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Drawings in Therapy

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My last session with my therapist for treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD, was particularly difficult but yet satisfying at the same time. We began the session in the usual way, with me doing the talking. I told the therapist about a particular person in my life, who had recently caused me a lot of grief. I was at a loss as to how to handle it. We both agreed that talking to that person would do no good. Somehow I would have to learn how to handle my feelings.

A certain ease I have in expressing myself was clearly failing. The frustration was mounting, when suddenly I asked if I could write on the chalkboard in Dr. Romero's office. She had occasionally written on it herself, and sometimes had made little drawings. Of course I could write on the board if I wanted, and so I stood up and began drawing two stick figures, one big and the other small which represented me.It expressed how I felt in relation to that person. I am not a good artist, but I did feel somehow empowered by drawing.

I sat down and we talked some more about my feelings and how I would have to learn how to gain a different perspective on this difficult situation. The person clearly was not going to change, and so I was going to have to somehow change in the way I saw that person, and try not to let that individual have power over me.
I went to the chalkboard again and this time placed a suitcase in the figure representing me. On the suitcase I wrote the word "woes." By then I had made my figure equal in size to the other person's. My therapist asked me what I was going to do with the suitcase. I replied that I would toss it into the sea, and then quickly drew some wavy lines representing the ocean. I erased the suitcase and placed it among the waves, because that's where I wanted it to go, so to speak. That felt good, and very simple.

Of course there's a long way to go in my dealings with that individual, but the drawings somehow clarified things a bit in a way I never thought possible. You might say they crystallized matters.

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I love words, but at that moment in the shrink's office I felt that only drawings would do. The book you mentioned sounds intriguing. Once again, I really appreciate your comments.

July 15, 2010 - 7:43am

That is really cool that you were inspired to draw something to articulate your feelings! I was just thinking I'd like to start visual journaling again--there's a book by Ganim and Fox that I read and worked through, and it really helped. Words cannot express everything.

July 15, 2010 - 5:30am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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