There are numerous methods and approaches to use in art therapy. Ones that are geared toward mindfulness, others that are geared toward being focus-oriented, and some that are cognitively geared. Today, I want to discuss Dialectical Behavior Art Therapy. DBAT is form of art therapy treatment that stems from cognitive behavior therapy and deals with behavior. Providing mindfulness, awareness, and acceptance, this type of therapy is most popular with resistant patients or clients. Three directives or activities that fall under the category of DBT are:

  • Three Minds Mandala
    • This activity starts out with creating a venn diagram type of chart – the first section, the irrational mind is labeled – the emotional mind is the second full circle – and the wise mind is where both of these circles connect – the client/patient can organize and visualize what thoughts, emotions, feelings, perspectives, or actions can go into these certain categories to  help better their treatment
  • Mindfulness Activity
    • mindfulness can stem from many activities like mandalas, but even painting can do the trick as well – the client/patient can paint on paper or canvas using one color of choice to release stress and just focus on the action of painting – participants could even close their eyes if they felt more comfortable doing so while painting
  • Distress Tolerance
    • this directive allows the client to think of skill they would like to have and elaborate on it – through a comic strip, the client created different scenarios on how their life would benefit from this skill, how it can be used in different siutations, where they would implement this new skill or talent

These presented directives (and more!) are mostly used with teenagers, but are not limited to this population. DBAT can be very useful with those who suffer from depression, anxiety, and increased suicidal ideation. These three disorders are highly associated with the teenage population!

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