Harry Potter Scar Activity

Created By: Jessica Hogan and Brett Follett

Target Population :
Individuals, groups
Ages: Teens and adults

Materials :
Pencils and pens
Markers, crayons, and colored pencils
Shape stencils

Instructions :
Provide some familiarity with Harry Potter and his scars for those who do not know.

For Harry, his scars represented many things: His lightning bolt scar represented his parents dying to protect him, and Harry’s destiny to face Voldemort. Others have speculated that his scar represents power. The “I must not tell lies” scar on Harry’s hand serves as a reminder of the year he lost his voice to the Ministry, and having the courage to stand up for what is right.

Not all scars are physical. For Harry, his physical scars are indicative of deeper emotional scars of what he has overcome throughout the years.

-Create a scar to represent what you have overcome–what would your internal scars look like on the outside? What form would it take? A moon, a heart, or perhaps an animal? What about a song lyric or phrase? In essence, the intervention is based upon externalizing the problem.

Possible questions to pose to clients could include:
-What have you overcome in your life?
-What obstacles stood in your way?
-What are some significant events in your life that changed you?
-How did you cope with these events, and what helped get you through them?
-How have you grown and changed as a result of these experiences?

Provide the client(s) with paper and other artistic materials, along with stencils and magazines for ideas.

Expected Results and Troubleshooting:
Drawing as a means of expressing oneself can be a means to become more self-aware and heal through communicating one’s experiences in a non-verbal way. Thoughts, feelings, and experiences that can be difficult to talk about verbally with others can be expressed in a healthy way through art. When drawing images or symbols that an individual has experienced, it is hoped that the client will be able to associate and create meaning from these experiences. This intervention also helps the individual visualize the experience.

A possible troubleshooting area might arise for clients with some sort of physical trauma. There is the potential that drawing a “scar” may trigger or overwhelm the client. In this case it might be better to have them draw a tattoo or something less threatening. This intervention also requires cognitive flexibility/creativity to embody experiences into a scar.


Leckey, J. (2011). The therapeutic effectiveness of creative activities on mental well‐being: A systematic review of the literature. Journal Of Psychiatric And Mental Health Nursing, 18(6), 501-509. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2850.2011.01693.x

Malchiodi, C. A. (Ed.). (2013). Expressive therapies. Guilford Publications.

McNiff, S. (2011). Artistic expressions as primary modes of inquiry. British Journal Of Guidance & Counselling, 39(5), 385-396. doi:10.1080/03069885.2011.621526

Here is a link to resources to learn more about Harry Potter’s scars:



Originally posted on the Geek Therapy Wiki, hosted on the now-defunct Wikispaces platform, as part of Dr. Patrick O’Connor’s course Geek Culture in Therapy.