Self Art Therapy Session for Depression

Hello friends, today, I’ll show you how to make art when you’re feeling blue or depressed. This exercise will help you activate more energy yet ground you at the same time and understand more about what’s underneath the depression. My name is Youhjung and I help people make therapeutic art. So make yourself comfortable and let’s find a quiet space to start the art making. The materials you need are: two pages of multimedia or watercolor papers, a brush, cup with water, bleeding tissue paper (these are for special art making purposes) and if you don’t have this kind of tissue paper you can get the regular ones and use Mod Podge or simple glue. And lastly you can also bring a pair of scissors plus a rag. Before the art let’s invite mindfulness and become aware of our physical body and our inner self. Gently place your attention on your breathing, coming in and going out. Put your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your belly. Feeling the sensation as you breathe in and as you breathe out. Before the art we’ll invite some intention. When we do this exercise we want to practice non-judgement and acceptance in the process. So there is no right or wrong and how we make art. Let’s focus simply on expressing ourselves. So what we will do is – we will paint using our tissue paper. To give you a little bit of guidance 1. wet the paper first with your brush and after you take out some tissue paper tear it in whatever size and shape you want to. 2. You will leave them on top of your white paper on the wet area for a couple seconds and 3. you will put a little bit more water on top then 4. you will peel the tissue paper off. You will see that the tissue paper will have left some pigment on the white paper and this is basically paint. So we will create a painting using this tissue paper technique. Be aware that this is a two-part collage. So for the first part use the tissue paper to create an image of a strength that you have or a part of yourself that you like. You can tear the tissue paper with your hands or you can use your scissors You can create an abstract image or a representational (realistic) image. However, you want to express this aspect that you have within yourself, that is a strength of yours. This tissue paper painting technique involves a lot of repetitive movement and of course, the tearing releases some tension in our body. It really stimulates an energy within us and it discharges stress through the movement. We want to activate that energy and rise above that state of low energy, that stuckness, or hopelessness, that we often get with depression. When we feel depressed there’s a lot of emotions involved actually and many of them are around the fears and limitations we take on from others and that we eventually put on ourselves. So that’s why we feel hopeless and we feel very down. So with this activity, we’re really exploring our views, exploring our beliefs about ourselves. And this will help us to get to the root of how we feel and why we feel depressed. When you have finished your first painting it is time to let it dry and set it aside. You can take another paper and start doing the second painting. And for this painting you will create an image of a weakness that you see in yourself. Maybe it’s an aspect that you don’t like in yourself or just something that you consider as a weakness and express this idea using the tissue paper technique. Just using shapes and colors is fine. Or you can also create some kind of representational image, perhaps a landscape or perhaps a facial feature. Anyway is alright. By using this alternative way of painting we’re really simply using just colors and shapes. And colors are so important because they are our emotions expressed in visual form. So when we use these tissue papers and when we paint this way, we can really get in touch with how we feel and that will allow us to move through inability or move to that stuckness and allow us to process our emotions that are underlying our depression. If you didn’t have depression or this depressed feeling right now what would you be doing? who would you be? Share in the comments below. When you are finished with the second painting as well let’s have both paintings in our view. Maybe you can put it on your desk in front of you and also make space for some reflective writing. For this part you may need a journal a notebook and a pen or pencil. So for the reflective writing you will have a conversation with these two paintings, or the two sides of ourselves – the strengths and weaknesses. Imagine that these paintings can talk and you can have a conversation. What do they have to tell you? If you worked on this activity please share your artwork on Instagram and make sure to hashtag #thirstyforart. I’ll be excited to see your work and what you have learned from this activity and it’s also so nice to create a healing community online. Thank you for following along with the self art therapy practice. Taking this action to tend to your well-being means that you’re already on the path of healing. If you enjoyed this, please like this video, subscribe to the channel, and I’ll make sure to see you next time.



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