Play Therapy Activity: The play therapy client will create a personal landscape using miniatures to represent their personality parts living in their own special world (phenomenological world) within the psyche.
This is another way to get your play therapy clieint looking at their inner worlds in a different way. Use miniatures, clip art and other items to add to this play therapy activity world.
Materials Needed for Play Therapy Activity:
-White Poster Board (9 x 9) to draw the parts of the landscape and to hold the miniatures. You can make a triorama, pop-up paper, or use a paper plate.
Small props you can move around (seasons, places, past, present, future). Magazine clip outs work well.
Ask the play therapy client to preview some magazines before your session and to bring cut outs with them. Think of how stage production uses props in a play. Create a setting or theme for your world.
Miniatures, paper dolls, paper props, back drops
*See “Personality Parts” activity on this website for a list of emotions to represent miniatures.
Markers Glue Glitter Sequins Faux Jewels Other Art Materials
Miniatures for Play Therapy Activity:
This is the cast of characters that live in this magical land of the psyche.
These can include: Ego, persona, inner child, shadow, hero, mother earth, wise old man, power, blocked self, controlling self, death, fear, demons, trickster, animals, spirituality, risk taker, ancestor, etc..
You will also want to include some real life family, friends, etc. from the past, present, or future. Ask the client to pick these out before the session. You may want to devote one session to choosing the archetypes.
Objective for Play Therapy Activity:
You will want to set up your world on the large construction paper using the above cast of characters (archetypes).
Directions for Play Therapy Activity:
1. The client will set up a world using chosen personal miniature characters. Add the characters that exist in the client’s present landscape (phenomenological world).
2. Create props in your landscape through drawings and cut outs on the construction paper. You may want to add swamps, forests, rivers, oceans, mountains, volcanoes, bridges, gardens, roads, buildings, etc., to make the landscape appear more lifelike.
3. The client will explore each miniature and ask each one why they are in the world and what job they do in the world. See more questions below.
Extension for Play Therapy Activity:
Have the client create a past, present, future landscape world. This can take up to three sessions to complete this activity.
Questions for Play Therapy Activity Landscape World:
Who, what, why and where are your characters in this world?
Why are they in the archetype inner world?
Ask the client what their miniatures love, hate, or fear in this world?
Who are the heroes and who are the villains?
How can the negative miniatures be more accepted?
What patterns happen in the world?
Which characters are responsible for the patterns of the world?
Who needs to change certain behaviors or attitudes in your world?
Who do you need to dismiss from your village, or give another job to?
Who needs a lot of attention and why do they need so much attention?
Who wants to change, and who is not ready to change?
Who is getting in the way of needed change?
Who sets up road blocks and who tears road blocks down?
Who is in denial?
Who is distorting the reality of the world?
What characters need to be added to your world?
Who can help you with your own growth in self-awareness?
What props do you need in your world to help you move closer to self-awareness?
Who has the all-or nothing thinking (black/white, good/bad, and winner/loser)?
Who is happy, sad, angry, active, sedated?
What do you want your world of the future to look like?
What characters need to leave?
What characters need to stay?
Who needs to change in order to be allowed to continue with the future world?
How do they need to change?
Personal awareness: Do you need to add or take away bridges, rivers, or mountains for protection? Do you need to explore the swamps, dark forests, deserts, or bottom of the oceans in your world?
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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