Learn how to utilize mandalas as a creative therapy intervention. I will share a brief history and explain the symbolism behind mandalas as well as the benefits of using mandalas to help clients achieve relaxation and balance. Read on for details and to download three colorful art therapy Rx printables!
The practice of creating mandalas dates back to the first century B.C.E. mandalas were first found to be utilized by Buddhists and then were seen in other cultures and regions of the world. The word "mandala" means circle or wholeness. Mandalas are often created from the center out and are believed to represent the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
The outer portion of the mandala signifies the universe, while the inner part of the mandala represents enlightenment. The mandala is also believed to mean balance between both body and mind. The interpretation of the mandala is best left to the artist to understand and interpret from their inner experience.
The creation of mandalas in art therapy benefits clients in great ways! Let's first look at the shape of a mandala as a container of feelings and expression through repetitive color, lines, and forms.
The mandala can be a relaxing practice because it offers safety through the containment of such conscious and unconscious material.
The creative process of creating patterns repetitively also engages the client in a self-soothing activity. As the client works through the mandala, they can take this time to focus their attention in the here and now.
This is a naturally meditative state of self-reflection that can take place.
Mandalas can help the client find balance and also help to ground and center. Grounding and centering is a reconnection to the self and helps achieve inner peace.
Digital Mandala Tools
There are three online tools that can be utilized for creating mandalas digitally. The first link will take you Staedler, where you can develop mandalas by dragging and dropping premade pattern templates to layer to create your combination of mandala designs. This platform is best for clients who may feel intimidated by creating one from scratch (although I suggest they give it a try always!)This website can also serve to promote relaxation via coloring. The completed mandala can be saved and printed from the site.
The following website is Permadi, a kaleidoscope painter. You can choose from various brush sizes, colors, and effects. When you start drawing, the lines are automatically symmetrical. It's very soothing to see the lines appear and form each layer of the mandala. You can also click "auto draw" for a soothing, handsfree mandala. The completed mandala can be saved and printed on this platform.
The last website, mandala maker, is one of the simplest platforms. You can choose color and line width to create a symmetrical mandala. You can only share a link or embed HTML to save the completed mandala on this platform.
If you want some cool art supplies suggestions for mandalas, give the following a click!
Using Mandalas in Therapy
I have used this art therapy directive many times and honestly the magic is in the process. You will see that clients often become very relaxed and comfortable as they work. Some clients become very talkative when it usually is difficult for them to open up.
Mandalas, in my opinion, are just magical! You can use this therapeutic at activity in many ways in session. Mandalas can even be assigned as out of session work as a daily or weekly journaling practice to help the client engage in making mandalas to help with achieving balance in their lives.
Would you like some more ideas on how to use these in the session? Click the subscribe banner below to get your freebies now!
I have included an Art Therapy Rx script with creative ideas for using mandalas in therapy.
There are also two handouts to create a feeling mandala. All resources are free! If you want them in Spanish, they are also included in the file. For a Spanish blog post on this activity, click above!
Tell me about your experiences!
How have you incorporated mandalas in therapy?
Have you ever created a mandala yourself? What benefits did you experience in creating a mandala?
Check these out for more creative teletherapy activities!
Helpful Links & References:
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be utilized as a form of self-help, personal clinical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content on this blog is meant for educational purposes and to provide clinical art therapy directives/resources for trained mental health professionals. This information is by no means a substitute for therapy.
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