torn country is putting children’s lives at risk and stripping them of essential life-saving assistance.

More than one year has passed since the so-called Islamic State (IS) began a military offensive in northern Iraq, ushering in a period of widespread violence, which continues.

The United Nations reports more than three million people have been displaced since the start of 2014, most as a result of IS success in capturing Iraqi cities.

U.N. humanitarian agencies estimate more than eight million Iraqis are in need of life-saving assistance, a number that could reach 10 million by the end of the year.

Acting U.N. Children’s Fund Representative in Iraq, Colin MacIness, calls the speed and scope of this crisis breathtaking.

Speaking by telephone from Erbil, he says children are suffering most from the upheaval in their lives.

“In one year’s time, we have seen a 400 percent increase of the gravest violations against children.  These grave violations are the maiming of children, the abduction of children, the attacking of the basic services that these children would otherwise receive.  For those children who are not in school, for those families who do not have services, the situation is getting much worse,” says he.

‘Desperate situation’

MacIness says the widespread violence and subsequent displacement of millions of people has resulted in…

Read More Millions of Iraqi Children in Dire Straits – VOA Voice Of America.

‘Please don’t give up': Boy, 12, delivers moving speech on poverty in Toronto | CTV Toronto News

Ephraim Hildebrand

anti-poverty activist 12 year old Toronto boy Ephraim Hildebrand (Credit: CTV Toronto)

Dario Balca, CTV Toronto
Published Tuesday, June 30, 2015 5:32PM EDT

A 12-year-old boy delivered a moving call to action at city hall on Tuesday, asking politicians to help end poverty in Toronto.

“If you were in the shoes of someone who is poor, wouldn’t you want someone to stand up for you?” Ephraim Hildebrand asked city councillors. “If we see injustice happen and do nothing about it, we’ve become part of the problem.”

Hildebrand is part of Millennium Kids, an international organization that aims to get children involved in reaching the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. One of the UN’s goals—and Hildebrand’s hope for Toronto— is to cut poverty in half by 2030.

“I know our city has put in tremendous efforts to reduce poverty,” he said. “Please don’t give up. You are leading Toronto on an important journey to justice and we can do this together.”

Hildebrand was applauded by city councillors and Toronto Mayor John Tory, who lauded the boy for having the “interest and the courage to come forward.”

The boy said his mother, a social justice advocate, inspired him to join the cause.

Tory said the boy should run for public office when he is of age.

See Inspirational Speech ‘Please don’t give up': Boy, 12, delivers moving speech on poverty in Toronto | CTV Toronto News.

Number of children in England and Wales living in poverty predicted to rise to 4.7m by 2020 – Home News – UK – The Independent

child-poverty-getty

Britain’s austerity drive and welfare reforms have ‘resulted in a failure to protect the most disadvantaged children’, according to the Children’s Commissioners’ report. File photo Getty Images

The Children’s Commissioners for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland has blamed Britain’s austerity drive and welfare reforms

JONATHAN OWEN Wednesday 01 July 2015

The plight of millions of poor children in Britain – with the number in poverty set to rise by a million over the next five years – has been branded unacceptable by the Government’s own watchdog on children’s rights.

The number of children living in poverty is predicted to increase to 4.7m by 2020, according to a new report by the Children’s Commissioners for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is being submitted to the United Nations today, as part of a review of Britain’s performance on children’s rights.

Child poverty is singled out as “one of the most critical concerns for children’s rights across the UK at the current time, requiring urgent attention from the UK and devolved governments.”

Britain’s austerity drive and welfare reforms have “resulted in a failure to protect the most disadvantaged children and those in especially vulnerable groups from child poverty, preventing the realisation of their rights,” it says.

This comes ahead of next week’s Budget in which Chancellor George Osborne is expected to outline plans for another £12 billion in welfare cuts. “Children and their families should be protected from welfare cuts,” says the report. But Government policies “have led to food and fuel poverty, and the sharply increased use of crisis food bank provision by families,” states the report.

Chancellor George Osborne

Chancellor George Osborne is planning for another £12 billion in welfare cuts (Getty)

Inadequate housing, cuts to services helping vulnerable children, and a shortage of mental health services are among other issues highlighted. And Government plans to replace the Human Rights Act with a British bill of rights are “likely to be regressive” it argues. The findings will be considered by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC), which will report on Britain’s progress next year.

Commenting on the report, Tam Baillie, Scotland’s commissioner for children and young people, said: “It is deeply disturbing that the UK Government, aware of the current and future impact of its cuts, appears to be targeting the most vulnerable people in our society.” He added: “This is a policy of choice and it is a disgrace. . It is avoidable and unacceptable.”

And Alison Garnham, chief executive, Child Poverty Action Group, said: “This is a significant intervention from the children’s commissioners across the four UK nations which cannot be ignored.” She warned: “We will have a bigger child poverty crisis on our hands if there are further cuts to support for low income families and the low paid.”

Another report being submitted to the UN CRC, by the Children’s Rights Alliance for England, claims that there…

Read More Number of children in England and Wales living in poverty predicted to rise to 4.7m by 2020 – Home News – UK – The Independent.

poor

Marching In The Welfare Line: Standing Up For Social And Economic Justice

poorI have had it with the corporate and governmental war against the poor in this country!  Make no mistake it is a war and a full assault against the poor and middle class of the Nation.  The time for standing patiently in welfare lines is over, the time for taking a number and taking a seat has passed, the time for hearing and reading in the news the constant undermining of social spending and assaults against the poor will be stood for no more.  No more staying silent and just accepting it.  This is a war and I am determined we the people can win if we are willing to fight at whatever cost proves necessary.

I will not stand idly by any longer and just accept these constant attacks, injustices, and indignities against the poor of this nation.  As in the words of JFK “…we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe,…”.  There is no middle ground, the time for talk is over, and there shall be no surrender and retreat.  I am angry, I am fed up, and I have reached the point where I am taking action.  Not violent action but action nonetheless.  Violence will not solve these problems.

These are not problems that have middle of the road solutions but will require radical change throughout the United States.  They will require commitment and sacrifice.  They will require National grass-roots activism at a level not seen since the 1960’s.  The same vigor that was required for fighting for civil rights will be required for fighting for social and economic justice.  This is not a movement that will be won with likes on social networking post but real action.  Talk is cheap when there is no real commitment behind the principles you preach.  It’s easy to say you support the poor and middle class much harder to do anything to show your support.

I am tired of being an armchair quarterback in the fight for all the issues I hold dear.  Tired of being a man of theory and words.  Tired of writing hopes of change but seeing none.  I don’t yet know what actions to take all I know is immediate action is required.  It is required throughout the Nation across the broad spectrum of the American electorate.  These are not the rantings of a madman but a man who is mad at the current state of affairs regarding these issues.

Many live comfortable and posh lives, have a family of their own, and worry about all they have to lose.  Therefore they will never act, they will accept the status quo, no matter how poor it is for so many.  People like myself though have not much to lose and value freedom above our comfort, security, and life.  We will not trade our liberty for promises of security or our birthright as American citizens for a mess of pottage.  These are not the times for cowards of men, but for those with courage and conviction.

Let the ruling class do their worse, let the heavy hand of the law press down, let the naysayers discourage us and let us continue on.  They will try to silence us and we will speak louder, they will threaten us and we will stand unafraid, they will try to ruin us but we are past the point of ruin.  The only hope we have is to act now before the tyranny of corporate America, the money of special interest, and the pen of conservative politicians try to blot out our names.

Let us remind them here we stand and we are unmovable.  We are the poor and middle class of this Nation and our lives have meaning, freedom means something to us, and no matter how many times they tried to push us down we always managed to get back up.  We dusted ourselves off and took to the streets and demanded change not sat around shuffling money to political action committees.  We were people with potential to bring about change and we were going to bring it.

I wish it was as easy as standing on a street corner holding a sign, marching in a protest in a “safe zone”, or voting.  However we are way beyond that as a solution for bringing about real change.  That will be nothing more than a tempest in a teapot and a flash in the pan.  It will instead require mass peaceful protest, shouting our message for the whole world to hear, and grass-roots political action not seen since the 60’s and 70’s.  There is no shortcut like cute and creative graphics posted on social networking sites and people giving the post thumbs up.  That is childish thinking, thinking that will bring real change.  It is still helpful to draw awareness and inspire people but it will not bring the change.

I am not a man of wealth, privilege, and connection.  I am not a charismatic politician or a knowledgeable businessman.  I do not have the resources and talents to organize such.  All I have is the power of the pen, the tone of my voice, the knowledge of my mind, the strength of my back, and the inspiration within my heart and soul.  Maybe it is not enough, maybe I don’t have what it takes, but I am willing to die trying.  I simply see the alternative to just accept the status quo as intolerable.

The entire capitalist structure in the United States is corrupt. K Street and Wall Street determine the outcome of votes far more than any consideration of the people’s voices.  Big banks are the greedy money changers who determine the economy and dollar works out in their favor via Congress and the Federal Reserve never mind the citizen is hurt by these policies.  Washington and State Capitols and legislatures everywhere are run by too many heartless and out of touch lawyers.  Corporate America is our god and In God We Trust!

As long as that all continues to be the case nothing is going to change no matter the administration or congress.  No matter which party controls state politics.  Corporate America needs to be taken on directly by protesting big business routinely and relentlessly.  K Street and Wall Street need to be made to see the impoverished streets their policies have left behind.  The big banks need to be broken up and until that time happens they need to have their peace broken by civil disobedience.  Congress and the Federal Reserve need to be forced to meet with the people.  There is no kumbaya and non-action way to end these injustices.  It will require a commitment that honestly most in my generation and younger just have not had in the past.  There is no easy street taking on K Street and Wall Street.

All across the Nation, state legislatures are decimating the social safety net and they need to be made to answer to us.  They must have their legislate sessions interrupted, they must be surrounded outside by angry voters, and they must be exposed for the hypocrites and crooks they are.  Governors must be made to answer to the people and must be challenged when they go against the good of the poor and middle class in the State.  The same with county and local governments, school districts, and policy makers.  There is no man or woman too powerful or no man or woman too powerless not to be held to account if they represent the people.

I don’t know as of yet how I am going to inspire and act for change but I know enough to know I am acting.  I will find ways to act and will organize a peaceful resistance.  I live in a conservative part of Arizona which is a conservative State so it’s not going to be easy but I will seek out a way.  I have watched the conservatives in this State drive Arizona into a ditch and I intend with others to help get the State on track.  It may start out as a small, peaceful, underground resistance but it will hopefully grow and become more powerful at effecting change in time.  I hope other like-minded individuals organize such resistance around the Nation.  Make no mistake it is indeed tyranny we are resisting.

The time to act is now, the time for talk was yesterday, the time frame we should demand for change is tomorrow!  It’s time to organize like we never have organized before.  It’s time to put our anger and despair into positive action.  It wont happen if we do nothing and just give our vote of approval or moral support.  It requires real action behind your support.  Social and economic justice are indeed human rights issues and the most pressing issues in America right now.  Racism, immigration reform, and LGBT rights have recently been focused on in this Nation and are longstanding social justice issues that are being taken on.  Economic injustices are injustices that effect poor and middle class people across all demographics and needs to be taken on as well.  There is no time to wait around and look around for others to do something.  The time to take it on is now and the person to do it is you.

Alan Curtis Montgomery