Express Your Story
A Therapy Tool
Inspire Expression, Reflection and Growth.
Express Yourself Using Images, Art and Words.
Why Express Your Story?
Why should we attempt to express or understand our feelings? Isn't it easier to tuck the pain away and move on?
Unfortunately, the impact of painful or traumatic experiences don't just go away. Unresolved pain, past traumas and old ways of coping and thinking can negatively influence our choices, relationships and quality of life.
Identifying and expressing pain can be a freeing, cathartic expereince. Exploring your beliefs and feelings can help you to feel more in control of your life. The more aware you are of your feelings and thoughts, the greater potential you will have to heal and move forward.
Express Your Story was designed to inspire and facilitate the process of self-discovery with the ulitimate goal of self-growth. With the help of a compassionate, non-judgemental therapist, clients can feel validated and learn new ways of coping.
With Express Your Story, creative representations are truly endless and unique to each person. There are countless ways that one can represent thier childhood, family, marriage, relationships, goals, traumatic experiences, or wishes/desires using images, words and fantasy symbols.
Express Your Story was designed by Lesli Mitchell, LCSW and can be used as a tool for individual, family or group therapy for ages 12+.
EXPRESS YOUR STORY
12 dry-erase magnetic figurines, 1 house, 2 dresses, and 6 blank squares.
113 printed squares with themed images, 16 "I feel statements," jail and fence.
1 dry-erase magnetic board, 12 dry erase markers and 8 multiracial skin color crayons.
1 large carry-all bin with handle, 23 rectangular square-holding stackable bins, shopping basket, 1 zippered bag with black handles to hold dry erase magnetic board.
Draw and color on dry erase figurines and shapes to tell your unique story.
Place dry erase figures and themed squares in various locations on the board to tell your story.
Use fantasy figurines, I feel statements and containment pieces (fence & jail) for additional depth, expression and boundary setting.
How does it help?
Art allows clients to externalize their pain so it can be observed and reframed.
Creating art while exploring painful material helps make the process more tolerable because making art is soothing.
Telling stories and processing experiences using a visual platform can help clients develop insight about cognitive distortions and faulty beliefs.
Creating art is not a linear process, it is a gradual process that enables a client to go at their own pace.
GROUNDING AND EMPOWERING
Selecting/manipulating images and figurines can be empowering.
Touching the pieces is a sensory experience that can help one feel grounded/present in their bodies.
Creating a visual of one's life inspires interaction, insight, reflection
Interacting with interesting, validating imagery can maintain motivation and engagement in therapy process.
FANTASY AND METAPHOR
Fantasy figurines can be used to express feelings or wishes that may otherwise feel too difficult to discuss.
Using metaphor to process feelings can feel safer and less vulnerable.
Non-Verbal and Verbal Expression
Providing a platform that encourages non-verbal expression enables clients of varying developmental and cognitive abilities to express themselves.
Processing feelings and thoughts non-verbally allows clients to tap into unconscious material and imagery/colors that may be associated with trauma.