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.