Play Therapy -- Mystery Counseling Sesssion

by S. Simmons
(Mercer Univ.)

Play Therapy -- Mystery Counseling Sesssion S. S.

Play Therapy -- Mystery Counseling Sesssion S. S.

I received Candyland as my assignment for the Mystery Counseling Session Play Therapy activity. I was excited because I love Candyland and most other board games in general. I like the Candyland motif for a Mystery Counseling Session because it would appeal to most any kid (what kid doesn’t like candy?), and I believe most kids would enthusiastically want to help build it. My seven-year old son helped me to put this together, and he chose and placed the miniatures within this scene.

Candyland would mean something different to every child. For me, it conjures up images of the board game, which I have and play with my kids every so often. It made my son think of some images from “Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory,” so he decided to make a chocolate lake. We made lollipops of different flavors, a slide into the lake, chocolate-peanut butter rocks, and a tree with lemons and grapefruit candies. I’m sure some children would go wild with the thought of creating a world with candy.

The Candyland theme is a great way of reframing a problematic situation into a positive one. If someone is going through a rough time or having minor problems with one or more individuals, the theme can serve as a reminder that everyone likes to play and have fun, and that it is possible to get back to a point of harmony or equilibrium. For example, if my son were having a problem with his younger brother being generally annoying, using his things, and wanting to be around him all the time, this activity can serve as a focus for him to understand his brother’s perspective (hey, he likes the same things as you, and he likes to have fun, too) and the scene provides the context in which it is possible for everyone to get along and have fun. Hence, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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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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