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Art Therapy Activities Museum Cards (ATAMC)

A collection of masterpieces from the National of History in Taiwan

An art work conveys its creators emotional state while the audience obtains an aesthetic experience through observing it. The
application of this set of ATAMC is based upon the inner experience involved from the process of creating after appreciating the cards.
Except the four instruction cards (Chinese & English version), there are 60 cards selected from the collection of several masterpieces
of the National Museum of History in Taiwan. It is hoped that through the application of the suggested activities, more people will
benefit from the art appreciating and creating process. Teachers, mental health professionals, rehabilitation therapists, and those who
cultivate creativity in others are those who may use these cards in appropriate settings. However, only through visiting the museums in
person, are minds heartened by the authentic art works. Have a spiritual encounter with original art in museums!

Activity Purposes
A. To improve short-tern memory, attentiveness, eye-hand coordination and other cognitive developmental processes.
B. To challenge ones capabilities and obtain a sense of achievement.
C. To facilitate self exploration and contemplation by clarifying uncertain messages or content from the unconscious mind.
These messages or content are then given concrete visual forms.
D. To clarify self issues and achieve a higher level of consciousness through verbal and non-verbal processing and sharing.
E. To obtain emotional catharsis and sublimation by creating art.
F. To enhance the sense of self value from being creative through art-making.
G. To encourage expression through art making by providing a safe atmosphere in which to create.
H. When used in group settings, these activities may enhance general group therapeutic factors such as self-understanding,
interpersonal learning, cohesiveness, universality.etc.


Theoretical background
I. Psychoanalysis- Free art making is the process within which a spontaneous image from


the unconscious mind is given a concrete form through mechanism of projection. Dynamic

People in general
Mental health professionals.
Rehabilitation professionals.

oriented art therapy views art as a non-verbal communication vehicle. Items to be noted in
this process are: what materials the client uses, how the client uses the materials, and how
the client feels during the process of creating.
II. Jungian Analysis- Jung regards the person as an active force of energy oriented toward
self-actualization and possesses both constructive and destructive sides of energy. In order


to achieve the goal of individuation, the conscious and unconscious minds need to be

1. Clients in general (children,

adolescents, adults, geriatric,
2. Clients with organic problems.
3. Resistive clients.
4. Clients that are not familiar
with art materials.
5. Clients who search for growth.

integrated harmoniously . Persona is viewed as the social self. It is an outcome of the

socialization process or a system or style that a person adjusts to in the outside world.
Shadow is the counter-part of persona and is the dark or opposite side of the personality.
The shadow side is a part that is often not condoned by society. Additionally the individual
may not be aware of his or her shadow side or may not accept that there is a shadow part to
his or her personality.
III. Art as Therapy- Creating art resolves emotional conflicts, engenders insights and helps
achieve catharsis. ATAMC provides a safe structure that allows for free self-expression.
IV. Humanistic approach- Behavior is the result of immediate events as they are perceived
and interpreted by the individual. Through the subjective interpretation of ones own art, the
client moves toward self-awareness and self-actualization.
V. Educational psychology


Activity I: Concentration

Activity II: Mood Drawing

Activity III: Story Drawing

1. Two sets of ATAC are used; select the
same amount of cards from each set.
(3~10 pairs) and place them face down
in a square or rectangle formation.
2. The first person selects two card
randomly, turns them over and if the
cards are the same they are removed. If
not, the cards are again turned face
down in the same position.
3. If the first person matches two cards,
he or she gets another turn until no
match is made.
4. Then the second person takes his or
her turn.
5. Repeat the same procedure till the
end when no cards are left.

1. Select one card that may reflect the
present state of your feeling.
2. Create a drawing that extends or
represents the feelings of the card you
3. Share the activity related experience
with other people.

1. Select 3~8 cards (the time available
will determine the number and how the
participants will draw).
2. Place the cards selected in a sequence
to tell a story and share with other
3. If possible, encourage the client to
draw the story.
4. Share how it felt to create the story
using the cards with other people.

Users code:
Purposes: A, B
Theoretical background: V
Applications: Pairs in individual or
group activity/therapy

Users code:
Purposes: C~H
Theoretical background: I, III, IV
Applications: Individual or small group

Users code:
Purposes: A~H
Theoretical background: I, III, IV, V
Applications: Individual or small group


Activity VI: Drawing from a

1. Select one card, use some scribble
lines to replicate the structure of the
selected card on a sheet of paper.
2. Place the card face-down and
complete a drawing based on the
3. Share the activity experience with
other people.
Users code:
Purposes: A~H
Theoretical background: I, III, IV, V
Applications: Individual or small group

Activity V: Seeking the

similarities from the
1. Select two cards that you consider
the most different from each other.
2. Try to find their similarities and
draw or write down your similarities
on a sheet of paper.
3. Share the activity experience with
other people.
Users code:
Purposes: C ~ H
Theoretical background: I ~ V
Applications: Individual or small
group activity/counseling/therapy

Note: *The art materials and size of the drawing in the above activities are all flexible and can be
adjusted to meet the needs of those who have little or no knowledge of drawing techniques. *Subjects
of the first activity need to be older than age 3 or 4; the fifth and the sixth activities are especially
suitable for high-functioning adult populations. The rest of the activities are appropriate for subjects
age 10 and above age. *The art-making process and expressiveness of the final product are the main
concerns in an art therapy activity; aesthetic quality is of little concern. *Users are encouraged to
develop more ways of using this ATAMC, and to share these ideas with us.
Taiwan Art Therapy Association website:

Activity VI: Collage of the

likes and dislikes
1. Place all cards on a simple-background surface either on the table or the
floor. (The number of cards will be
determined by how many clients are
participating and the amount of time
2. Select ten cards that you like the
most, and share this with other people.
3. Select ten cards that you dislike the
most, also share with others.
4. Compose the cards into a collage on
the surface (no glue needed).
5. Share the experience of creating the
collage with other people.
Users code:
Purposes: A~H
Theoretical background: I ~ V
Applications: Individual or small group

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