Drawing thoughts and feelings

Approximate time: 1 hour 30 minutes

PowerPoint slides: 16 to 20

Exercise sheets: What if Sheet


To introduce the concept of visual metaphor, and encourage participants to use this to express their views and experiences of invisible aspects of their disease.


“These exercises are meant to help you express invisible aspects of your disease experience, for example, physical or emotional pain, impact on relationships with others, healthcare experiences, or anything else you feel is important. Thoughts and feelings can’t be drawn directly because we cannot see them. You have already expressed feelings through facial expressions, body language, colour, etc. Another way to do this is through a visual metaphor, that is, to draw something that is visible, for instance, a creature, object, a place or a situation, to show something invisible.”


These exercises are the most important part of the workshop, so please make sure you leave enough time for them. By this point, participants should feel relaxed about using drawing as a mean of expression and sharing their drawings with others. You will now introduce a new element to the workshop: how to draw visual metaphors to represent invisible aspects of the disease experience. At the end of each exercise, you can invite people to first describe their drawing (or drawings) and then explain what they were trying to communicate. You can also invite the other participants to comment or share similar/contrasting views or experiences.

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