by Kay 12
(Play Therapy Student for Play Therapy Class)
Play Therapy: Daddy/Daughter Dollhouse Therapy
Dollhouse Play Therapy Adventure
This assignment was the most challenging of all in the Play Therapy class. I was challenged to create the play therapy doll house from my childhood. At first I thought this would be a simple task and also something fun to do with my dad. I asked for his help in making the replica as close to the real thing as possible. This turned out to be therapeutic for us both.
We began by constructing the structure of the home. We used a simple cardboard box, picture frame, and poster board for the structure. We went to the store together to pick out the miniatures. I picked them and talked about what each one of them meant to me. I chose an alien soldier for him and explained that I saw him as a stern but fair father. His rules were tough but kept my brother and I from getting out of control. He also reminded me of a soldier because his military background insisted on keeping an above average clean home. I picked a Barbie bride miniature for my mom because in my opinion she was amazingly beautiful. Even in dealing with a terminal illness, her beauty shined through. Next I chose an alien for my brother. This was to show how he physically resembled my dad, but was the polar opposite. He was a fun guy to be around. I decided to choose Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh to represent myself. I suffered from low self-esteem growing up and explained to my dad that I never felt like I fit in with the rest of the family. Eeyore is so cute to me, but really does not realize it. That was definitely me.
The process of decorating this play therapy dollhouse and sharing most of its construction with my dad has been the greatest experience thus far for me in this counseling journey. As counselors, we must face our own issues before we are able to help our clients discover the tools necessary to overcome their own issues. This project definitely helped me to realize some deep seeded issues that needed to be addressed from my childhood. Choosing to share this with my dad also enabled him to hear how I felt about certain things from our past. While we cannot go back and change the past, it was a relief to share feelings.
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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.
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