Telehealth Activity: Zoom Buddha Board

One thing from my in-person office that I have not been able to replicate in telehealth sessions has been my Buddha Board. (You can see a demonstration of the Buddha Board here.)

Photo by Zaksheuskaya on

When I use art in therapy, I encourage clients to focus on the experience of creating rather than on the final product. The Buddha Board helps them let go of this because the final product disappears before their eyes. Knowing the drawing will disappear also lowers inhibitions – they feel free to draw something that might seem weird or outrageous because it is not permanent.

You can implement something similar with a white board, but something about the drawing vanishing on its own is so freeing for a lot of kids. They don’t have to wipe it away when they are done because it happens on its own.

Recently, Zoom added a “vanishing pen” feature that is the closest I have found to a virtual Buddha Board. Here’s a demonstration of what it looks like:

Vanishing Pen Demonstration

For this to work, the client needs to be on a laptop, and you have to be using Zoom as your telehealth platform. Have the client share the white board screen, select annotate, select spotlight, and select vanishing pen.

Whatever they draw will disappear! Of course, you cannot save the drawing for future review, but a lot of kids really need that added layer of confidentiality when the drawing disappears.

What therapy activities would you like to see developed for telehealth? Tell me, and I will try to make it happen.

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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