Use of Toys as Tools in Psychological Therapies

Playmobil toys were conceived with the vision of allowing children to develop their creativity and imagination, without imposing rules of the game. What its creator, Hans Beck, did not imagine was how useful these figures would be in different types of psychological therapies, both for children and adults.

Representative and imaginative games have been around for generations, and have a great educational value for children, because they allow them to develop their creativity, as well as respond to certain situations according to their experience and what they observe in their environment on a daily basis. They also help them increase their social skills and promote other aspects such as language, concentration, among others.

In this sense, many child and family psychology professionals have recognized the importance of these games and toys in the development of children. Likewise, they have given significant value to human figures, such as those from Playmobil, to develop therapeutic techniques that help patients to better express themselves or show their emotions.

Representative games: a form of expression

When a child goes to a psychological consultation, depending on his personality, his first reaction may be to shut down at the possibility of talking to a stranger about a certain problem.

For this reason, within child psychology, play therapies are applied that serve to evaluate the behaviors expressed by the child, and in turn allow the discovery of some problems, reflected through the game.

One of the most effective techniques is the use of Playmobil figures, since these human representations with few details allow children to use their imagination or experience to recreate lived situations, express hidden feelings and talk about what bothers them, through the role plays. 

That is why in many child psychology offices it is normal to see a play corner or a dollhouse. In this space, the children can take the figures and represent the roles that exist within their family, the situations that they live at home and show how their relationships are with the primary or parental figures. 

When children enter the office and see that they do not have to talk, but can sit and play, their comfort increases, since they do not feel pressured or questioned.

Child-therapist bond

For psychologists, it is very important to establish a bond with their patients, gain their trust and develop empathy so that they feel comfortable expressing their problems.

In the case of child psychology, this link is achieved precisely through play, since it is not the therapist who determines the development of the session, but rather the child identifies the guidelines and solutions to their problems, through the representation with figures.

For this reason, Playmobil dolls are a very important tool in children’s therapies, and the best thing is that they do not represent any physical risk, since there is even the Playmobil 123 line, whose edges are more rounded to avoid any type of injury in children, there is also a series of figures oriented for use in psychological therapies.

The best thing about this is that the use of Playmobil dolls has not only shown great effectiveness with children, but has also been successfully applied in family constellation sessions, couples therapy and job coaching, to achieve greater interaction between members, through the representation of different situations, thus proposing possible solutions to problems. 

Playmobil in psychodrama

Psychodrama is a psychological tool, designed by Jacob Levy Moreno, in which a symbolic representation is made that allows a different or broader perspective on a given problem. In turn, it is possible to propose solutions to the situation, considering their own and collective emotions.

Its creator was a psychiatrist, psychologist and professor at different universities, who began to practice improvisational theater. It was there that he observed how the children, through the game and interpretation of various roles, were able to solve everyday problems and apply them at the end of the game. 

Consequently, Moreno assumes that external action, in this case theatrical performance, allows one to explore the inner world, discover feelings and externalize emotions. 

To apply this therapy, psychologists use Playmobil figures because they are easy to manipulate and the different roles they can play enhance their usefulness. It does not have to be a specific set or the best Playmobil 123 of the moment, but a variety of dolls, female, male, children and elderly, so that the patient has all the necessary elements at the time of making the representation. 

elements of psychodrama

In the psychodrama session the therapist defines some elements. In the first place the protagonist, who is the patient. Followed by the director, who is the psychologist, then there are the actors, personified by all the other Playmobil dolls and who have some role in the situation that is going to be represented.

A scenario is also chosen, which can be the surface of the table or desk, then a dialogue is established that will be guided by the therapist, the director, so that the protagonist (the patient) interacts with all the actors of his problematic. 

This dialogue is therapeutic and healing, because it allows the patient to express their feelings spontaneously, creatively and to say their needs out loud. 

On the other hand, an action motivated by dialogue is generated, which triggers several movements on the stage until the protagonist proposes the best solution to the problem. Finally, insight takes place, that is, the patient becomes aware of the solution that emerged and how he should apply it. 

In this way, we see how small toys used by an adult can become the outlet channel for emotions and feelings that have been stored for a long time.

On the other hand, as parents we can value the importance of toys such as those from Playmobil and pay more attention to children’s hours of play, because through their representations we can know if they are going through a situation that they have not wanted to talk about., or notice different behaviors that may be a sign of problems that deserve specialist evaluation.

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