Friday, November 7, 2008

Accessing Inner Voices: Successful Use of Puppet Therapy with Adults

This amazing post by Joanne Vizzini, Ph.D, LCPC, NCC, on her website, Accessing Inner Voices, shows the inifinite potential of the creative arts in helping us all to access our inner self.

From Joanne Vizinni's Creative Arts Puppet Therapy:

"The experience of puppet therapy with adults has successfully provided a means to disarm client’s resistance in a quick and easy fashion. There seems to be a regression in the service of the ego which facilitates adult play.

The ability to quickly unmask one’s defenses allows the adult to reach core issues. Childhood issues and feelings can resurface readily. The therapeutic image of offering a hand up and out is germane in puppet therapy where the client’s healing is literally at the counselor’s fingertips. The puppets have allowed many of the clients with whom I have worked the freedom to disarm defenses. They become free to face their pain and joy as never before. Steinhardt (1994), a follower of Winnicott, concluded that puppets allow spontaneous symbolic emotional expression, which otherwise may not occur, within a protected framework. (p.205).

The experience of puppet therapy as described by my clients is innately spiritual. They cite a transformative factor as part of their experience. Amorin and Calvacante state, ".... we believe that within the play element dwells an ulterior meaning, something experienced as magical or transporting which surrounds the concreteness of play itself" (1992, p.153). As puppet therapy with adults unfolds, I sense the touch of the sacred. Inner voices are accessed. I remain in awe of the healing I have witnessed as a puppet therapist."

Although I myself have used puppetry in therapy with children, I feel I haven't yet really maximized its potentials. Here, Ms. Vizinni shares with us how it has worked magic even with adults!

Some of Dr. Vizzini's client's comments on the experience:
  • When the puppet began to speak to me, I felt like I could tell her anything.
  • I learned that I am okay as I am. Just like the puppet, I’m free to be me.
  • I am able to access a piece of myself that I wasn’t able to touch; I’ll never have to hide again.

(ps. the puppet pictured here is from

1 comment:

  1. I just wrote a blog about using puppets in the classroom :o)

    I am glad I came across this entry! Thanks for sharing :o)

    Ashley Kate