Play Therapy Feelings Bottle

by Colby Longoria-Walters
(Waco, TX USA)

Play Therapy Feelings Bottle

Play Therapy Feelings Bottle

I have many clients who struggle with anger and frustration. Once client in particular, is a 7-year-old female who was sexually abused by her older cousin. This client is having a lot of trouble in school and at home with expressing anger and crying. She tells me that she does not think she will ever get better and she will be sad forever. This client is well beyond her years in knowledge, so it is difficult to find stuff that will not be too childish and not to sophisticated to use with her. When I came across the feelings bottles in the’s book, I knew this activity was perfect for her. This bottle is great because it can have various uses and can be personalized for each client.
Prior to making one in session, I made one at home. I followed the directions and made one. The soap turned the bottle a weird orange color and the sequins and small miniatures just did not give me the effect that I wanted. So, I modified the directions just a bit and after a few trial bottles, I got something amazing!
With the final product, I used one empty Smart water bottle, ½ a bottle of glitter glue, one small vial of extra fine glitter, and very warm water. I squirted ½ the bottle of glitter glue into the bottle and filled it about ¾ of the way full with warm water. The warm water helped “melt” the glue so that it would not be so clumpy. I then shook the bottle until the water and glue were mixed. I then added the small vial of glitter and filled the rest of the bottle up with warm water.
My client was in love with the bottle. After explaining to her that feelings be mixed and can come and go, she spent the majority of the session shaking the bottle and watching the glitter settle to the bottom. She explained that when the glitter was twirling around the bottle that is how she feels inside when she feels angry or sad. Her mother stated that when she threw her last tantrum, her mother gave her the feelings bottle and it helped her calm down.

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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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