Play Therapy Puppet Show - The Chair Test Puppet Show

by Ania Farley
(Play Therapy Student for Play Therapy Class)

Play Therapy Puppet Show - The Chair Test Puppet Show

Play Therapy Puppet Show - The Chair Test Puppet Show

Initially, I had a very difficult time with this play therapy puppet show and theater assignment. I have never put on a puppet show let alone make my own theater, script, and puppets from scratch. However, after I decided on the theme for my theater, the characters and storyline fell into place. I spray-painted a cardboard box and used star stickers to simulate space. I wanted to keep my theater gender neutral; and though I used a lot of glitter for the girls, I figured that the boys would appreciate that it was space and interpret the “sparkle” as stars and not “girly” glitter =). I also created gender-less alien puppets in an effort to grant my potential students full creative rights when deciding which puppet they wanted to incorporate into their show.

As for my show, I used two puppets to illustrate the importance of recognizing the difference between a true friend and an “associate”. “The Chair Test” is a conversation between a young alien boy named Nicky and his Grandfather. The young alien had a problem with wanting to always be the center of attention and was disillusioned into believing that everyone he in his school or neighboring galaxy was his friend. However, his Grandfather taught him a valuable lesson on defining friendship and providing him with a clever way of determining who his real friends were.

All in all, I had a great time building my theater and puppets – it was just the execution of the actual puppet show that scared me. I admit that I did not want to present my play in class – again mainly because I had never done so before and I get extremely nervous when actually presenting things to audiences. However, even though I was terrified at the presentation aspect of the assignment, in hind sight, I am very appreciative that we had to do it. This assignment allowed me to tap into my creativity in a way that I never have before and now, I feel more comfortable in my ability to present vital information to my students in such a way that they will not only receive it but hopefully enjoy it.

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*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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