The Anatomy of My Heart

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

"Your heart knows things that the mind can't explain."~Unknown

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The main goals in therapy are to establish rapport and safety. As the relationship evolves, the clinician is better able to help the client by guiding in the therapeutic process by providing psychoeducation; exploring thoughts, feelings, actions; patterns of coping; and gathering insight that will add a richer understanding of the client's worldview. Art therapy allows the process to accelerate a bit more! Art therapy creates a safe place, distance, and engages the client in exploring via symbolism inherent in the creative process.

The art therapy directive I will discuss in this post called, "The Anatomy of My Heart" can be adapted to work with younger children. It can be presented as a map of my heart, the pieces of my heart, or my heart's colors. This directive is very versatile!

The Anatomy of my Heart is an insight-driven art activity. It is semi-structured, which provides the freedom to process any immediate themes or concerns that may arise while engaging in the activity.

This directive provided to the client is as follows: Using the handout/template provided, create your heart's anatomy using lines, shapes, colors, and words.

No fancy or costly supplies are really needed for this one other than the basics such as markers, crayons, colored pencils. You can use craft materials and collage material if you want to make it a little more snazzy. You will be using a pre-made mini book template (shown above) to download along with the Art Therapy Rx script for this directive.

Please see the details at the end of this post! I have been utilizing mini books for some time in my art therapy work. I found a new version of a mini-book called a bee book/honeycomb book created from hexagon shapes that are cut and folded to create one small booklet. What I enjoy about this template is that it can act as a container as well.

Art Therapy Rx: Using bee books for emotion identification in art therapy.

The client creates images on the hexagon flaps surrounding the center hexagon containing the heart. They could also continue adding detail to the spirit provided. It is really up to the client. Once complete, each hexagon shape will be cut along the border, leaving the center hexagon with the heart intact.

The cutting will create flaps that fold inward, concealing the heart in the center. Another adaptation I thought of as I created this activity was using it to express gratitude.

You can present the client with the