Friday, November 9, 2012

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: Doorways through Time

by Diane Steinbach

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

The basic timeline has been used to depict and review a persons life path in a therapeutic way for decades. A simple line with demarcations for years and notations of important events help remind us of our journey, accomplishments, defeats, and choices along the way. 

As a visual tool, a timeline has endless possibilities for life reflection. A more creative approach means realizing that no ones life takes a straight line with a neat and orderly list of data and statistics. Our lives, and all the choices we have made, all the people who have come in and out of it, who we have loved and lost, all of our mistakes and successes, are made up of color, texture, scars and depth. 

In this approach to a life-reflection timeline, I ask you to consider your most impactful moments, the moments that have shaped you, hurt you, and healed you as doorways you have walked through to get to the next part of your journey.  Each doorway, from start to where you are today would look differently... perhaps the very first door that you entered into this world would look golden bright and new... perhaps a doorway to a toxic relationship would look battered, made of wood and broken.  

Use paint, pencils, collage materials, old photographs, any medium you feel most comfortable in, and create your time line of doorways and doors... 

Once finished, look at your journey. What does it tell you about the choices you have made? What are your doors made of? Have you had to squeeze through them? Have they been easy to open? to see through? Have you been able to guess what was behind them before you opened them? How can looking at them now help you in the future? 

Create an image of the next door you want to walk through.  Make it the most beautiful door you can dream of... post it somewhere you can see it everyday and make that choice a reality. 

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

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing another fabulous project with us at Inspire Me Monday!

    Congrats - you've been featured this week at

    Create With Joy


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