Thursday, March 28, 2013

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: Rise from the Destruction

by Diane Steinbach

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

Many of us feel devastated by life. We feel wrought by our own decisions, regrets over past mistakes tear us apart because we refuse to forgive ourselves and move forward. Sometimes we torture ourselves over pain that we did not cause, but still endure...just to feel alive. Grief over lost loved ones, tragic events, whatever the cause of our inner sadness and self-flagellation, now is the time to end it. 
Spring...Easter, this is the time of renewal. A time to release ourselves of our grief, to forgive ourselves of our past and bloom again as all things do.

What you'll need:
8x11" water color paper
drawing pencils, paints or markers
Medium sized canvas board
Modge Podge decoupage glue
Small sponge brush

Take a 8x11" piece of drawing or watercolor paper and paint, use drawing pencils, or markers and use the entirety of the paper to create a symbolic representation of what it is that grieves you. Use color and line to put all your emotions of regret and sorrow, anger and pain into the image, releasing those feelings into the paper.  Move quickly and don't think too deeply about what you are creating. Use your emotions to move the colors and create the image.

Once done allow it to dry if necessary and get your medium canvas board out along with Modge Podge glue and a sponge brush.

Rip up your image of grief and pain. Tear it up into pieces and strips, destroying the memory of it and the power it has over you. Let it go with each tear.

Use the strips of paper now to create something beautiful on your canvas. Use the Modge Podge glue to glue the strips and pieces of colored paper down to form a beautiful flower, or image of your desire. Whatever it is, take your time to create something beautiful from the old, torn paper.

Once done, take a deep breath and release the last of that tension and know that your Spring has arrived.

AttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved by kappuru

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. Great exercise Diane! Thanks for sharing it with us at Friendship Friday at

    Create With Joy

  2. Wow...that is intense. I appreciate your heart to share art therapy and look forward to reading more about your thoughts. Deep, and moving. Powerful exercise. Not sure I can actually do it- the thought of destroying something I create is not comfortable for me. Pondering. ;)

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Its hard to destroy your own artwork, I know, which makes it a more powerful art process. Give it a try!

  3. I love that you wrote: Springtime is the time for renewal. And I'm happy you've found a way to help deal with emotions. I'm visiting today from Create with Joy.

    1. Thanks Mail4rosey, Glad you enjoyed the process.


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