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Where Does My Energy Go? 

Where does my energy go? 

By Jordan Ferranto, LCPC, ATR


During times of crisis it can feel as though our attention or focus is fractured. Suddenly we shift into survival mode and all of our energy is concentrated on ‘what needs to be done’.

These are conditions ripe for self-neglect or detachment. This is troublesome because we need, more than ever, to be grounded in our bodily responses and emotional landscapes when a crisis occurs so that we can follow those cues as an internal compass advising us on where to put our energy.

Art making can be a way back to ourselves in these moments.

Engaging in a creative process can provide vital feedback from within.

The following watercolor directive may assist you with this, if you happen to have the materials on hand, set some time aside and play around with the technique. 


Materials needed: 

  • Watercolor paint
  • Heavy/thick Paper (watercolor paper is best)
  • Brush
  • Water
  • Coarse salt
  • Alcohol 



  1. Wet the paper with just water and your brush. (This is called the “wet on wet” technique)
  2. Use a combination of water and paint to add color to your paper.
  3. While the paper & paint are still wet, add dabs/drops of alcohol and watch the color repel. (Video 1)
  4. Also while wet, sprinkle on some salt and watch it absorb the color and water, leaving little concentrated spots of color behind. (Video 1)
  5. When you are done experimenting with the materials, allow your painting to dry and then gently brush the salt off. (Video 2) Or if you prefer, leave the salt on for a little added texture.


Choose colors that evoke a positive emotional experience (peace, relaxation, joy, love, etc.) Notice how it feels for you to watch the colors blend and interact with one another. When adding the alcohol or salt, notice how each material changes your experience of the painting. As the alcohol repels the color, what comes up for you? As you watch the salt absorb the color and liquid, what comes up for you? 


You may want to think of this process within the context of the question: Where does my energy go? Am I repelling or absorbing energy? What kind of energy do I want to absorb vs what do I want to repel? Which do I need right now? Allow the materials to answer the questions for you, or make intentional choices to guide your own process. I also encourage you to allow your mind to make its own associations to this process, there is no right or wrong way to engage with this intentionally, let your creativity flow!


Interested in Art Therapy? Click here to learn more. 


*We now offer telehealth: art therapy and all of our creative art therapies can be offered via phone and video sessions.

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