There are many times when I suggest adult coloring books to patients, and they look at me like perhaps we should be switching seats. However, time and again, they come back to me and tell me how beneficial they find them to be. Many psychologists and therapists “prescribe” these to patients for various reasons, and many occupational therapists prescribe them as well! I will also let you know that I practice what I preach, when I was laid up in bed for eight weeks after major surgery, I devoured adult coloring books. When I need to shift my focus or practice my own stress reduction, I break these books out. They have so many uses and purposes that many are not aware of, beyond the obvious outcomes of beauty and enjoyment. Let’s look at their uses a little closer.
1. Did you have any idea that the “prescription” of adult coloring stems all the way back to the late and great psychologist Carl Jung? Well it did. He was always ahead of his time. Jung used it thinking it would help his patient’s access their subconscious and new self-knowledge.  We now know that many psychologists suggest this to patients as an alternative to meditation, as a means of relaxation, and as a calming tool. It can help the individual focus on the act of coloring intricate pictures for hours on end, vs. focusing on intrusive and troubling thoughts.
2. Adult coloring books can help with a number of emotional and mental health issues. For many, boredom, lack of structure, and stress are the greatest triggers they have. This applies to individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorders, anxiety disorders, stress disorders, depressive disorders,