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Paper Bag Self-Portrait

Updated: May 26, 2019

A new year of art therapy programs has begun and I am excited about sharing different things I will be doing with groups and individuals I will be working with. It is amazing how many different ways we can direct the people we work with to delve into self-exploration. I like to start off groups with self-portraits, similar to last weeks activity I did the same with this new group. My co-facilitator Lucy and I took a multidimensional approach using paper bags. Participants were invited to depict various parts of themselves, examples I gave were; internal self, external self, interests, values, things they feel safe to show the world and things they prefer to keep hidden. They had freedom to use whatever medium to turn their bags into representations of themselves. Here is what I came up with.

I think it is incredibly important to create safety and transparency within groups. This directive allows participants to begin to explore the idea that there are many parts to themselves that they share in different settings. A therapeutic arts group in a mental health setting is a safe space to discover these, unpack the bag that is self and share with others.

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