Masks are an excellent technique to have in your art therapy tool bag, especially for groups. This project encourages self-reflection, expression, and it will sometimes allow you to start difficult conversations. Even some of your most private clients might be willing to share what they've created. Plus, it's fun.
We encourage you to be creative and use these masks as you see fit, but here's an example of how we have used them with success:
- Provide each client with an art therapy mask (cut them out if you have the time). Let clients choose between the male, female, or neutral version.
- Have various art tools available. Pencils, pens, and crayons are a good start. Throw in some old magazines to allow collages for clients who aren't as confident in their artistic ability.
- Ask your clients to use the front of the mask to depict how they believe others see them through the use of drawings, symbols, and words. On the back of the mask, ask them to depict how they see themselves, especially in ways that differ from the front of the mask. Or, get creative with this step and come up with some new way to use the masks.
- Allow clients to share and discuss their masks. Some clients won't be comfortable sharing their artwork, but you can always ask them to talk about the content without actually showing their work.