What is the theory behind this Acceptance and commitment therapy adolescent worksheet?
Acceptance and Commitment therapy is a type of Cognitive Behavioral therapy which treats emotional issues by guiding individuals to accept and face their unhelpful emotions and thoughts instead of avoiding them or making futile attempts to control them. There are many ways to achieve this but one particular way to help the adolescent population is using art therapy.
How will the worksheet help?
The worksheet will help a therapist or counsellor who is using the ACT principles to help youth deal with their issues. It contains a guide to conducting ACT group sessions based on the concepts and practices of Art Therapy. Using art to visualise their painful emotions is a way of normalising it.
How to use the worksheet?
This art activity is to be used in the second session of an ACT group session where the aim is to teach adolescents the concept of control and acceptance. Use the guide to plan the group session accordingly.
Acceptance and commitment therapy adolescent worksheet
- Expressing Internal Struggles through Art – Session 2 (Group ACT)
Age: Appropriate for ages 13 – 18. Group must have teens within two years age range for e.g. 13 – 15 year olds.
Group Participants: Up to 8
Aim: Help teens realize that everyone has their own struggles that they have to deal with in life. Bring an atmosphere of acceptance in the group therapy session where every individual accepts and acknowledges their own and the struggles of others.
Rationale: Using art as a medium to express internal struggle with painful emotions, thoughts and feelings. Bring their internal state of mind on to paper and give it life so that it can be normalised and accepted.
- A4 Paper/Cardsheets
- Instruct participants to be creative with the material provided to draw or paint a depiction of their internal struggles with painful emotions and thoughts
- It is up to them to make it abstract or otherwise.
Instructions for facilitator
- Go around the group and comment on their work
- Bring the ACT concepts in to your comments to keep reinforcing what the activity is about and what it means
- After they are done, invite those who want to come and explain their work.
- Have a discussion about common themes and in all the artwork.
- Make it a point to highlight the aim of the activity at every step to make the group realize struggles are universal to all and do not define their identity or indicate internal faults.
Hayes, L & Rowse, J. (2008) Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Using art with Adolescents.
You can download this worksheet here.