Telehealth Activity: 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.

Update: Mindful Draw

The awesome folks at Oaklander Training have created the Mindful Draw app, which is essentially an online Buddha board! The drawings fade more slowly than the Zoom vanishing pen, so clients can put more work into their creations before they disappear.

This resource is also great for those who use a platform other than Zoom. Simply bring up the site, share screen, and grant remote control. Your client can choose how thick the lines are based on how they click and interact with the app. How cool is that?

Zoom Vanishing Pen

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. She completed her internship at the National Psychology Training Consortium with specializations in assessment and rural mental health. Currently, she specializes in trauma-informed and neurodiversity-affirming care, and she is certified in telemental health. Dr. Marschall runs a private practice, RMH Therapy, where she provides individual and family therapy as well as psychological assessments across the lifespan. Dr. Amy Marschall is an author and professional speaker.