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How To Overcome Your Fears Through Drawing

An efficient way to overcome your fear is to draw it and then turn to something else right on the paper, to something not scary (for example, something kind and funny).

Redesigning a fear only seems to be easy, in fact it is a very difficult task. Changing a drawing, one works hard on his or her image of the scary situation.

Of course, real dogs will remain sharp-toothed and cows will remain horned, but the attitude to them will change.

How to overcome your fear

There are several ways to draw your fear

1. Draw an image of your fear.

Fear can be depicted as a creature, an object, a natural phenomenon, etc. Sometimes inducing questions can help to imagine one's fear: "What does your fear resemble?", "What does it look like?", "What scares you?", "What is your fear like?", "If your fear were an animal, what animal would it be?"

People with well-developed image thinking manage to portray their fears well.

Image of fear

Female, 22 years old: "The fear living inside of me."

The fear is shown as a black shagged creature with a scared look in its huge eyes. Later it was complemented with a flower and a tuft of hair at the top to look less scary, but rather nice and sad.

2. Draw the situation that awakes fear.

The most conventional approach is to draw the scary situation itself. It could be just an outline, so practically everybody manages to do it, even those who keep saying they "can't draw".

The fear situation

Boy, 9 years old: "I'm afraid of being alone. For example, snowboarding down the hill alone – fall down and no one is there to help you."

3. Draw the sensation of fear experienced in the body.

If a person often describes his or her inner sensations in a conversation – "everything ran cold", "heart leapt into the mouth", "I choke up" – suggest drawing these sensations. The sensation can be depicted in a schematic body picture, on the the person's body or designed as a sensation image. For instance, the feeling of cold can be represented by an ice bucket.

the sensation of fear

Girl, 6 years old: "This is how I feel fear: the face blushes while everything else runs cold."

4. Draw the first case that scared the person.

Suggest remembering the first time when the person got scared. For instance, when he or she was attacked by a dog in the childhood, or when the class started laughing at his or her answer, or when the person nearly drowned. Draw the very first case that awoke fear.

the first case that scared the person

Boy, 6 years old: "I was declaiming a poem at a matinée and everybody laughed at me. I do not perform anymore."

Later we complemented the picture with different details to help the boy feel more self-confident: a toy car pulled by a rope, a necktie, a suit pocket.

5. Make a mask, a costume of your fear or separate elements.

Such props help to become one's fear for a while, to play it. It works especially well for fear of the dark, fear of ghosts and people of some trades (for example, doctors). This variant is good for children who are not keen on drawing.

6. Draw a face expressing fright, terror, fear.

Drawing a face is one of the most difficult and at the same time demonstrative ways to express emotions of the person drawing. It is a challenge to redesign such picture positively, one has to use his imagination at full power.

How to master fear

A picture by an 11 years old boy revealing the intensity of his fear. Not only is terror seen on his face, real danger emanates from the sharp-toothed dragon. Blood dripped to the boy's shoulder from the chap. Huge eyes and black mouth are common indicators of fear. The blue color of clothes the boy is wearing and his hand pressed to the chest show that he is trying to pull himself together.

Which way of drawing a fear to choose? Mind what the person tells about his or her fear: about the situation, sensations, the past or about monsters he or she imagines. First and foremost, a person should draw what he or she speaks about.

All other ways may be tried later in case several sessions are required, thus you'll work the fear through from all angles.

How to determine whether the fear has gone? When your "artist" can speak and draw it easily, with no tension and perhaps even with a bit of boredom (because it became familiar, irrelevant).


You should not erase, tear or burn down the picture to overcome your fear. Fear is a part of the psyche. Being simply torn out of the psyche, fear leaves a gap to be stuffed with another problem. It is better to fill the gap yourself by transforming your fear into some other attitude – make it neutral, pacific, kind, etc. That particular image will stay in the person's mind.

Author: Krysanova Svetlana

All pictures are the property of the author