(Play Therapy Student for Play Therapy Class)
Play Therapy Final Exam Student #10-The Dollhouse Experience
Constructing the play therapy dollhouse was challenging in many ways. After thoroughly researching dollhouses online, I decided to create one on my own using materials from warehouse clubs. I was also perplexed because my family has a townhouse that I had to try and construct. I did not create the townhouse as if actually looked but chose to focus on the main aspects of the townhouse and my family's dysfunctionality instead.
I was purposeful with choosing the color green to paint my dollhouse because I grew up envying others homes because I was made to feel as if something was wrong with where I lived by some of my classmates in middle school. I continued to carry shame about my home well into high school. My classmates lived in huge two story homes and I lived in a two bedroom one bathroom condo.
Now that I am adult I wonder about why I did not have enough confidence to defend my home after all I had a family that loved me and the things that they focused on were so shallow but I am more concerned with why I held on to such shame for so long.
I did not know how to create a separate room for the bathroom with the materials I selected so I have to bathroom behind my parents room to acknowledge it. I choose the wallpaper based on the emotional state of those in the household through the years. The kitchen, family room, and living room, and bathroom have neutral colors whereas the bedrooms have blue and colors more indicative of the emotional state of our family during some of my childhood.
The clutter in the play therapy doll house living room and family room is indicative of the chaos and clutter that actually existed and still exists because of my family's stuff-physical and emotional. My dad, t-rex, is surrounded by coins-money-and various things that represent my dad's love for stuff and focus on the cost and value of items. The cookie and cupcakes are indicative of his love for junk food. The raised up chair is my dad's chair that he refers to as the throne where he spends a lot of his time.
Creating this play therapy dollhouse reminded me of my insecurities about myself and family and allowed me to realize that I still carry some of these feelings. Processing the dollhouse in class brought up a lot of emotion about my relationships with my dad and family and communication that I desire to have with my dad about his health choices and potential consequences. The "counselor" in class hit the nail on the head that resulted in me crying about my dad in class.
The dollhouse is powerful tool that brought out a lot for me and a tool I intend to use in therapy. I appreciate this experience and the power that it has in therapy.
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"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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