Not all clients are capable of expressing themselves through talk therapy. Sometimes we forget that there are other interventions to be used! What I find most useful when working with an anxious client is incorporating art into our sessions, specifically the use of Mandalas. What is a mandala is probably the next question you’re asking yourself. The term Mandala comes from the Indian language of Sandskirt, which symbolizes the universe, or loosely translated as a circle. However, a mandala represents much more than a circle. Without getting too philosophical, the universe is made up of circles, from our planet to our eyes and all the way down to our cells, a mandala represents life and wholeness. If and when you all have the time, I encourage you to look at the research that supports that using this from of expressive art has been found to reduce symptoms of anxiety as well as trauma related symptoms. When introducing the concept of creating or coloring mandalas to our clients, I suggest that you normalize their hesitating with using coloring as a form of therapy, however challenge them to step outside of their comfort zone. Some clients may not have enough patient to create one; my suggestion print some from the internet and have them color them in. Trust me, there is something so powerful in creating these! I challenge all of you to either incorporate this idea into your own life or into your practice.
Here is an example below of a group session I facilitated. I provided the paper and art supplies and they did the rest.
Here is an example of one already created, waiting to be colored!
If you are interested in incorporating this into your practice, I have two books full of mandalas located in my office. Namaste! –Asia