Play Therapist / School Counselors: Try the House, tree, person, animal art counseling technique to try!

by Play Therapy Student / School Counseling Class

My play therapy house, person, tree, and animal drawing took a while for me to complete. I wanted to clearly reflect what I felt my childhood was like using the directions given in class.

I made my house as ordinary as possible because that’s what the world saw. The curtains are various colors to reflect the variety of activities that occurred within. While I felt I was truly blessed to grow up in a home with both a mother and father present, I also realized at an early age that I was responsible for a lot of things most children my age never even had to consider.

I made the tree lean over into my bedroom window as a possible escape for me. Caring for my mother became one of my primary responsibilities and I was allowed very few opportunities to do so. The fire on the tire swing represents the fact while it existed, it may as well not have because I barely had time to appreciate and use it.

My animals are the birds and the squirrel. The squirrel represents my desire to frolic and play while remaining near to help and the birds stand for my desire to fly away from it all at times.
The sun and water are of course my parents. My mom is portrayed as a water feature because to me, she was there but only in title. It is no her fault that she became ill but I feel that I had to be more of a mother to her in providing care. By eighth grade it became my responsibility to drive myself to school and leave during lunch to give her shots and food.

My dad as the sun shows his presence in my life, I colored the sky differently to show that even through the craziness, he continued to shine and be there for us all. His eyes are turned to my mom and the house at the same time.

He worked 2-3 jobs at times to provide when my mom was placed on disability and ultimately placed in the nursing home. Despite all these issues, my home was filled with love. Which is why I placed: Two birds grounded to show that my family’s love kept us together, and different shades of hearts to further illustrate this point, and fireworks to show the fun and joy that was still there.
More Ideas for Play Therapy Link:

More Ideas on Play Therapy

How to Use The Sand Tray for Sand Tray Therapy Link:

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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