What is therapeutic work with dolls? Its characteristics and advantages

I never tire of seeing faces of surprise when patients and colleagues walk into my office and see it full of Playmobil. “You work with children, don’t you?” The question often arises for both of them, but the face that is worth the money is the one they left when I tell them yes, work with children, but the space for these dolls is for adults only.

I’ve always had the chance, skills, or experience (let’s say what you want) to be able to look at my area of ​​work from a very narrow perspective, and this has allowed me to include methodologies and extremely diverse approaches in my sessions. . The first time I saw working with dolls, I didn’t judge the methodology, but I was surprised that the professionals I had by my side had the response to reject this option because they thought that people’s problems were too important to deal with. With dolls. It is also true that this idea lasted them the first half hour of training.

    What is therapeutic work with dolls?

    I would like to start by explaining something basic before approaching the subject of the use of dolls; this will help you understand why working with them works. Working with dolls is a process of projecting, pouring into the dolls not only the current conflict situation but also expectations, values, beliefs, family loyalties, etc. Therefore, the subconscious functions, and a lot, in the sessions where this methodology is used.

    The basic idea is that our subconscious does not understand time. If we work on something that happened in our childhood, our unconscious will experience it as if it happened now because for it there is no past or future, only the present exists.

    Why is this useful in psychotherapy?

    What the tool does is get a specific image, and you know what it’s called: “a picture is worth a thousand words”. And that’s what the potential of dolls is based on; with them the group or the patient can see their situation. Not only tell it or explain it, but they literally see the problem projected on the dolls.

    As you can intuition, this image can convey information verbally that might be incomplete or not fit in as much detail into the story to work on in the sessions. Small details such as the distance between the dolls or the similarities between them can provide clues to understanding the personal or group story you are working on.

    If we understand that the goal of our work as a therapist is to accompany the patient in this process of highlighting what can happen to him, the image that this conception would allow us to reformulate certain aspects of the story in a more orderly and pacifying way, As it allows you to move the subject in the scene you created.

      The advantages of this resource applied to therapy

      Now let’s look at the advantages of this tool by the therapist.

      • The speed at which unconscious information is given. At first glance, you can already see elements of great therapeutic interest, which, verbally, may not have been as clear or immediate in their appearance.
      • Being dolls, it is easier to let go of certain resistance to therapeutic work because we have the feeling of playing.
      • Considering the diversity of breeds, ages, occupations, and other characteristics of the dolls, it is easier for the person to find the archetype with which to identify which will provide valuable information.
      • It allows for a multitude of experiences and fields of action: decision-making, work problems, couples, interns, etc.
      • It is a tool that allows a dynamic in the sessions. The patient can see how he would feel with his changes in the picture.
      • It is a very useful tool for facilitating emotional expressions.
      • It allows you to work at different levels of ecology from macro level to micro level.
      • Its application includes virtually all ages of patients.

      Hope this little article has brought you either as a patient or as a therapist. Dolls are another tool among the millions of possibilities available to us, professionals dedicated to well-being and support.

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