Art Therapy Modalities | Life-Sized Silhouette Mandala

From the artist: This silhouette for me means that I was and still feel like I am a target and I had and have hands all over me.
I have used this technique, essentially an outline of the body on large (3' x 6') butcher block paper, since the mid-1980's. For me, the human silhouette has come to be a life-sized mandala, in that it is an overt representation of the "totality of self". It is a drawing where conflicting energies can be integrated and "luminous states of consciousness" realized (Cornell, 1994, pp. 1-2). In much the same way Cornell describes how the mandala helped her "recover from a sense of psychological fragmentation" (pp.1-2), I have used the life-sized silhouette with; trauma survivors, those who are dissociative disordered, those who have eating disorders and/or issues related to body image, those who self-mutilate (as a therapy technique and later as a method of data collection for my dissertation), chronic or terminal illness, body pain, to teach mental health professionals about issues of identity/memory and, as a way to map the mind, body, spirit split/connection to better facilitate integration. Liebmann briefly mentions a use for the life-sized silhouette in Art Therapy for Groups (1986, 1993), but the uses are much more broad and vast.

I'm Not for Sale by Anonymous
I'm Not For Sale ~ Anonymous
A life-sized silhouette mandala:

Who Is This? ~ silhouette by a person recovering from anorexia

Who Is This? ~ silhouette by a person recovering from anorexia


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