My Inner Child Skates: Play Therapy

by Play Therapy Class Student

I cannot say that I have lost my inner child, but over the years I have put her in a box. I have only allowed her to come out when it was socially acceptable. In my adult life, she was very present when my children were young, but as they have grown I find that I restrict her presence to times when I am trying to relate to my children at their various ages.

In working on the play therapy scrapbook, I found many things that I have denied my adult self that my inner child craves. I shied away from simple things like having accents of my favorite color throughout my house. I realized that I use to write poetry in high school. I also found that I had stopped doing things that I enjoy like roller skating and participating in sports.

For my play therapy play date, I went roller skating with my family; I forgot how much I LOVED roller skating! When I was a child my parents bought me a pair of blue roller skates with red and white stripes at the arches. I wore my skates everywhere to the point that my friends likened me to Kim Field’s character Tootie from the show The Facts of Life.

As I skated with my family, I wondered why it had been so long since I wore a pair of skates. As I reflected, I remembered what happened. I was in 8th grade and one day I went to the lake with my best friend and her sister. I took off my skates to dangle my feet in the water; we did this for about 20 minutes. When I went to put my skates back on, they were gone. I was devastated! When I told my parents, they sadly informed me that they would not replace my skates. I understood their decision, but that was the last time I wore a pair of skates. It took 27 years and this class for me to wear a pair of skates again.

Ironically, I have been wavering about purchasing a pair of skates for about 2 years. It began when I read an article about weight loss and read about a lady whose weight loss regimen was simply roller skating; she was 63 years old. Now I am going to purchase as pair of white skates with red laces for my inner child; weight loss will be a secondary benefit.

I also found a few other things that my inner child enjoyed. I found that I love to sing, and that is why I sing in my husband’s band. I really like jewelry because my Mom had a wide variety of jewelry when I was a child that she let me wear. Therefore, I contacted my sister-in-law, who makes jewelry and made a couple of pieces with her. Lastly, I rediscovered my love of cheesecake that my entire family is well aware of. Every Thanksgiving, my Mom made sure there was at least one cheesecake at the dinner table for me. I have proudly introduced the delicious joys of cheesecake to my children and I am happy to report that the love of cheesecake will extend to the next generation.

This play therapy experience has definitely helped me to become a better play therapist because I am directly experiencing the benefits in my life. My family’s response to me has been the greatest benefit of this assignment. I realized that as I allow my inner child to be expressed, I feel happier and less restricted.

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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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