The psychoanalyst Melanie Klein was the first to recognize the importance of play in child therapy. She understood that play provides an insight into the unconscious of the child’s soul and thus she developed the Play Therapy method. This method suggests that children are capable healing themselves, they just need the right conditions for it.
Alma Therapy Dolls is a series of toys designed for children who are dealing with emotional problems and is meant for the therapeutic process. These dolls’ objective is to facilitate a child’s connection to his inner world and to promote healing. The project was done in collaboration with child psychologists and therapists, and the dolls shape and design is based on what’s been learned from them about children’s emotional problems. The dolls were selected to portray the range of emotions arising during the therapy session, such as: fear, pain, emptiness, love, anger, and safety.
Designed by Yaara Nusboim, she realized the importance of component of the therapy process is touch and sensation, therefore, the materials from which the dolls are made are maple wood and flexible polyurethane. The wood of Alma Therapy Dolls conveys warmth, tranquility, safety, as well as providing a pleasant and smooth surface to the touch. Through their shape and texture, the flexible materials represent the children’s inner urges. The combination of the two materials together is designed to balance the positive experiences with the negative experiences. The dolls are open for various interpretations and each child can pour into the doll his emotions, based on his own background and feelings.