Vision Boards

Goal-setting is an important part of the therapy process, and this can be especially challenging with kids and teens who probably weren’t the ones to decide that they “needed” mental health services.

When I did in-person sessions, one activity that a lot of teenagers enjoyed was making vision boards. We would take paper and magazines and cut out images that they related to or that fit with what they saw for themselves in the future. They could choose images when they had trouble finding the right words, which helped with communication.

Canva lets you create vision (or “mood”) boards online for free! You have to create an account if you want to save the board on their platform, but you can also just save a screen shot of the completed board if you don’t want you or your clients having to sign in to do the activity.

Plenty of free templates and images are available!

Canva uses stock photos, some of which are watermarked unless you have a paid account, but you can also upload any image that you want to your vision board.

In sessions, I typically have my client pull up Canva’s website and share their screen with me while they work on their board. I can narrate what they are doing and ask questions about their choices to facilitate discussion about what they are making. If you are working with a group, you can have each member work on their own board, but this can be challenging as you can’t check on each person’s progress as you go like you could if you did this activity in-person.

Vision boards are great for motivational interviewing, art therapy, and general goal setting. The online templates have been helpful with clients who get overwhelmed by creating their design and then struggle to focus on the project itself because the placement and color schemes are built into the program.

How have you used vision boards in your practice?

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. Her clinical interests are varied and include child and adolescent therapy, TF-CBT, rural psychology, telemental health, sexual and domestic violence, psychological assessment, and mental illness prevention. Dr. Marschall presently works in the Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic at Sioux Falls Psychological Services in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she provides individual and family therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents, and college students. She also facilitates an art therapy group for adolescents and college students with anxiety and depression. Dr. Amy Marschall is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Telemental Health.

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