My Dollhouse Play Therapy Activity for Play Therapist to Use

by Play Therapy Student

Doll House Play Therapy Technique / Doll House Play Therapy Activity for Play Therapist to Use

Doll House Play Therapy Technique / Doll House Play Therapy Activity for Play Therapist to Use

Doll House Play Therapy Technique / Doll House Play Therapy Activity for Play Therapist to Use Doll House Play Therapy Technique / Doll House Play Therapy Activity for Play Therapist to Use

When we were informed that our final would be to construct a play therapy dollhouse, I felt overwhelmed! I had ignored my creative side for most of my adult life, so the thought of creating a dollhouse that replicated my childhood home seemed impossible. Another reason I felt uneasy about this assignment was because by the time I was 7 years old, we had lived at 5 different addresses in 2 countries and 2 states.

When I was 12 years old, we moved to our first house and my final childhood home. Therefore, I was faced with the dilemma of which childhood home I would select; I had memories from every home we lived in.

Before constructing the play therapy doll house home I choose elements that caught my eye as I shopped for items. I purchased wooden China sets for the dinning room and scrapbook paper that represented each member of my family. I then chose miniatures. While shopping for other things, I came across Lego Friends and immediately I was reminded of my last childhood home.

As I chose from the various packages, I was reminded of the various elements from my childhood. When we lived in Nigeria, I played the piano the first time I saw it at my uncle’s house, with no lesson. I did not think it was strange till the adults around me were asking my mother where I learned to play the piano so well.

I also purchased a trunk. When we lived in Nigeria, my brother decided to do a magic show and I was his lovely assistant. He locked me in a truck, made air holes, and after he said the magic words I would suddenly appear outside the trunk. After about five minutes, I realized the limitations of my brother’s skills and began to scream for him to let me out. When he did, he thought it was quite hilarious; clearly I did not share his sentiment.

My sisters and I had separate rooms, but they always ended up sleeping in my room. We would talk all night for hours discussing everything like music, boys, television shows, practical jokes, and family secrets. We shared everything, but not by my choice. If something went missing from my room, I would eventually discover it was relocated to the possession of one of my younger sisters.

My dad and step-dad did not live with us in my last childhood home, but they were both a part of our lives. My step-dad lived in the same state with us. He was mysterious and was not very open, so I chose a miniature whose face was fully covered. It was hard to approach him as a child. When I became an adult, I learned that his early attachment bonds were weakened because his parents both passed away when he was young. He later was raised by his extended family.

My dad never let an opportunity pass with showing and telling me how much he cared for me. As an adult, my dad and I had an opportunity to get closer and strengthen our relationship. He passed away 8 years ago and I miss him dearly. My dad was my hero.

My last childhood house was my happiest childhood home. I felt safe, at peace, and stable in this home. My mom still owns the house. The elements of the house include various aspects of my childhood. I found a picture of the front of my house and had to add it to my dollhouse.

Although I was initially apprehensive about this assignment, it became my favorite. One thing that I did not anticipate was how much my three children enjoyed my play therapy dollhouse! Two of them are teenagers and they kept playing with the dollhouse as I was adding the final touches. We made an agreement that they could play with the dollhouse once I completed my assignment.

This play therapy dollhouse has become more than an assignment, it is a tangible expression of me. I plan on keeping my dollhouse for a long time and sharing it with my family. Being able to project my feelings and thoughts into miniatures in a replica of my childhood home was extremely therapeutic. Through this process I realized how much I love my siblings and my mom. As a therapist, I will incorporate the use of dollhouse into my practice in working with individuals as well as families.


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