The following art therapy idea and activity is called My Mother Myself and is by contributing guest author Dr. Deah Schwartz. Once a month, Dr. Schwartz shares an art therapy idea to facilitate exploration, increased awareness and healing in the areas of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. Some of these directives may need to be facilitated over more than one session, or modified for different ability levels, size of group, budget and size of work space. Learn more about eating disorder therapy.
Materials Needed: Large pieces of drawing paper, magazines, markers, colored pencils, scissors, glue sticks, lined writing paper.
- Using the lined writing paper, have your clients brainstorm on ways they physically, emotionally, and spiritually mother themselves.
- Identify which of these are working and which may be having a less favorable benefit.
- Using a tree or a garden as a metaphor (it is Spring after all) create a drawing or collage that depicts the client as flourishing from the positive mothering they are providing for themselves and “weed” out the habits that are no longer helping them to thrive. Be specific.
- Feel free to use any other metaphor, if the garden or tree image doesn’t resonate with your client.
- When the art pieces are completed have the group share their work and identify the similarities and differences among the art work.
- Problem solve ways to weed out the less helpful habits and identify some potential replacements.
- Remind the clients that there are all different types of mothering styles and choosing a different way than perhaps their mother used while the client was growing up is not necessarily disrespectful or diminishing the loving intention from their moms.
Why Do This?
Whether or not we have any of our own children, we are mothers to ourselves. In what ways do we or can we take good care of ourselves? What positive mothering skills have we incorporated from our mothers and which ones may be less beneficial to our physical and emotional health? This is an opportunity to do some Spring cleaning of our less beneficial habits and show gratitude for the ones that are enriching our lives.