Week Three: Mandalas?

Mar 30, 2021

It’s really great to see everyone’s progress on their senior project and how they are evolving! This week I have continued my search for an art activity that fits the scope of my art therapy experiment. I met with Dr. McFarland from the American Art Therapy Association over Zoom to further discuss her idea of promoting relaxation and freedom in the art activity. We started to talk about mandalas and the research that has been done to prove their stress relief abilities. She directed me towards many literature reviews that discussed the therapeutic benefits of mandalas.

Why Mandala’s?

Research has shown that coloring mandala’s is more stress reducing than coloring on a blank paper or a design with straight lines that form a square. They also facilitate creative growth and attention to detail. A study in Reducing Negative Mood Through Mandala Creation:
A Randomized Controlled Trial by Babouchkina and Robbins noted the shape of mandalas as a mood improver.

the circular shape of the mandala serves as an “active ingredient” in mood enhancement”

Renée van der Vennet & Susan Serice (2012) Can Coloring Mandalas Reduce Anxiety?

Art Activity

As for the art activity in between the emotion thermometer survey’s, I will be basing it off of mandala’s for the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th graders at BASIS. I like the idea of giving them artistic freedom in what they want to express through their art. An example for the prompt could be asking them to draw their favorite place where they feel happy and safe or something that brings them joy. However, there is a possibility that lack of structure in my instructions could add to their stress if, for example, they did not know what to draw. I hope to have two groups in each grade. One where we can take more freedom in their artistic expression by only outlining a mandala and allowing them to fill it in will color and drawings. The other group could take a more structured approach by having a predrawn mandala that can be colored in (they would have the choice of which colors they will use).

2 Replies to “Week Three: Mandalas?”

  1. Karan M. says:

    This was really interesting! Great work!

  2. johnh says:

    This is interesting. I like the idea of having different projects that explore different things.

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