Pass the Crayons!

According to a recent article in AARP Magazine, “Coloring for adults is not just fun and nostalgic; it’s also good for your health” says clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. In my practice using therapeutic art practices, I also find that clients report a more relaxed state after their session and an easier time expressing themselves verbally. I frequently ask clients who are suffering from anxiety or depressive disorders to paint or draw actual pictures of their “state of mind.” They use simple art materials to create images of shapes, colors and graphic interactions that they can see and relate to. Many are surprised at how much information they reveal to themselves during this activity! In the counseling sessions, it is an easy way for people to regain a measure of control over their condition and to be able to communicate with the issues in a whole new way.

Coloring (as in the new adult coloring books) can put you in a flowlike state – which can help you relax – and can even lower your blood pressure. While the therapy portion of the “art therapy” transpires within the confidential office local, the artful coloring part can happen anywhere. So buy a book (available at any of the craft or book stores) keep it in your backpack, briefcase or purse and give it a try. It can give a whole new purpose to your break time at work, or after work at home.

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. – Pablo Picasso

Written by: Lura Lee Smedstad, Licensed Professional Counselor



Twin Cities Therapy and Counseling Associates is a mental health clinic with counseling services by caring therapists. Please visit for more information

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