Play Therapy Technique | The Feeling Cookie
Express Your Emotions Creatively with this fun play therapy technique!
In this fun play therapy activity / technique the play therapy client will identify feelings with frosting and a cookie. I have used this play therapy technique for years with children, teens, and adults.
Some people use a gingerbread man cookie for this play therapy technique, but they are too hard to find. I just use inexpensive ready made sugar cookies from the grocery store.
I buy the "processed" ones as they keep longer than the fresh baked ones. You can even freeze these cookies and have them on hand when you need it for your play therapy clients.
As a school counselor, I always have some frozen cookies and frosting with sprinkles on hand. I use this play therapy technique with students several times a year.
One of my most gifted graduate students, Telithia, loved this activity so much and said, "Dr. S. this is the best activity I have ever done!"
Another feeling cookie story is when a coworker was displaced to another school. The faculty and staff gave her a "Feeling Cookie Goodbye Party."
We all cried while we were making feeling cookies. The best part of this was that I was able to help this coworker see that there was a silver lining when she put a little yellow (happiness) in her feeling cookie.
The yellow was due to her new school was going to allow her to use a microwave in her office!
Students know that I have these and when they feel sad they often say they want to come in and make a feeling cookie. I also allow students to make these in group sessions or for a positive reward!
I love the feeling cookie because it allows play therapy students and client's to express their feelings with frosting and sprinkles in a tasty play therapy activity.
Materials Needed for the Play Therapy Feeling Cookie:
1 Round Cookie (Sugar cookies work the best). You can also use a paper cookie cut in place of the real cookie (See Below). Any type of cookie will work.
Frosting with food coloring if you are using an edible cookie Markers if you are using the paper cut cookie below.
Food Coloring (blue for sadness, red for anger, black for numbness, grey for grief, green for jealousy, pink for feeling ecstatic, yellow for happy, purple for embarrassed, or orange for playful).
Plastic Knives to mix frosting and spread frosting
Sprinkles for real cookies of the above colors or mixed sprinkles to denote “Mixed Feelings” / or glitter in the above colors for paper cookies
Directions for the Play Therapy Feeling Cookie Technique:
1. Have the play therapy client pick at least five colors and attach a feeling word to each colors. Write each color with what feeling it relates to on a separate piece of paper. Discuss the feelings identified and how the client identifies with the feelings.
2. Mix up the frosting with the feeling colors that the play therapy client has identified if you are using frosting.
See Actual Frosting Mixture of Student's Play Therapy Feeling's Cookie Colors Below:
3. Talk about where the feelings that were identified are located in the body when you do this play therapy technique.
4. Ask the play therapy client to put to frost the cookie or color the paper cookie in a way that shows where each feeling color lives in the body.
5. Discuss ways to acknowledge the feelings in the body and release them when they become overwhelming such as exercise, drawing, or talking to someone about them.
6. Eat and enjoy the cookie with your play therapy client!
You can also translate your colors from the cookie into feelings:
(Alternate Play Therapy Technique Activity) The Feeling Cookie WorksheetUse the paper cookie below in lieu of a real cookie:
I truly hope that Creative Counseling 101 can open the creative doors for your practice with clients!
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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