What is Doll House (Shelter House) Play Therapy? The Theory Behind Shelter House / Doll House Play Therapy:

Learn this amazing new play therapy doll house technique by Dr. Michelle Stangline and www.Creative Counseling 101.com!

Copyright (c) 2014 by Dr. Michelle Stangline

Above is a computer drawing of the actual Shelter Play Therapy Doll House. Below is the actual house using the "Furry Feeling Accessories".

Feel free to build your own Shelter House / Doll House for your play therapy practice.

You can make your own "Furry Feelings" to use the Shelter House / Doll House Play Therapy Activity.  

In this revolutionary new doll house / play therapy you will notice a combination of play therapy, sand tray therapy, color psychology, art therapy, and creativity.

The play therapy doll house tools have been simplified and stripped down to the basic feelings. Play therapists do not have to spend valuable time translating the sand tray, drawing, or toys used.

Although the basic tools are needed, one does not have to spend a fortune on every sand tray therapy miniature and every toy in the universe. Shelter House / Doll House Play Therapy can also be used with adult, teen, adolescent and children clients / students. 

This play therapy technique can be used in therapy and in schools with a slight modification of the activities. Even parents can use this tool with their children at home with direction from the attending play therapist.

Shelter, safety, food, and water are at the base of Maslow’s Hierarchy Pyramid. Without shelter one cannot feel safe in this world.

The shelter (structure) in which we live is the keeper of our “world”. We need to feel safe in order to function properly in life.

In therapeutic terms the word “shelter” represents your own “self and being”.  It is basically your soul and a huge part of your psyche in your personal phenomenological world.

The attic of your personal structure is basically your present consciousness of awareness, while each floor goes deeper into the subconscious and unconscious parts of the mind.

The Penguin Book Dictionary of Symbols suggests that the house is the center of a person’s world.  Below is a translation from this book regarding the symbolism of the ”house”:

According to Bachelard the house signifies the inner being of the person. Its floor levels symbolize the different states of the soul or “consciousness”.

The cellar (bottom floor) is the unconscious; the attack is the spiritual, head, or controlling consciousness.

The floors in-between are the different levels of the subconscious mind including the instinct.  The different levels of the psyche are represented on each floor and go from the controlling conscious mind to the subconscious, to the unconscious levels.

The shape of the Shelter Therapy / Doll House is based on the ancient ideals of the Early Chinese, Christians, Mongols, Tibetans, Arabs, Africans, and Egyptians.

The Dictionary of Symbols discusses the history of these cultures in great detail and how they viewed the homes they lived in.

The connection between the basic house and heaven was evident in these early cultures.

The ancient Arabic home is based on four-dimensional squares. The centre-point is based on the rules of Geomancy and joins the house together.

The squares of the four cardinal points imply fixity in space.  The central post of the Mongols Yurt coincides with the World Axis.  The early Christians created temples with symbolism built at the intersection of the north-south-east-west. 

The four rooms were also representative of the four seasons, spring, summer, fall, and winter.

The ancient temples of many cultures, especially early Christianity, were based with five rooms in a “cruciform arrangement”.

The attic is symbolic of “heaven”.  Buddhism identifies the house as the “human body”. The ancient Egyptians called houses the “House of Life” and attached shrines to each room.

What do the colors mean in art therapy and color psychology?
Next page of Shelter House Play Therapy Technique
For more free ideas on creative therapy visit the link below: Creative Counseling 101.com Home

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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