Friday, October 26, 2012

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: All The News That's Fit To Report

 by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal.  

The following process is based upon a project I wrote about in my third book Art as Therapy, Inspiration, Innovation and Ideas.  

It's a collage process that utilizes the newspaper as almost a spontaneous word association therapy session in a creative way that can open up new ideas about your own motivations, inner thoughts and emotions.

Here's what you need:
Daily newspapers, including comic sections, advertisements, everything.
18x24" Masonite board,
Modge Podge decoupage medium,
Sponge brushes.

  • Pull apart the newspaper sections and pile in a heap on the table near your Masonite board and Modge Podge.
  • Close your eyes and relax, clear your mind of any preconceived ideas of what you Want to create. Allow yourself to accept what comes to you.
  • Reach into the pile of papers and glance over the headlines, images and words that jump out at you. As you see things that relate to you, how you are feeling or that just resonate with you in some way, rip them out of the paper and put them in a pile in front of you.  Continue to do this as you work your way through the newspapers.
  • Once you have a good selection of collage/torn newspapers in front of you, begin to glue them onto your Masonite board with the Modge Podge glue. First put some glue onto the board, then apply the newsprint.  Do not try to put the newspaper in neat, orderly, easy-to-read columns, mix them up, in a collage fashion. Overlap, turn, flip and rotate in a careless, random fashion.  Cover the entire board.
  • Once the whole board is covered go over the entire board with one more coat of the Modge Podge to seal.  Allow to dry.

Once dry, look at the piece as a whole. What words come out over and over again? What is the overall feel to the piece? Is there a theme? Is it an optimistic themed piece? or does it dwell on the dark side of the news? Is there a balance to the words and images, both negative and positive? Do the words represent things that have happened to you or how you feel? How do you feel when you look at the piece.

Hang the piece in a central area and invite close friends to give their opinion of how the piece makes them feel? How does their reaction make You feel? Talk to your friends about the process.

What you will find is that you have picked out words and images that relate to your current state of mind, you current inner thought process and inner emotions. They may not be things you are comfortable letting other see in you everyday, they may be feelings or thoughts you are more comfortable keeping hidden, but when you use the "news" to talk about these feelings, you can open up a discussion about these deeper parts of you, and begin to work through them and bring them to the light, whether with close friends or family, or just for yourself to further work on or accept.

Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

AttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved by Shooting Chris


  1. Wow, I just love your awesome posts. What a fascinating idea. I always learn so much from you!! Thanks so much for sharing again this week at A Bouquet of Talent.

  2. I always look forward to visiting your blog to see what new techniques you are going to share!

    If you would ever like your Art As Therapy book reviewed at Create With Joy - please, drop me a line! :-)

    In the meantime, thanks for being such an inspiration to us at Inspire Me Monday at

    Create With Joy


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