Labyrinth therapy can best be described as a meditative tool for achieving mental clarity. It can be helpful for a number of mental health disorders. There are three phases in labyrinth therapy:
The phases line up with three actions undertaken within the labyrinth:
And these three actions correlate with three thought processes:
- Thinking and experiencing thoughts as they come, even if they are negative
- Centering with oneself or with a higher power
- Achieving a harmony that allows you to focus on positivity and solutions
The labyrinth itself is a flat circle with paths wide enough for one person to travel along them at a time. The paths curve around until reaching a circle in the center. Anyone who starts at the beginning can follow the path to the center. The goal of labyrinth therapy is not to place you in a maze that you have to worry about deciphering, but to give you something to focus on visually and physically so that your thoughts can become clearer.
Why Do People Engage in Labyrinth Therapy?
Some people prefer a kinetic, physical experience when they meditate. Walking the labyrinth can be extremely soothing. Labyrinth therapy can be used in prayer, to heal from grief, to reduce anxiety or to simply find peace during a stressful time.
What If I Can’t Come to the Labyrinth Every Day?
Some mental health treatment centers have their own labyrinths for clients to use. People who enjoy labyrinth therapy might create one on their own property, or learn how to create one in the sand at the beach. But for those whose access to a labyrinth is limited, there is an alternative called a finger labyrinth. Finger labyrinths allow you to trace the pattern of the labyrinth with your finger, following the same meditative thought processes as you move closer to the center, linger in the center and then move away from the center. Finger labyrinths can be premade and etched out of wood, plastic or rubber, or you can create your own finger labyrinth with a piece of paper and a pencil.