How to do Teddy Bear Therapy in Play Therapy

by Play Therapy Graduate Student

Teddy Bear Therapy Sand Tray for Play Therapy

Teddy Bear Therapy Sand Tray for Play Therapy

This was a very liberating play therapy experience. At first I was quite apprehensive about this teddy bear therapy play therapy activity; this was for two reasons. The first being I am an adult male walking around with a teddy bear. Second, I work for the Army, an organization that takes pride in individuals especially men being portrayed as tough. It was not as bad as I thought it would be, considering what I previously mentioned.

Once I explained to my coworkers that that it was part of grad school counseling assignment, everyone was very supportive. When I was deployed in Iraq I bought a teddy bear that was dressed in an Army uniform for my daughter.

It has a feature that allows someone to record a brief message like a recordable greeting card. To activate the feature the user would press the record button on the left paw to record a message.

Once user is satisfied with message simply press the record button again to end the recording. The right paw has a play button that allows the recipient to hear the recording by pressing play. The message is not permanent; a new message may be recorded over the last message.

I ended up using a service that allowed soldiers to record a video of themselves reading a book of their choice for the soldier’s child. I recently found the teddy bear and thought it would be perfect for the assignment. The name given to the teddy bear is Joe. I began the activity by sleeping with the bear the night before. I never had a stuffed animal as a child but this process did provoke some found childhood memories.

I work as a Helpdesk technician; it can be very challenging. This is especially true when customers want their issues resolved immediately and become belligerent. During that day Joe sat on my desk. I found myself occasionally putting the customer on mute and using Joe to project my frustration. It was actually quite therapeutic and helped me distress throughout the day. Later I apologized to Joe for yelling at him and gave him a little hug.

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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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