Tutorial – Pain & Pleasure


Therapeutic Creative Expression exercise on Pain and Pleasure.  It helps express the inexpressible. Here are the basics:


  • Magazine/newspaper pictures
  • Paper, or journal page (I used black paper for this exercise)
  • Glue
  • Crayons, markers, oil pastels, paint (your choice)

Do all the steps as quickly and as intuitively as possible.  This is not an exercise in thinking or making beautiful art.  It’s an exercise to engage your emotions.

  1. Pick a picture that represents pain and one that represented pleasure.  The pictures can be a literal, symbolic or metaphorical representation.
  2. Cut away the back ground so you have just the basic images.
  3. Fold your paper in half.  Paste your picture(s) of Pain on one side and Pleasure on the other side.
  4. Pick colors that represent pain and pleasure We used oil pastels (they really look great on black paper but crayons or markers are just fine)
  5. Draw, scribble scrawl the colors on the paper, including the pasted picture if you want.

Above is one of the participant’s pictures from a workshop.  I sure you can see that the picture conveys what no words can.