Play Therapy Theater and Puppets of Hope

by Chris Wilson
(Play Therapy Student for Play Therapy Class)

Play Therapy Theater and Puppets of Hope

Play Therapy Theater and Puppets of Hope

As I became a husband and then a father, I turned my back on many of my more creative pursuits in favor of practicality and responsibility. I always felt there would be a time for those things "later." The definition of "later" moved from later that day to later that week, then when this project is complete or that project is started. Then eventually "later" became "never."
Graduate school was not a choice I ever would have independently made. There is a purpose and a goal. I have been so focused on the goal that perhaps at this time more than any other, my creativity has languished by the wayside. Doing this project in particular made me realize that the burden that creativity carries is more than the colors and patterns you choose. In a very real way, creativity is a partner of hope.
Puppets. Really? Puppets? When I heard the assignment, my first thought was "how hard can that be?" When it came time to do it, I had a different opinion. I had never made a puppet. Where should I even begin? I scoured the internet for ideas, and there are plenty out there. I went to my old familiar standby ideas, but none worked for me. I really had no idea what to do.
With the deadline approaching, I had to do something. I looted the house for whatever craft supplies I could find and sat down to create something. How bad could it possibly turn out to be? I began cutting and ripping and gluing, and eventually I had something that resembled a bird. I repeated the process three more times. It was only then, when I had them assembled that I tried to give them their voices. But then, what would they have to say?
Epiphany, Inspiration, compulsion, and divine intervention sometimes combine to form the seeds of success. I wrote the play therapy script in a relatively short time, as fast as I could type, not knowing beforehand what the final product would even be about. Each line was as much of a surprise to me as the reader.
Something happened during this time. I looked at the play therapy puppets, I looked at the script, and I was impressed, but even more so surprised that I created these things. These things were unique. They were of a quality I did not know I could produce. This project helped me reclaim a part of me that on one hand I thought was lost, and on the other I never knew existed.
Hope and creativity are bound together. They cannot be separated. It goes beyond simple interventions such as this. Finding hope in the metaphor helps find hope in life. Creativity is the key that helps unlock the door to that hope.

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