Doll House for Play Therapy: My Experience as a Play Therapy Student

by Play Therapy Student

My Experience with Doll House Play Therapy Technique / Doll House Play Therapy Activity

My Experience with Doll House Play Therapy Technique / Doll House Play Therapy Activity

When I first heard about the assignments in play therapy for the play therapy doll house this course, I understood how a doll house could be beneficial for children to play and explain certain situations. Children need visuals to help them focus and play is less intimidating than talking to adults. My father did not understand and decided that I had some very weird assignments in grad school.
I started trying to gather information about how to build a doll house in an efficient and inexpensive way. I actually found my idea on pinterest ( through Jill Osborne who came to talk to us in class. I liked the look of this one and thought Goodwill might have a good candidate for my house.
I went to Goodwill soon after seeing this and found a couple of shelves for relatively cheap. They originally had three tiers, but the bottom tier did not have a floor so I could not put it on it's side. I only wanted two floors anyway so sawed off the bottom floor leaving a two by two box to work with. I then struggled with how to put the two columns together.

I decided to add wallpaper and wrap them together. In retrospect I should have added the wallpaper before screwing it together, but I did not think of that first. I needed something to make white walls like my first house and I finally thought of an old white sheet we had before we got a bigger bed! I cut that up and glued it down for wallpaper. I also wanted more rooms than the four I had already so I put a wall up in the middle making eight rooms.

I searched my mind for a way to build furniture and really tried to think of something I had. I saw my son's mega blocks and thought "wow, I never got to play with Legos as a kid and I loved them.

That's what I have to make my furniture out of and then I'll have Legos for when my son is older!" I started just building things trying to see how I could make certain things for the house. I made beds, chairs, tables and just had a blast doing it.

I drew out a plan to see what else I had to build and was particularly impressed when my pieces really looked like what I wanted. I built and rebuilt pieces making sure everything looked right and I had enough bricks.

When I put them in the play therapy house it looked great! Then I had to think about how to make my family. I had struggled all semester with picking miniatures that represented them and could never find the perfect ones.

Then I decided it would actually put their pictures one a person and I called my mom and we looked at old pictures so I would have us at the appropriate ages. I went searching for the bendable people picture frames and couldn't find any so I decided to make them.

I went to the dollar store and found supplies and made my people. I was super happy with them too. I picked colors that represented each of us. Then I added carpet and rugs to some rooms of the house and left others with hard wood floors.
I knew something was missing but didn't know how to make a roof, but then I had an idea and found a box and cut it do the edge was the top of the roof. I was so excited that I glued it down before covering it too. I should have covered it first, but I think it came out nicely.

I think it might have then added a few more pieces of furniture to make it look right and then I did final touches like adding doors to the fridge and pictures to the television and computers.
Having play therapy with my partner in the play therapy doll house was easy. I had a very ordinary, uneventful childhood. My family was great and things that may have happened we have already resolved. Most of my trauma happened at school where I was picked on and had no friends so a school house might be more appropriate for me.
Doing therapy with my partner in her doll house was hard. She did not have an uneventful childhood and most of it was difficult. It was hard to hear about the things that occurred. I felt powerless to help, but hopefully I did. I left her with hope for the future so I guess that's all I could have done. I hope she gets some further help though.
Using the play therapy doll house was impressive at how easy it was to draw the person's story out. I could definitely use this with clients. I can see how easily it can be used with all ages. It was a good experience to build this and think back about my childhood.

More Ideas for Play Therapy Link:

More Ideas on Play Therapy

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More Ideas on Sand Tray Therapy

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Disclaimer: This website and its content is intended for trained licensed mental health professionals and school certified mental health professionals to use for their clients / students at their own discretion.

*If you ignore the disclaimer above are using these techniques on yourself and you feel any discomfort or upset it is highly suggested that you seek out a licensed  mental health professional immediately.

"Beyond Art Therapy" is the concept from Dr. Stangline that combines all creative fields in therapy. It is not the traditional "art therapy" but goes beyond to include sand tray therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, meditation, color therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a vast majority of other therapies.

For any other type of mental health emergency call your local 911 / Police Number immediately.

Dr. Stangline does not offer advice / suggestions to anyone who is not a professional mental health provider, or a student who is studying this field and has questions about mental health programs of study.

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