Puppet therapy is a projective art therapy technique that is used to diagnose and correct a condition. Within its framework, in a playful way, you can try on the desired social role, realize its pros and cons, and tune in to a positive result. No wonder our ancestors said: “He who did not play with dolls did not see happiness.”
A doll is a kind of psychological mirror that helps to see our true attitude towards ourselves, towards partners, towards the current life situation. It shows the client’s hidden problems, actualizes the emotions associated with this or that state, because through the doll a person creates an image of his own “I”.
With the help of dolls, you can clarify your attitude to money, to work, try on the role of the mistress of your business. Or improve relationships with children, deal with psychosomatic problems and cope with anxiety.
I see that the client’s doll has a bulky head and short arms. I ask: “Many thoughts? Do your hands keep up with them? “
Surprised client confirms: “Recently they have not had time, at work there is a blockage with projects, thoughts do not give sleep, there is not enough strength …” And adds: “It’s time to change something.”
The girl pinches off the extra pieces of stuffing and thus gets rid of disturbing thoughts.
Different dolls – different functions
The origins of puppet therapy are in the time when our great-great-grandmothers helped themselves and others with the help of puppets. Then the dolls were divided into ritual, protective and play dolls. With some people celebrated the national calendar holidays: Maslenitsa, Christmastide; from others they expected protection from evil forces, and with the help of others they raised children.
One puppeteer from Vyatka told how they used to check the girl’s readiness for marriage. If the doll-“little man” made by her turned out to be unprepossessing, then it is too early for the craftswoman to get married: sit, dear, while in girls. That is, by the doll, it was possible to determine the girl’s attitude to the current or prospective future partner.
In the Russian folk tradition, doll images with speaking role names – “Bogach”, “Mamushka”, “Lovebirds” are fixed – they will help to understand the specific issues of concern to us. For example, a couple “Lovebirds” shows the relationship between partners in dynamics.
As with sand and painting therapy, when working with dolls, you can play tense situations in a couple, see the situation through the eyes of another, understand the desires and needs of each partner. But in puppet therapy, the figures are created by the client himself, and they are voluminous, endowed with breath.
Working with a doll also helps to identify negative parental inhibitions. In such cases, the client creates the figure of the older woman in the family – “The Guardian of the Family” – and in the game can get a script permission for good changes in life.
How effective can puppet therapy be?
Author’s dolls – “Mistress of her business”, “Grandma Ezhka” and “Ezhkin cat” – are created specifically to address client requests for puppet training.
For example, a girl at the “Successful Marriage” training is concentrating on spinning the doll and suddenly throws it on the table – “I can’t, I don’t want to, I don’t like it”. At this moment, her attitude towards marriage becomes clear, and we are working to eliminate the problems that prevent us from achieving this goal.
At the author’s training “Shadow Dance” Belarusian psychotherapist Igor Ilyukevich once told me about a doll called “Bolyasnitsa”. With its help, you can symbolically let go of the departed, work through the grief of losing a loved one, and heal the trauma of rejection.
As a result of this work, I helped one client get rid of a heavy love addiction, and another – heal the trauma of losing a child. The client became pregnant shortly thereafter and gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
Customer reviews indicate that life is changing in the right direction, and positive results begin on average one or two months after puppet training. Everyone can feel the healing effect of this therapy – everyone has a chance to change their lives for the better. In any case, the doll we have created will remind you that changes in life are the work of the person himself.