Play Therapy 101 Technique Case Study Part 2

by Latia Nell
(New Zealand)

Creative Counselling 101 : Play Therapy 101 Assessment Case Study Technique : Part 2
Case Description
M is a 9 ½ year old girl. She has eight siblings. M lives in a large extended family of 40 plus people who are all neighbors. Many of M’s male relative are all part of a gang known as the “Mongrel Mob”. Mob members are known for high levels of indiscriminate physical and sexual violence.
Presenting issues
M has recently become very depressed, and has regressed in her behavior and academic performance. It is very clear that something has happened to her, or that she has witnessed something traumatic around the gang’s activities.
Counselling goal
The goal has been to give M an opportunity in a safe place to express herself, and to help her resource herself emotionally so she can cope with her life situation.
Session progression
M was happy to attend counselling, and found the idea of being in counselling “like on TV” highly novel and attractive, although it soon became evident that she was actively avoiding any real / deep issues. In the third session we created a mandala out of candy. M was given a variety of types of candy, in different shapes, colors, textures and sizes. She chose to only use Pebbles, which are candy covered chocolate drops, about a third of an inch in diameter. M explained her choice as “I like how I know they are always all the same”, which is indicative of her need for stability.

We then explored many possible meanings of her mandala. M chose the following interpretations as being relevant to her :
• Dots showing there is something hidden / secret in her life.
• The repeated heart pattern, which shows she feels loved, and love as a source of strength.
• The predominance of red, pink and purple colours :
 Pink, the ‘quiet’ colour, shows her fear to speak out.
 Purple, a need for attention (help).
 A red ‘outline’ showing a sense of threat or danger, and powerful emotions, surrounding her entire life.
 The sparing use of yellow shows hope that is still there.

M was happy to then move into exploring what was going on in her life. It came to light that there was an uncle who was trying to become the patriarch of the family through physical violence. CYF’s (Child Youth & Family – the New Zealand equivalent of Social Services) staged a cultural intervention, where the grandfather was given the opportunity and support to reassert his position in the highly traditional family. He did this, with explicit instructions to the younger people to refrain from all violence or face the consequences (he would expel them from the family homes).
Within the next two sessions, M was visibly more relaxed and secure. She had the support and security of her parents and grandfather in asserting her safety needs.

For more free ideas on creative play therapy visit the link below:

Creative Counseling Home

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Submit Your Creative Counseling Ideas / Lessons with Other Professionals / Publish Your Ideas Here!.

See our Exciting Selection of eBooks:

Award Winning:

Creative Counseling 101 eBook 
Our Best Seller!

Step By Step Therapy:

Learn how to be a more Creative Therapist with the Book that started it all!

- Graduate School Counseling book used by hundreds of graduate counseling students!

- Includes full color reproducible worksheets with most activities.

- Winner of the Counselor Writer of the Year Award, 2011, Georgia Regional Award

Download Your Copy Today Only $39.95: 

See Creative Counseling 101 eBook Information Here:

Get the Set
of all four  

eBooks for only $98.95:
An incredible collection of how to do therapy eBooks!
A $159.80 Value,
You Save Over $60!

Get your complete set of the Creative Counseling eBooks by Dr. Michelle Stangline for only $98.95, that's only $25.00 per eBook (Regular Price is $39.95 for each eBook.).

Your complete set includes:

- Creative Counseling 101

- Creative Group Counseling 101

- Creative Play Therapy 101

- Creative Sand Tray 101

For more information click the link below:

See Complete Set of eBooks For Sale Here:


Art Therapy 101 eBook

Over 300 pages of Art Therapy activities and techniques. Learn what I teach graduate counseling students!

See the link below for more information.

Only $39.95

Art Therapy 101 eBook for Sale Link

See More Invividual eBooks For Sale:

Sand Tray Therapy 101 eBook:

Learn how to do Sand Tray Therapy or enhance your skills.

Sand Tray Therapy eBook for Sale Link

Play Therapy 101 eBook

Learn how to do play therapy or enhance your skills.

Play Therapy eBook For Sale Link

Small Group Counseling eBook For Sale:

Learn how to do creative group therapy and enhance your skills.

Creative Group Therapy eBook For Sale Link

School Counselor Guidance Lesson & Social Stories eBook for sale:

Get a year's worth of school counselor guidance lessons with "Creative Warm & Fuzzy Classroom Guidance Lessons eBook". Introduce your students to the "Warm & Fuzzy Way". Click the link below for more information:

Warm & Fuzzy School Counselor Guidance Lessons eBook