How to do Teddy Bear Therapy in Play Therapy

by Play Therapy Graduate Student

Teddy Bear Therapy Sand Tray for Play Therapy

Teddy Bear Therapy Sand Tray for Play Therapy

This was a very liberating play therapy experience. At first I was quite apprehensive about this teddy bear therapy play therapy activity; this was for two reasons. The first being I am an adult male walking around with a teddy bear. Second, I work for the Army, an organization that takes pride in individuals especially men being portrayed as tough. It was not as bad as I thought it would be, considering what I previously mentioned.

Once I explained to my coworkers that that it was part of grad school counseling assignment, everyone was very supportive. When I was deployed in Iraq I bought a teddy bear that was dressed in an Army uniform for my daughter.

It has a feature that allows someone to record a brief message like a recordable greeting card. To activate the feature the user would press the record button on the left paw to record a message.

Once user is satisfied with message simply press the record button again to end the recording. The right paw has a play button that allows the recipient to hear the recording by pressing play. The message is not permanent; a new message may be recorded over the last message.

I ended up using a service that allowed soldiers to record a video of themselves reading a book of their choice for the soldier’s child. I recently found the teddy bear and thought it would be perfect for the assignment. The name given to the teddy bear is Joe. I began the activity by sleeping with the bear the night before. I never had a stuffed animal as a child but this process did provoke some found childhood memories.

I work as a Helpdesk technician; it can be very challenging. This is especially true when customers want their issues resolved immediately and become belligerent. During that day Joe sat on my desk. I found myself occasionally putting the customer on mute and using Joe to project my frustration. It was actually quite therapeutic and helped me distress throughout the day. Later I apologized to Joe for yelling at him and gave him a little hug.

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