Play Therapy Dollhouse Final Exam - The House that Built Me

by Andrea E. O'Neal
(Play Therapy Student for Play Therapy Class)

Play Therapy Dollhouse-The House that Built Me

Play Therapy Dollhouse-The House that Built Me

The process of making the play therapy dollhouse was such an incredible experience. I found myself becoming emotional just shopping for supplies. Recreating my childhood home brought up many feelings and many good memories. I grew up in a small town in East Texas called Marshall. My grandmother lived three doors down so my brothers and I were always going between "Big Mamma's" house and our house. We spent lots of time in our den watching television, eating, and laughing at some quirky something. My dad was a music instructor at a local college about five minutes away from where we lived so there was always a variety of musical genres to become acquainted within our house. My mom loved collecting things and it would change every 4-5 years. She started with African violets, then buttons, then different treasures at estate sales. In a small town, one must find something that speaks to the heart of what they like to do. There were no museums, there was nothing like a YMCA so often times we had to create our own fun.
At a certain point I found myself weeping uncontrollably because I looked through pictures that brought back fond memories of my family with all members present. My dad was there. He passed away about 9 years ago now and I still miss him. He was quiet, kind, and like me loved music. My grandmother was also present in the pictures. I spent lots of time at my grandmothers and enjoyed the smell of her house. There was always the sweet aroma of something cooking and clothes washing.
As I started with my shoeboxes and supplies, it was scary really. I always ask in the beginning of a project, what will you become, what can you become? Of course the answer lies within me. At first I was afraid because I was working hard and putting in countless hours and it looked as though I had not done anything. But I kept working and trusting that it would become something. Slowly I saw a world beginning to form. In the beginning, I was afraid of measurements, tearing up something, not having enough, but then I said to myself, "stop being afraid of making a mistake, trust yourself, you are enough and you have enough supplies and if you don't, you can make them". After this, I pressed on unafraid and excited about the end result. My play therapy dollhouse has a simple look but it took lots of thought, time, patience, and energy to create it from scratch. When I observed my work, I said this is not bad for someone who was afraid and so unsure. I guess my lesson was to trust myself, trust in my abilities, have courage, and rest in those things and the result will be as it should be.

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