Masks and puppets have been used in cultures all over the world throughout history as catalysts and transitional objects for rituals of healing. Whether they are applied to health education, special education, psychotherapy contexts or in other institutional work (occupational therapy, speech therapy, drama therapy, art therapy, play therapy, counselling or work in prisons) they may be used to shift the negative sense of self onto a positive other level. They may be used in a cathartic way to release pent up energies and emotions or in an improvisational manner to draw out expressive potential and abilities to laugh and play or indeed as diagnostic tools in clinical contexts.
Masks and puppets are non-threatening projective mechanisms of symbolic power to free the capacity for expression.
The Centre has a long history of working with special schools (Hazlewood, Mary Russell, Kelbourne Park), adult education and day-care centres (One-in Four Centre), hospitals (Yorkhill Children’s Hospital) and prisons (Barlinnie, Carstairs). We have also provided workshops to national organisations and conferences involved with therapeutic and holistic practices (e.g. Drama Therapy).
We also have an archive of therapeutic documents relating to puppets and therapy partially generated by our work in partnership with BBC Children in Need Appeal during 1992-1996.