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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Inside/Outside Boxes

Inside/Outside Boxes
An Art Therapy Directive

Intention - This directive is designed to assist the client in drawing a line between what is "bad" in their lives and what is "good" in their lives. It also helps them to have a visual representation (and begin to conceptualize) the idea that they can "put a lid" and "contain" their negativity.

Population -  This is good for any population, but especially good for those who have been traumatized or experienced some kind of loss.

Materials - Magazines, Scissors, Glue, and Shoe Box (or another box with a lid)

Step 1 - Have the client pick out a box that they like (shoe boxes are perfectly - something with a lid). Then, have the client cut out images (in magazines) and/or words that are both "bad" images and "good" images (images that he/she feels drawn to).

Step 2 - When the client is ready, have him/her glue the "bad" (or negative) images in the center or inside of the box. Then, place the "good" (or positive) images on the outside of the box.

Step 3 - Ask the client to share about each image/word chosen and what it symbolizes for him/her. Process whatever issues show up at this time.

Note - Make sure highlight the idea that each person has the ability to put the "lid" on to the negative things any time they want, taking off only when he/she is ready to deal with or work on. These concepts are very fundamental to introducing the idea of how to begin to establish healthy boundaries with self, and finding healthy/appropriate ways to deal with pain memories/emotions.

Suggested Questions
1)  How does it feel to be able to put a "lid" on the negative stuff?
2)  What are the positive things going on in your life/what are the positive things on your box?
3)  How can you begin to "put a lid" on your negative emotions at this time? What are some skills you can design or put in place?


  1. At the end of blog you can post your directive here, or email me and I will post your directive directly on to the site! I can't wait to see what you are ready contribute!

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  3. I love the inside outside idea. I'm working on "Inner Advocacy" with my clients that focuses on building communication between yourself and your inner voice. Rather than "bad" and "good", I'm going to try this with inner voice and what is shown to the world.

    Update on how it goes!