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How to get people to open up to you when they are having a hard time

We are all human, and it's that human factor that drives us to take care of the people in our lives that are hurting at one time or another .

Talking about what is upsetting us is a crucial step to externalising our problems and if we don't 'get it out', our negative emotions will intensify, placation will turn into irritation which will grow into frustration and then anger. And.. we all know what happens when we reach the extreme end of the stick when it comes to feelings - we do and say things we later come to regret.

The thing is though, not everyone has the ability to just lay their cards down on the table, even with our nearest and dearest. I'm going to show you a simple, yet effective way to help someone open up to you when they are distressed. It's really simple and super cheap. So Let's get started with our next Art Therapy Activity!


Emotions Wheel Art Therapy Activity

1) Provide the client with a set of coloured pencils or markers, and an A4 size

sheet of white paper.

2) Use a compass to draw a circle in the centre of the page. The circle should

fill the page.

3) Divide the circle into eight equal parts by drawing a line straight down the

circle, then drawing a line down the centre, criss-crossing the first line. Now,

halve the other segments. This will leave us with eight equal parts.

4) When the client has completed this activity, as the client to put eight

emotions in each individual segment of the circle.

5) Instruct the client to write the name of the emotion above that individual

segment (outside of the circle).

6) Now, instruct the client to fill each segment with a corresponding colour or

picture that complements their idea of what that individual emotion means

to them at this time.

7) When the client has completed this part of the activity, ask them to explain

why their chose the colour they did, and what their drawing means.

8) After the client has shared their eight emotions, ask the client to now share

where in their life they are experiencing these emotions. If a client chooses

You may want to ask them the following questions to achieve this:

• Can you tell me about your Emotions Colour Wheel?

• Why did you choose that colour and/or drawing for that emotion?

• Where else in your life do you experience that emotion?

This activity is designed to encourage a person to open up and feel comfortable

sharing their emotions and feelings. This activity can also be applied to specific people and events so that the client is able to work through various emotions they have in relation to the person or event in


This therefore makes this activity especially beneficial for those that are currently

experiencing a myriad of emotions and feel overwhelmed by this. This can include

those experiencing a marriage break-down, the unexpected death of a loved one,

and even those that have undergone a significant emotionally


If you would like to see how this activity is done in real time, simply head over to this link HERE and watch a live demonstration.

Would you find this art therapy tool useful if you thought your child was being bullied at school?

  • YES

  • NO

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