The Wish Box

Lynne: “As part of art therapy, the patient makes a box, with all different types of materials and then over the course of therapy, takes slips of pretty paper from the "collage box" and writes wishes for their present or future. If they think of one outside of a therapy session, they bring it in, (or write it in their silent relationship journal to ask me to remind them.) Wishes have been many things. A few have been:

• I wish I can continue to stay off drugs
• I feel so much better, I want to keep feeling this way

• I wish I can get a great job as a doctor when I grow up

The Wish Box is particularly helpful to take out and review when patients are depressed or having suicidal thoughts for several reasons:

• Seeing the wishes reminds them that there was a time when they felt better. I can talk with them and help them figure out why.

• The wishes often remind them that they cared about the future not long ago.

•Looking at the wishes can motivate them to work hard in therapy to push through the crisis and get back to a time and place where they believe the wishes, even just one, could come true.

•I can usually get them to draw a picture of one wish and because of how art therapy works (see section on Art Therapy) this can help diffuse the crisis almost immediately, restore hope, and decrease immediate symptoms.


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Tuesday, September 7, 2004 © Lynne Julianna Beldegreen