Play Therapy Activity: Make a Dream Catcher for Play Therapy Clients

by Group #3
(Play Therapy Students)

Play Therapy Students

Play Therapy Students


Play Therapy Activity:

The dream catcher is an engaging hands-on “make & take” project designed to recreate a safe place for the client.
The client will be asked to describe or remember a time when he or she felt safe.
Allowing the client to construct their very own dream catcher will provide an opportunity for dialogue along with the clients being able to
Express thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Natural disasters and traumatic events can produce feelings of uncertainty and fear.
The goal is to help the client regain a feeling of being safe and comfortable. Several of the play therapy materials provided for the dream catcher are symbolic to the Japanese Culture.
The bells symbolize warning. The dragon fly symbolizes change; the dream state. The Japanese Cherry Blossom is the native flower of Japan.
We chose to have our play therapy client make a dream catcher to help her sleep through the night. We wanted to do an activity that we could complete in one session or thirty minutes if need be. We did not want to do an activity in which it would make her relive the earthquake since she is reliving it every night in nightmares. Our goal was to first get her to sleep better and then work more on the trauma.

The dream catcher would work a lot like the warm fuzzies in that it would help her feel safe so that she could sleep. We would explain the purpose of the dream catcher, i.e. that it catches bad dreams. We added bells on it so that she would hear them if there was another earthquake so she would wake up and be able to seek safety. We also added sequins that we thought she might pick. For example, there is a flower that looks like a cherry blossom, which is a symbol for the enduring nature of life and used throughout Japanese culture. We put various other nature symbols on the play therapy dream catcher and used colors which represented good luck in Japanese culture.

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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*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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