Play Therapy Activity Objective: To allow the play therapy client to identify a private island world they live in and transfer this to a paper plate island setting.
This island world is set as a fantasy, but the therapist needs to help the client process this world and bring it into reality. This is another way to utilize the sand tray; however, you will use a Triarama poster board instead of the sand tray.
Materials for Play Therapy Activity: Paper plate, blue construction paper, small plastic animal assortment, and an assortment of arts and craft supplies, nature items, and glue, sand, shells, rocks, palm trees, water symbol. Allow the play therapy client to take the island home.
Directions for Play Therapy Activity:
1. The play therapy client creates a personal island world on the plate . The plate rests on top of the blue construction paper (ocean). The client can add clip art and plastic animals to create the island world.
2. Ask your play therapy client to talk about their personal island world. The therapist asks questions such as:
- How did it feel for you to create this island world?
- Tell me about the animals and images in your world?
- What is it like to live here for this animal or miniature on this island? Discuss what the feelings are within the animal / miniature.
- What makes it safe for this animal? What makes it unsafe ?
- What animal or thing would make this animal feel unsafe in this world? (Add the animal to the world)
- If this animal /miniature could talk what would it say?
- Project your feelings and words into the animal and make it talk.
- Are there unsafe animals in this island world? What do you need to do to get rid of the unsafe animal?
- Is there an animal / miniature that can help your animal? (Add the animal)
- How can you make sure the animal stays in this world with your animal or how can you access this animal when you need help?
- Do you need to add anything to make this animal feel safe?
- Do you need to take anything away to make this animal feel safe?
- What if we moved the animal(s) around in the island world?
- What would happen if we placed the animal(s) here, there?
- Who needs to go off the island, come to the island?
- What do you want or need to say to the animals in the island world?
- What is it like for you experiencing this island world?
- What do you want to change?
- What words would describe your experience today?
- What did you learn from this island world?
- How can you take a part of this island with you into real life?
- What does your real life need that this island has?
- How can you get what you need from the island?
Play Therapist: It is now time to translate your play therapy client’s animal and other symbols by using the SYMBOLS DICTIONARY. Discuss this translation with your play therapy client in the next play therapy session.
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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