For those of you who might not know what a mandala is, at its simplest it is just a circular design. However, many people believe that mandalas hold spiritual meaning that we respond to fundamentally as humans.
Susanne Fincher Art Therapist and Coloring Book Illustrator
Kellogg’s Great Round of the Mandala
Susanne Fincher, another art therapist whose work I am featuring here, created a series of coloring books with mandala imagery. Her designs are based a theory of mandalas developed by Jungian psychologist Joan Kellogg called The Great Round.
The Great Round divides the circle into twelve sections representing stages of psychological development from conception to birth and death. The cycle starts from the center, Stage 0, to the base, Stage 1 and then around the circle clockwise to Stage 12.
Stage 2 Bliss Mandala-Fincher
Stage 7 Squaring the Circle-Fincher
Coloring Books Focusing on Specific Stages of the Great Round: Fincher designed her coloring books to help walk her clients through the different phases The Great Round with designs that corresponded to each stage. For example, the image on the left is from Phase 2, called the Bliss phase, which corresponds to the rapid cell division and the coming into consciousness that occurs during gestation. The one of the right is from Stage 7 which is about individuation and the beginning of adult identity in the world.
Mini Mandala Coloring Books: Susanne also published a set of “Mini Mandala” coloring books because her clients told her that they wanted something they could carry in their purse or backpack. That way they could take a “coloring break” at anytime.
Fincher’s Mini Mandala Coloring Book
These little 5 x 5 coloring books are not only more portable but also more discrete if you want to color in places where it might be frowned on like a meeting or in class. Sadly, although coloring in those settings might be seen as an indication that you weren’t paying attention or you were distracted, the truth is that coloring actually helps you focus better.
If you’re interested exploring Susanne’s coloring books, I’ve provided links to them below. I have also included a couple of her books on Mandala Theory–they’re not coloring books, but instead are focused on how you can use Mandalas in your personal journey. And finally, if you want to learn more about Susanne’s work as an art therapist, you can go visit her website Creating Mandalas.