"The ultimate play therapy dollhouse!" - Gary Yorke, Ph.D.
ArtHouse is very different from conventional dollhouses: it offers a far wider range of play patterns! For example, it can easily represent many different buildings (such as schools, hospitals, etc.) to facilitate addressing specific fears and emotional stresses. ArtHouse is also uniquely well suited for art therapy.
Therapist Liesl Silverstone explains: [Art therapy keeps us] "away from cerebral, verbal, judgmental processes, and in the here-and-now world of imagination, intuition, inspiration. The paradox applies that by thinking less, it is possible to know more. By making visible our images, we can tap into material from the subconscious denied to the forefront of our awareness, and gain valuable insights leading to growth, self-awareness and integration."
What is the role of an art therapist? One role is to ask questions that direct the client's own discoveries. Looking to the storyboard: what significance can be attached to color, composition (size, proportion and relative position of component parts), use of material, process, and "that which is missing"?
The creation and analysis of storyboards in art therapy provides both a tangible reference point and a stepping-stone to self-awareness. While verbal dialogue is "once-removed", storyboard artwork offers immediacy. It enables clients to be less self-conscious, more spontaneous, and subsequently more authentic.
So why do art therapists need ArtHouse? Clients perceive ArtHouse as a toy! It provides a versatile, fun, non-threatening, easy-to-comprehend, focal point for displaying and discussing storyboard artwork. The building structure complements the art without competing with it. The session can easily transition from "art therapy" to "play therapy", because ArtHouse is perfectly adapted to doll-play, finger and hand puppets, etc. ArtHouse is ideally suited for shared projects. It facilitates group and family art therapy activities because each project participant can make a very personal contribution and simultaneously contribute to a collective whole.
Note: the crayon drawing above is from an artist, not an actual patient.