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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Inspiration Bags

Inspiration Bags
An Art Therapy Directive

Description:  Often clients may need to have something to do at home, or during the times they are not in the art therapy office. This directive allows the client to have a resource readily available to her so that when she is feeling stressed, anxious, or just wants to relax she can pick up this bag, look inside and get inspired to be creative.

Materials:  A small paper bag with handles, various arts and crafts items such as crayons, pipe-cleaners, glue, decorative paper, white paper, and many quotes that are cut out individually and randomly placed in the bag.


First – Explain the purpose of the Inspiration Bag to the client. She is to choose a quote that speaks to her, either randomly or purposely choosing one. After this she is to create an art piece that is an expression of what that inspirational piece means to her. (Note: Make sure to explain that the bag is not to be opened until the client is ready to do something creative and have fun. This will set the client up to see it as a positive and possibly intriguing directive to explore, allowing her to feel more free from expectations and to also begin to explore “choice” and the freedom to choose.)

Second – Let the client know that although there are structured directives (typed out with instructions on a piece of paper) she does not have to create something based on these directives. She can create an unstructured piece of art if she wants, depending on how she is feeling. This is an opportunity to explain the difference. However, it is not necessary so long as you emphasize to the client that she can follow her own intuition.

Third – After the client takes the Inspiration Bag home and works on it, ask the client to bring in what she created to show you and share about what was created.

Fourth – Discuss what was created by the client at home from the bag. You can talk about the inspirational quote that was picked. What did it mean to her? What was the art piece that was created?

Fifth – Once she has shared about the directive, you can ascertain if she needs to do a reparative second piece, which will redirect her to a more positive and empowered view point. (Use your discretion with this.)

Sixth – Give positive affirmations for the work created and continue to focus with the client on the process rather than the end product. Determine whether the client needs more guidance or is able to self-direct with minimal feedback. Determine continual art therapy directives based on these outcome.

Follow-up Questions: 

1)      Tell me about the art piece you created. How did it go?

2)     What inspirational piece did you choose?

3)     Did you work on a structured or unstructured approach? How did that go?

4)     What was your favorite part of the directive/artwork?

5)     How did you feel after completing the art piece/directive?


  1. I love this idea!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Deborah, you are so awesome!!! <3 Shannon

  3. It was a very good post indeed. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it in my lunch time. Will surely come and visit this blog more often. Thanks for sharing.
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  4. Very good article interesting and useful

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