Shortly after completing my Mindful Grounding Activity Card deck, I had an idea for a deck of visual emotion cards, each card containing an evocative abstract image for use as a tool in helping visual-thinkers and less-verbal kids and adults identify and communicate emotions. Although I’ve dabbled in abstract alcohol ink art, I knew this project wasn’t one I could complete with the complexity and depth it deserved. Instead, I passed the concept along to a brilliant artist and therapist named Kate Creech, who ran with it.
Kate is a professionally trained artist and fellow therapist here in Seattle who creates a mix of psych-inspired comics and moody abstract pieces on Patreon and Instagram. After a season of creating the 46 intricately illustrated emotion cards + 2 title and instructions cards, and a few rounds of test prints, I’m thrilled to help her announce the release of this project, now named The Resonance Deck.
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…or keep reading for Kate’s description of this project and how it can be used
Here’s what Kate has to say about her Abstract Emotion Card Deck:
The Resonance Deck is a tool to help connect mind and body. Each of the 48 emotion cards has a high-gloss finish for durability and measure 3.5″ x 5.75″ in size. This large size makes it easier to take in the complexities of each image while still keeping the deck small enough to be easily carried. Each deck comes with a title card and an instruction card that includes a list of word prompts to use if you feel stuck. The 48 vary dramatically in style, color, and mood- each image sparks different internal responses for each individual.
Who is the Resonance Emotion Card Deck for?
Anyone! Families, counselors/therapists, teachers, couples, and even individuals can use this deck to connect, check-in, and communicate.
There isn’t a wrong way to interpret an image, it’s merely a starting point for a deeper conversation with yourself or others.
How to use this Abstract Art Emotion Card Deck
To use the emotion cards, start by spreading the deck out or shuffle through it and invite your student, client, or partner (or yourself, if using them alone) to a card or cards that resonate with them. The cards can be used in the present moment (in response to a prompt such as “Right now I feel….”) or as a way to reflect on emotions experienced during an event or earlier experience (“When that happened I felt…”)
Lay out the selected cards and look at them together. Pause to connect with the image and notice what comes up, whether it’s bodily sensations or thoughts, and name it aloud. Try not to immediately question your choice or initially think too hard about why you chose it.
Why the Resonance Emotion Card Deck is a Powerful Tool:
Using images as a starting point for meaningful conversations has the ability to help us understand each other and ourselves on a deeper level. Connecting deeply and feeling each other’s feelings is a state known in the psychotherapy world as “Resonance,” or “feeling felt,” and it’s how this deck of emotion-filled abstract art prints earned its name.
Often, the card(s) a person chooses are a physical representation of their internal emotional landscape. In communicating through thoughtfully selected a visual image, the unspoken emotion can be communicated a bit more clearly and the allostatic load of bearing it alone is eased just a little. The images can provide a safe container for feelings and sensations to be projected onto, which may help users to mindfully observe their emotions from a safe distance while still connecting to what’s happening internally.
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As a Tool for Trauma-Therapy Providers
Trauma often renders us wordless. Visual symbols can act as bridges to verbal language. Sharing an image with someone to illustrate how you’re feeling inside can be a powerful intervention. In this space, images can become a way that clients can safely express emotions that can then be engaged in therapy.
Even in the absence of verbal discussion about the card and it’s contents, the sharing of the image alone can facilitate relational connection and trust-building. In this way, an image can be a bridge into a trauma memory or feeling and become one more way to help tell a story that needs to be told.
More about these Emotion Cards:
DURABLE AND HIGH QUALITY – Each card is printed on playing-card grade cardstock, custom cut with stylish rounded corners, and finished with an ultra durable high gloss shine.
HUGE PACK – The 48 card Emotion Card Deck of oversized 3.5 x 5.75 cards includes 45 cards printed with 45 unique abstract art pieces, 1 instruction card, 1 title card, and 1 card printed with emotion word prompts.
EVOCATIVE – Designed to help you get in touch with yourself or others, the images have only the meaning you assign: use prompts like “Today I feel” and pick a series of cards to communicate that feeling.
DOUBLE SIDED PRINT – The card fronts feature diverse and colorful abstract art with a wide range of colors, styles, and interpretations ranging from dark, angular and chaotic abstract images to light, playful, and calm abstract paintings. Emotion Card Deck backs feature a identical dark galaxy-inspired art.
FOR THERAPISTS, TEACHERS, & GIFTS – A great gift for any highly sensitive person or nonverbal communicator, these cards are popular as an communication aid, teaching tool, and therapeutic intervention with special education teachers, autism educators, therapist, counselors, or anyone who struggles to meaningfully connect verbally about emotions.