Directive Art: Building Open Communication and Active Listening

Struggling to find activities that translate well in telehealth? Me too. Here’s an activity that I’ve discovered during my countless hours of telehealth research. It’s fun. It’s challenging. It works.


To see exactly how the activity is done, watch the video below!

Directive art is amazing for telehealth because you (the artist) are the only one who needs art supplies. The client is the director. The director’s job is to tell the artist exactly what they want on the page. You can use a variety of mediums, such as markers, colored pencils, crayons. For an added challenge, you could use paint, pastels, or even collage! Double added challenge? Don’t let the director see the artwork until it’s finished.


However, I do recommend using materials that you can’t erase. In my line of work, I see lots of children clients who believe that a quick apology is an easy way to not take responsibility for their actions. By not being able to erase anything, we can process how those words can’t be taken back so easily. We may also talk about how the artist might perceive information differently than what the director is trying to communicate. It’s more fun with colors, anyways!

If your client has art supplies at home, feel free to switch it up! Let yourself be the director while the client plays the role of the artist. Reversing roles is a great way to practice active listening and following directions.


If you liked this post, feel free to like and subscribe! If you try this activity, let us know how it went. We’d love to hear what you think in the comments!


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