By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
Let’s talk about puppets. And play. And why play is so essential for discovery, growth, healing and change no matter who you are or how old you are.
Play is often considered suitable for little people – children – until they are able to grow older and “talk” about their problems and transition into the kind of therapy that “big people” do. Which is why I want to tell you about puppets, stuffed animals and dolls and their value for people of all ages. The fact is that children, teens and adults hugely benefit from play as a genuine therapeutic intervention that not only support learning to emotionally regulate but also to build spontaneity and creativity that is so valued in Dr. J.L. Moreno’s method of psychodrama.
My good friend and colleague Linda Ciotola, M.Ed., TEP, and I have talked a lot about this. We co-wrote the book Healing Eating Disorders with Psychodrama and Other Action Methods: Beyond the Silence and the Fury, where we briefly the use of props in education and psychotherapy, and we mention play in our conversations practically all the time. One of the best times I've had in recent years is sitting in Linda's play room in her home, talking with puppets.
Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is an author, trainer and psychotherapist who promotes, practices and teaches experiential methods including psychodrama, Family and Systemic Constellations, sand tray, mindfulness and Tarot imagery.
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