Blogs written by and for ACA Members.

Find our member blogs by member name here!

BrittanyLashPic Apr 19, 2018

Pandora’s Therapy Box

Boxes can be incredibly helpful in a therapy practice. I love using them as parts of exercises with clients. Some of these boxes I even recommend to friends who are going through rough patches. Below are three types of therapy boxes that I have used in practice. The last, what I call my “I Love Me” box is my favorite and the one that I’ve used and recommended most.


Purpose: To show a person the difference between our inside “Self” and the self that others perceive. It can be incredibly informative to both the therapist and the client.

Supplies needed:
Pictures (personal, magazine, etc)
Shoe Box (or box of any kind)

On the outside of the box, decorate with images of how you feel others see you OR how you see yourself.

On the inside of the box, decorate with images of how you feel on the inside, what best describes your identity.


Purpose: Often individuals with trauma histories struggle feeling safe in the world. This is a great way to create a visual representation of safe space for use when anxiety is high. This in tandem with other interventions can assist in decreasing distress caused by PTS symptoms.

Supplies needed:
Pictures (personal, magazine, etc)
Shoe Box (or box of any kind)

Decorate the outside of the box in a way that makes you feel positive and relaxed. On the inside, create a safe place. Only put images inside the box that are of things you would want in a room designed just for you that was mentally and physically safe.


Purpose: This box is more about the contents than the look of the box. However, if a person wants to combine this with Safety Box they easily can. This box is meant to remind people of positivity in their lives when they are feeling down or having a hard time. Only put contents in this box that remind you of good times or bring a smile to your face. Some people will put a letter they write to themselves when they are feeling good so that they can read it when they are feeling down.

Supplies Needed:
Shoe Box (or box of any kind)
Items to fill it

Below are images and examples from my own “I Love Me” box.


I found this little box at Hobby Lobby and painted it myself. I have always had a fascination with Alice in Wonderland and I identified with her a lot as a kid. So it made sense to me that my box would have some theme of Alice involved. 


My box has quite a few cards in them. These are cards whose interior written message means a lot to me or made me feel loved. Some are cards I got when I’ve left organizations and my team decided to give me a card. Others are from individuals.


I have always been a keeper of things. I commemorate things with items. You can see a few of the items from my box here. The leaves are from a study abroad I did where I got to go with some of my favorite people to learn more about Arthurian legends. The ring is one my dad had in Vietnam.

The key chain is of a Welsh love spoon. My husband has one just like it. I also keep postcards and brochures from places I’ve been to remind me of the fun times.


I adore pictures. They can transport me somewhere else. These are a perfect addition to this box. They show friends, family, former students, and fond memories. Some are pictures I took that remind me that I have talents. Now that I’m married and have a child, I need to update the box and add some more pictures.


Okay, I call them love notes but very few actually are. These are letters or notes that I have received that remind me that I am a good person or good at my job or some variation on that theme. These are the most helpful when I am feeling down because they are in someone else’s words and showing me that I have value in their lives. I have letters from old professors, former students, former clients, and friends.