How students see themselves can directly affect their ability to function in school and at home. This activity is non-threatening and allows the child to speak openly about how they feel about themselves without feeling shy or afraid. The therapist gains insight into how the child views themselves and gives the child an opportunity to think about how others see them.
This intervention was developed for elementary and middle school students who were having difficulty describing themselves. It begins with a silhouette of a boy or a girl and a collection of adjectives on slips of paper. The student/client is asked to select words that describe them and paste them on to the silhouette. All types of descriptive words are included (happy, sad, angry, mean, awesome, stupid, fat, skinny, excited, etc.) and students are encouraged to come up with their own adjectives to describe themselves. Some students will want to be creative with their silhouette so it is a good idea to keep markers, pencils, and crayons available.
Additional activity: After completing their own silhouette profile the student may be asked to create a second one based on how they think an important adult (e.g., parent, guardian, teacher) may see them.
This activity encourages students to expand their emotional vocabulary and talk about when they may feel or experience the various descriptors on their profile. Creating the second profile encourages students to process and address how others may see them.
The pdf file below provides some adjectives found online and a sample silhouette. Therapists can create their own or find them online by doing an image search for a silhouette line drawing of a boy’s head/silhouette line drawing of a girl’s head.