Alligators In Cages


I think that sometimes we all wish that we could lock our fears and anxieties away in a place where we could feel safe from them.  Recently, I was working with a little girl who reminded me of the amazing power of art therapy to provide comfort and security in a scary place like the hospital.  This little girl asked me to work with her to make a picture using colored tape.  When I asked what I should make she answered immediately, “an alligator!!” When I made my masking tape alligator on the page she gasped, “oh no! He is going to bite us!”  I then asked this little girl if there was any thing we could do to keep this alligator from harming us.  After thinking for a second she responded, “Let’s put him in a cage!” We spent the remainder of the session making alligators and snakes and putting them inside of cages so we could be protected from their sharp teeth.  The next time I saw that little girl she replayed the same scenario with creating more scary creatures and putting them into cages.  This little girl became quite energetic while putting her scary animals into cages and seemed to feel incredibly empowered by that simple act.  For her, all it took was a roll of masking tape and she was able to keep her fears at bay and feel tough and in control over all the scary things happening around her in the hospital.   

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