Expressive Arts Therapy

Expressive Art Therapy is the practice of using imagery, storytelling, dance, music, drama, poetry, movement, horticulture, and/or visual arts, in an integrated way, to foster human growth, development, and healing. The expressive arts play a central role in shaping our sense of our personal, social and cultural identity.

Activities

Deep breathing is a popular relaxation technique that helps to control the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and anger. The skill is easy to learn, and provides near immediate relief from uncomfortable symptoms. As the name suggests, deep breathing works by taking slow, deep breaths, to trigger the body’s relaxation response.

Deep Breathing – Worksheet (DOWNLOAD)

Coping Skills: Anger worksheet describes six techniques for managing anger. Some of these skills can help to prevent or minimize explosive anger, such as triggers and warning signs. Other skills are intended to take control of anger, such as diversions, time-outs, and deep breathing. 

Coping Skills – Worksheet (DOWNLOAD)

Relaxation Techniques for deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and imagery. This printout includes a brief description of the fight-or-flight response and step-by-step instructions on how to use each relaxation technique.

Relaxation Techniques – Worksheet (DOWNLOAD)

Anger Management Skills techniques covered in this worksheet include: Learning to recognize anger, taking a timeout, deep breathing, exercise, expressing anger, thinking of consequences, and visualization.

Anger Management Skills – Worksheet (DOWNLOAD)

Anger management skill cards will help children to control their anger. Each of the twelve cards has a picture and an idea for a healthy anger management technique that’s appropriate for kids. Practice each skill in session, and then allow your client to take home their own set of cards as a reminder

Download the skill cards here.

Small Talk: Discussion Cards, any game can be turned into a fun therapeutic activity for kids. Each Small Talk card asks a simple question about one of three topics, along with a more challenging “Digging Deeper” question or activity.

Small Talk – Worksheet (DOWNLOAD)

My Fears anxiety worksheet will prompt children to begin a discussion about anxiety and fear. This worksheet will give children an opportunity to discuss the feelings of fear and anxiety, why they are important, and how they can be harmful

My Fears – Worksheet (DOWNLOAD)

How I Feel worksheet is a CBT-inspired activity that will encourage children to learn more about their thoughts and feelings, and how to manage them. They will be able to describe their feelings, and consider the consequences of several actions they could take to deal with them. Finally they will be able identify a new and healthy way to manage their emotions.

How I Feel – Worksheet (DOWNLOAD)

Use the Daily Mood Chart worksheet alongside CBT interventions to help clients practice recognizing the links between their environment, thoughts, and feelings.

Daily Mood Chart (DOWNLOAD)

Wheel of Emotions use this printout when children have a hard time finding the right word to describe a feeling. It can also be fun to ask children to choose an emotion from the sheet, and to tell a story about that feeling (great group icebreaker).

Wheel of Emotions (DOWNLOAD)

The Positive Experiences worksheet will help your clients improve their self-esteem and positive thoughts by having them identify times when they have shown positive qualities. Clients can write about a time that they showed courage, kindness, selflessness, loved, sacrifice, wisdom, happiness, and determination. Remembering these experiences will help to remind your client that they have the potential to be good. Let your client take the completed worksheet home to keep as a positive reminder.

Positive Experiences – Worksheet (DOWNLOAD)

Three good things is a classic gratitude exercise where participants are asked to write down three good things from their day, whether big or small. Practicing gratitude regularly has been shown to increase positive emotions and improve well-being.

Three good things – Worksheet (DOWNLOAD)

Grounding Techniques: Following a trauma, it’s normal to experience flashbacks, feelings of disconnection or anxiety, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Managing emotions becomes increasingly difficult, and the mind may seem to be taken over by painful thoughts and feelings.

Grounding Techniques – Worksheet (DOWNLOAD)

Printable emotion faces: Pinning down the word that perfectly describes a feeling can be difficult, even for adults. Developing emotional intelligence requires experience and introspection, but a basic vocabulary comes first.

Printable Emotion Faces (DOWNLOAD)