The Mask We Show to the World – In the Face of Pain

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A favorite Therapeutic Creative Expression exercise is mask painting – whether it is on an actual mask or on a 2-dimensional outline

I have participants paint or collage the inside and the outside of their mask representing in color, symbol, design how they experience


what they present to the outside world and what they experience on the inside that no one can see.

There is a worksheet on the TUTORIAL PAGE – click on TUTORIALS in the header and scroll down – that helps PROCESS the exercise.  The processing is as important as creating the mask.

The green mask is the only one that is collaged using torn pieces of magazine as “color”.  All the rest are painted with acrylic paint or drawn on with crayon.

I have three masks hanging in my office waiting room.  I find all the masks beautiful, each in their own way.  

Even if you don’t draw/paint or collage your mask imagine it in your mind’s eye and do the worksheet.

I would love to know what your vision is.

5 comments on “The Mask We Show to the World – In the Face of Pain

  1. Wow. I made two therapeutic masks once. But I never framed them. They were so cool to make. I made two to show to opposing sides of me. If you read my blog you will see that, the tech side and the emotional side.

    I replied to your comment. 🙂

    I have a few other dog poems on my blog such as:


    which are the most recent. but if you like those, then search for dog and you can find the rest.


  2. This is so great! I’ve done collage therapy with clients before and used to paper my ceiling with them — fun! Working now with invisible disability and pain certainly occupies a place in that category. Thanks for reminding me back to art therapy!


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