Looking Into The Future

I’ve got a fun new therapeutic activity for you this week that I hope you will find useful (I definitely did!). I wanted to try this activity for awhile after I read about it in a favorite book of mine, “Little Windows Into Art Therapy” by Deborah Schroder. She talked about using a magic wand or a crystal ball to help people envision what they would like to result from therapy. I decided to try it slightly tweaked for child life purposes, but you are more than welcome to play around with this idea.

To begin, take a white piece of paper and draw a crystal ball. Make the ball nice and big to give participants room to draw what they want. I used a pencil and lightly sketched the crystal ball, but you can use any writing utensil you want. Also either you can draw the ball for the participant, or each participant can draw their own crystal ball. Here’s my example:

Crystal Ball

Then tell your participants to imagine what they would like to see in their future. You can put a specific date in the requirements, like saying, “What will life be like a year from now?” or you can leave it open. You can also give some other parameters such as “What would you like to once you leave the hospital?”  Encourage them to think about what they will be doing, have accomplished, and so forth. Also I recommend you create your own crystal ball with them and compare when it’s over. Participants can again use any type of writing or coloring utensils. I stuck with pencil because I could erase my mistakes! Here’s what my finished drawing looks like, though I may add some colored pencil to the mix.

Crystal Ball 2

I decided to draw symbols of what I would like to see in my future. For example, I drew a suitcase because I hope I continue to travel to new and old places. I also drew a pair of pointe shoes because I want to keep dancing. When participants are done, encourage sharing, if there is interest. Keep in mind that some people may not want to share and that’s okay.

This is a great project for a long-term patient who may feel like life is a never-ending cycle of doctor visits and hospital stays. You can use this project as a jumping off point to discuss a patient’s hopes and dreams, and perhaps consider things that can be done to achieve those wishes.

Also this is a great way to give individuals a visual representation of goals they have and also a way to look back and remember years later. I’m going to be keeping mine around awhile, if just to see if my predictions were right! Try it out yourselves and see what you come up with! Leave comments and questions below!

Crystal Ball of the Future Activity Notes

Ages: 6 and up

Materials: paper and writing instruments

Therapeutic Value:
Creativity
Expression
Control
Legacy Building

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