Red hot adult
He saw them as ‘the psychological expression of the totality of the self’ and since then research has provided some backing for his theory.
Infants are born with a desire to look at circles, probably because the ability to seek out circular, face-like stimuli helps them to bond with their care givers.
Whilst certain colours broadly align with specific traits – red is associated with danger, purple with sophistication, brown with ruggedness and so on – personal experiences, upbringing, cultural difference and context all add nuance to what various shades mean to us individually.
We can also use colours to connect with our emotions and opt for particular shades to reflect our mood. In either case, whilst colouring means we don't ruminate as much on the past, in many ways it allows us as adults to become children once more.
In the online support group for anxiety sufferers I help run on Facebook, numerous members report they find colouring beneficial and our wall is chock full of painstakingly coloured pictures, but what – exactly – is it that colouring does to our brains that makes it so therapeutic?
Contrary to common belief, it isn't actually possible to think of two things exactly the same time.
'It's rewarding, I can zone out and have some colour therapy all at the same time.' 'When I was feeling really unwell last year, I was incapable of concentrating for more than a few minutes,' says Vicki Turner.
'I found I had to focus on the task in hand, and colouring helped me overcome procrastination in small, manageable steps and thereby improve decision making.' In our enthusiasm for colouring, however, let's not kid ourselves that we are the first generation to dream up art therapy.
Instead what happens is the mind darts from one to another, and it is this which often leaves us feeling frazzled and intellectually dissatisfied.
Colouring is not a passive act: we need to make creative decisions about which colour to choose and as we focus on not going over the lines, our minds and bodies become more relaxed.