Play Therapy Healing Garden: The play therapy client will build a healing garden play therapy world that is a safe and protective place in which they can put vulnerable an raw emotions.
Materials for Play Therapy Miniature World:
Triorama poster board, pop-up book or paper plate
Assorted Miniatures / Clip Artand
Assortment of arts and craft supplies and glue
Allow the play therapy client to take the Healing Garden home to give a visual representation of a safe and protective place.
Directions for play therapy miniature garden:
1. Build a garden on the triorama poster board (or other)using the cut outs below and adding other art medium as needed. Let the client know that this is a healing garden and a safe place to put vulnerable thoughts and feelings.
2. Use miniatures and clip art to complete the play therapy miniature world.
3. Ask client to talk about their healing garden they created.
The therapist asks questions such as:
What was it like to create this garden?
What plants or miniatures did you add to your healing garden?
Why did you add the (plants, miniatures, etc.)?
What feelings do these plants or animals represent to you?
Do you want to add more items to your garden?
Do you want to take anything away from your garden?
Do you want to change your garden in any way?
What is it like to live here in this garden?
What feelings are present in this garden? How are the plants and animals in this garden safe?
What plants and animals make it unsafe?
What plant or animal would make this animal feel unsafe in this environment (Add the animal to the world)?
If this plant or animal could talk what would it say? Project your feelings and words into the plant or animal and make it talk.
What do you need to do to get rid of the unsafe parts of this garden?
Is there a plant or animal that can help your garden? How can you make sure the plant or animal stays in this garden to help you when you need help?
What if we moved the plants or animal(s) around in the play therapy miniature world?
What would happen if we placed the plants or animal(s) here, there? What do you want / need to say to the garden?
What is it like for you experiencing this garden?
What words would describe your experience today?
What did you learn from this garden play therapy miniature world?
What needs to change / stay the same in this garden?
What protection does this garden need in order to feel and stay safe?
How can you translate this perspective to real life?
Play Therapist: It is now time to translate your play therapy client’s plants and animal in this play therapy garden world using the SYMBOLS DICTIONARY. Discuss this translation with your play therapy client in the next play therapy session.
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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