Cartoon Therapy is a great way to sort out your issues. By drawing something in cartoon form, you can see it with both distance and humour. Last time, we took a real-life situation and exaggerated it. In my case, a continual checking of Facebook became a cartoon about “Facebook Sickness”. This time, I’d like to explore what happens when you introduce one of the most powerful elements in your medicine cabinet: the imagination!
Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.
– Albert Einstein
Just keep doodling
Okay, so you’ve drawn a cartoon panel or two portraying your chosen issue. It may be that you have no idea what to do about the situation in question. But if you could talk to someone who does know what to do, what would they say? You don’t need to know the answer to this question. Just keep doodling and see what emerges! Because this is Cartoon Therapy, you can be as outlandish as you like. Perhaps the moon has the answers? The goldfish? The tree outside your window? In the case of my Facebook exploration, I imagined myself going to see a renowned Facebook Sickness specialist in Pretzelvania!
Even though this is all in the spirit of fun, what emerges is often something both touching and true. In my case, I discovered that what lies beneath the continual Facebook-checking is a need for attention, a desire to know that I am seen and appreciated.
Once I discovered this, it seemed so obvious. I became less concerned with Facebook, and with “likes”. I discovered that this addiction to Facebook and to our phones in general is a widespread issue, not just my own personal quirk. In fact, walking down the street, trying not to bump into all the people looking down at their phones rather than at where they are going – this seems more and more like a scene from a cartoon!
It can also be incredibly empowering to know that the source of wisdom you have accessed is, in fact, within yourself. Dr Shlookelberg may live in Pretzelvania, but he has emerged from somewhere deep within my own psyche. By cartooning my way through my Facebook dilemma, I discovered he was there, ready to offer his help and expertise.
Some suggestions for getting started:
- Find a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed for at least 20 minutes.
- Choose an issue that you would like to explore. It may be one that you have already drawn in cartoon form (Check out the previous post on getting started with Cartoon Therapy.) It may also be one that you have not yet explored. Either way, you can use your chosen issue for this exercise.
- Who might know the answer to your question? Who might have some advice to offer? Keep drawing and see who or what emerges.
- Once you have drawn this figure or object, you can add a speech balloon or two. What do they want to communicate to you?
- How do you respond to this suggestion? Again, you don’t need to know in advance what this might be. Keep drawing and trust what happens! Feel free to keep going as long as there is an interchange back and forth.
- Notice the effect the cartoon has on you now that you have created it. Is there anything you’d like to add or change? Put it aside for a while and come back to it later. What is the effect now?
And you don’t have to stop there. Perhaps there are other sources of wisdom you would like to access on this cartoon journey?
I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
– Albert Einstein
I hope you enjoy playing around with Cartoon Therapy. I’d love to hear how you get on. (Please post in the comments section below.) And, most importantly, have fun!