Ancient Africans called the family house, “the great living body of the universe.”
The outside of the house is the human mask. The kitchen is the place for transformation, nourishment, caring and / or self care. The bathroom is the point of self care as well.
The bedrooms are the place of rest and well being. It is also the point of birth and death, as in the past many people have been born or died in the bedroom of their home.
A messy house is representative of a chaotic life. An empty house represents feelings of insecurity.
The shape of the house is also determined on the basis that this is a generic house. It can be used by anyone.
The house will not intimidate, nor distract or take away from one’s own conscious level of thoughts. This shape will not distract from the “feelings” that need to present in the therapeutic process.
In the past I used to have a beautiful Victorian Doll House in my private practice and school. It was probably used five times over the years that I kept it in both settings.
For some clients, this elaborate doll house was much too intimidating, or possibly vulgar to the psyche. The Shelter Therapy House should always be undecorated. It should be presented as a clean slate for the client to utilize.
One does not have to add furniture or accessories to the Shelter Therapy House. In its pure and basic form the client / student only deals with emotions. The “Feeling Cubes” or “Furry Feelings” are ideal to use for Shelter House Therapy.
If the client / student wishes, furniture and/or miniatures can be added, but it is the choice of the client to add it, not the therapist.
All furniture and miniatures should be kept apart from the house, but accessible only if the client, or student, wants to use them.
A professional licensed therapist should be the one who is working with the client for therapeutic purposes. The beauty of the Shelter Therapy House is that the licensed therapist does not have to be a trained play therapist, sand tray therapist, or art therapist.
If you are licensed mental health professional you are trained to use Shelter House Therapy.
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