Safe Place

Create a Safe Place: Malchiodi, C. The Art Therapy Sourcebook. (2007) McGraw-Hill. p160-161.
Paper and drawing materials of choice (markers, crayons, colored pencils, paints, etc.)
1. Start with a relaxation method. Once relaxed, think of all the places, real and imaginary, that have felt safe during your life. (If unable to think of an experienced safe place, try to imagine one.)
2. Make a list of all the characteristics of your safe place (for example, things that are comfortable, such as pillows, favorite clothes, furniture; things that are familiar; and things that you enjoy having around). Do so verbally if unable to write. 3. Use the art materials to draw your safe place, which may be a simple diagram or an elaborate illustration. Add any features that will enhance the safety of the place or make it more comfortable.4. Look at the image, and describe the significance and purpose of each characteristic or feature you included. Imagine yourself standing in this safe place. What would you see to the left and right of you, in front of you, and above and below you?5. Look at your image, and consider under what circumstances your safe place would be most helpful to you. Note these. 6. Develop a picture in your mind of your safe place, and practice visualizing it during the next few days. What does it feel like to visit this place in your imagination?
This is a popular directive used by therapists to help people who are in distress. The idea is first to create an image of safety to help relieve tension and second, to discover mental images that enhance one's sense of security. The person can then return to mental image when feeling anxious, insecure, or unsafe.
Collage materials (magazine pictures and words, scraps of fabric and other found items, stickers, photographs, etc.) may also be incorporated.

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