As I entered into this past weekend, I was feeling tired and overwhelmed from the previous week. I decided to spend a little time doing some scribble drawings for relaxation.
Scribble drawings are a popular technique in art therapy and can be used in different ways. I will plan to address some other approaches and uses of scribble drawings in future posts, but today would like to share about using scribble drawing as a relaxation technique.
How to create a scribble drawing:
Take a small to regular sized piece of paper and create a quick scribble. I recommend using paper on the smaller side for this activity. A large piece of paper can take a long time to fill in the scribble. The smaller sized paper also provides containment and structure to help soothe and calm. (For my drawings this weekend, I cut letter sized paper into four smaller pieces.)
Using your medium of choice, fill in and embellish your scribble with colors and patterns. I created two scribbles using different media — pen and chalk pastels — to fill in my drawings. Markers, crayons, colored pencils, and watercolors would also work as well.
Benefits of scribble drawings:
As an intervention in therapy, scribble drawing can work for both children and adults. Doing this activity in therapy can be helpful for calming clients at the end of a difficult session or can teach clients an easy art activity to do at home for relaxation.
One of the benefits of this activity is that it helps to focus your mind on the here and now. By turning away from worries, planning, overanalyzing, negative thoughts, etc. and focusing on the drawing, you can take a break from stress and allow yourself to relax.
Another benefit of the scribble, as opposed to another approach to drawing, is that it helps to remove anxiety or perfectionism in your creative process. A scribble cannot be good or bad, so you do not need to worry about the result.
The next time that you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, try taking a few minutes to doodle and have fun with a scribble drawing.
Carolyn Mehlomakulu, LMFT-S, ATR is an art therapist in Austin, Texas who works with children, teens, and families. For more information about individual therapy, teen and child counseling, family therapy, teen group therapy, and art therapy services, please visit: www.therapywithcarolyn.com.
This blog is not intended to diagnose or treat any mental health conditions. All directives, interventions, and ideas should be used by qualified individuals within the appropriate bounds of their education, training, and scope of practice. Information presented in this blog does not replace professional training in child and family therapy, art therapy, or play therapy.
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