Describe, Draw and Describe
Intro – This is another activity that translates well to telehealth but also works face to face. The process of this activity directly corresponds to the title, which is self-explanatory:
Describe: The counselor or group leader should read one of the picture descriptions provided or use one of their own. When reading the description, try to use feeling and read the description in a slow, expressive manner so as to give the listeners time to think, feel and use their imagination
Draw: While the counselor is reading the selected picture description, each person in group should draw what they are hearing and feeling. There is not wrong way to do this as the focus of this activity is using art for self-expression, and this is in no way an art contest. If someone feels that they are terrible at drawing, it is okay as the group has to agree that art is not to be judged on appearance but again the art is more of a means helping identification and articulation of one’s personal thoughts and feelings
Describe: When everyone is done drawing, the group should take turns showing their picture to the rest of the group. On telehealth, this can be done by holding up the picture in front of the camera so others in the group can see it*. While showing the picture to the group, the person who drew the picture should describe what they drew while expressing what they were thinking and feeling when drawing various aspects of the picture. At the end, the person who drew the picture should give a final explanation about what the picture means to them and how they felt overall about the picture. The counselor should be prepared to draw out the group participants thoughts and feelings with open ended questions to stimulate discussion *If anyone is really resistant to showing their picture, the counselor can provide the option for the picture to be explained without showing it. However, people in group are encouraged to take a chance and be willing to share without fear of judgement.
Take turns and allow everyone to show and share about their picture. If there is time the group can try more than one of the descriptions
Sample Picture Descriptions:
Thought/Feeling - Based Narrations for Drawings (Imaginative – free form)
“The Future I Hope For”
(Read title first) - ”The Future I Hope For”….What is that to you?...Think about where you want to be one day…when you are where you want to be…Think about why you are here today…and where you will be when you know that you have achieved your goals…You have the life you want…You have the people around you that you want to have in your life…You feel the way you want to feel when you have finally achieved your goals one day…Think about what your life will really be like…Keep it real and not just a fantasy…What will you be doing…What will you be thinking?…What will you be feeling?…What will the people you care about be thinking and feeling…What will this new life that you want so badly be all about to you?
“My Positive Escape”
(Read title first) – “My Positive Escape” – Now that you are working on recovery from whatever issues you are facing, what do you do for a positive escape…Where do you go?...Who, if anyone is there with you?...What are you doing with yourself?….What is it like to feel the peace and satisfaction of taking a break from stress?....What’s it like to get away from your problems for a little while?…What are you thinking about when you are in your happy place, doing your happy thing?…What are you feeling?...What is happiness for you…
“The World I Want”
(Read title first) – “The World I Want” – This world has a lot in it that needs to be fixed, but for a few minutes think about the world you would want…What is it like there?...What are people like in your world?...What are some of the laws and rules…Who is there with you in your world?...What do you do in your world?...What are you thinking about it your world?...What does it feel like to live in your world?
“Rising from the Chaos Toward a Life of Peace”
(Read title first) - “Rising from the Chaos Toward a Life of Peace” – What was the chaos in your life that you want to leave behind…What specific things are in that chaotic life that you are letting go of…How do you feel as you are letting go of the things you don’t want or need in your life any longer?…Now what is it like to move forward toward a more peaceful life?...What is included in this new peaceful existence?...Who are you bringing with you into your new life?...How does it feel to move toward a better life and to feel inner peace?...What is this new life like?...
“What’s Up with You Right Now?”
(Read title first) - “What’s Up with You Right Now?” – How are you doing?...What’s been on your mind?...How have you been feeling?...Let these thoughts and feelings guide your hand as you draw…Draw whatever comes to mind when you think about how you are doing right now…What do you want right now?…What do you feel right now?…What is it like to be you right now at this point in your life?...Let your hand just draw whatever it wants, there is no right or wrong…
“My Future Goals”
(Read title first) – “My Future Goals” – Start thinking about some of your goals and how you want to draw them…Use your imagination when choosing pictures or symbols to represent your goals…There are no right or wrong answers here, just let the pen draw your goals in a way that feels right to you…Try make sure goals from different life areas are represented…Recovery goals…Career goals…Family Goals….Relationships Goals…Health and Physical Goals…Financial Goals…Spiritual Goals about meaning and purpose regardless of what you believe in…Include any other goals on your mind that are meaningful and important to you
“Values and Priorities: What Means the Most to Me”
(Read title first) - “Values and Priorities: What Means the Most to Me” – Think about what is important to you…Think about the people…the things…and the ideas that mean a lot to you (like freedom, love, respect and any others that mean a lot to you)…Use different pictures and symbols to represent your values….Place things in important places in your picture to show your priorities if you would like to…Think about how these important values make you feel as you draw…
“The Field” – Draw a field, anywhere and anyway you want...Draw yourself in the field doing anything you want…Put some animals in the field with you…Now add some people…Add trees, mountains and parts of the landscape…Add some water: a river or a lake or a waterfall…Make sure to add some flowers and other plants…How does it feel to be in this field you are drawing…What is going on in this field?
“The Movie” – Create a scene from a fictional movie of your own imagination…Think about your setting and start drawing…Is this an action movie or a drama or a fantasy or sci-fi or perhaps a love story?...Make sure to put in your movie characters…Fill in the background with details…Think about what is going on in your movie scene and let yourself draw…How are the characters feeling?. How do you feel creating and then watching this scene?
“The Group” – Draw a scene with a bunch of people in group therapy…It should not be this group but a group from you own mind… What kind of group is it and what is being achieved in the group by its members? …
Think about the different kinds of characters and personalities you are putting in the group…What is everyone doing?...What kinds of behaviors are going on in the group?...What is the counselor or group leader doing?...What is he or she feeling while running that group?...What are different feelings people in the group are experiencing?...
For additional ideas for drawings see Suggested Topics for Artistic Expression or Journaling