Gratitude in Art Therapy What a delight to join one of our online group art therapy sessions led by Shelley earlier this month! The children – all so uniquely different but dealing with similar health challenges – made the experience a joy. For this session, we were asked to draw on three themes and “show and tell” what each picture meant to us. The themes were: Our dream/fantasy home Something we want to spend more time doing The people and things we love Here are mine and you can also see my drawings pictured above... My dream/fantasy home I think I’m quite counter-cultural in not wanting a bigger home or more material wealth – quite the opposite, in fact. I think that this is a consequence of time spent in Africa and seeing extreme poverty in slums. In one chapter of my life, at least, I’d like to simplify and live on a long boat for a while – with a deck covered in plants. Something I want to spend more time doing The pressures of work and always thinking mean that I crave more time to use my hands and plug-in to creativity – so important for wellbeing. I have my Dad’s guitar but rarely play it, so I’d like to do this more and learn properly. The people and things I love This drawing is of my nearest and dearest, God bless them, some of whom I've barely seen during the pandemic. I wanted to have fun with this image and include other things I love, not least my cat (BIG character) who is still going strong at 18. There's lots of evidence about the positive effects of gratitude and how it can improve mental and physical wellbeing. I loved this activity because it encouraged us to think about what we are grateful for, but also to dream and to think about what we'd like for ourselves. Engaging with the children was a treat. I loved hearing their stories, seeing their artwork and gaining insights into how the sessions are helping them along their individual journeys. Thanks so much to Shelley and the children who participated for having me along.