Puppets in Therapy
I have been using puppets in therapy for many years. I use glove puppets, rod puppets and finger puppets with children and adults. Puppets allow clients to quickly take on a character and can facilitate the expression of powerful feelings - while also keeping some distance from what is enacted. Traditional characters like the Wolf, King, Witch or Fairy are recognised by all ages and are easy for clients to connect with. Children can use puppets to act out stories or to play with the therapist. The archetypal characters lend themselves to playful exploration of difficult themes. The Wolf may represent the child's fears and be used to explore imaginatively overcoming them. Families or groups can use puppets to create a story. This is a fun activity that allows the therapist to observe the family/group working together. The story the family/group create may contain information about how they are feeling and what is going on for them. The therapist may be able to use the story to creatively explore the difficulties. Adults and older children may want to work with a puppet in creative therapy sessions. The puppet allows them to easily create a character and may allow them to voice thoughts and feelings that would be more difficult to own when speaking as oneself. Puppets are often used to voice negative or subversive feelings and can have an anarchic effect!