We were working with the group of “women at a crossroad”- as we called their situation (unemployed, retired, looking for the way to recover after hard situations, to fill their lives with meaningful activities). Flexibility of the method, variety of techniques to use (theatrical etudes, psychodrama techniques, group building exercises, exercises boosting creativity) made the process challenging, interesting and fruitful both for trainers and for participants.  The trust in creativeness of participants led to reach surprising results in the looks of puppets, their characteristics and creating the etude as well.

During one of the sessions we asked participants to spend 20 min. personal meditating time with their puppets: to talk to them, to listen, to dance, to play. It is amazing, how deep some conversations reached, and what a rich spectrum of participants’ emotions and reflections it raised:

Puppet was laughing,…..whispering,….she wants to go out, to recognize the world…my puppet has surprised me –  she was laughing so much….she is becoming a grown up…we can celebrate…

I can support her in so many things. She seems happy, because she knows that she can trust me…

We were together in silence, but so calm and well; we told each other that peace is so important; it’s good to be together; closeness;….. I felt that connection;  but we both need more time to open…

My puppet was laughing so much, but she is alone, very lonely …, she told me, that I have tightened her neck too much…my relationship with her has changed – I don’t want to burn her any more…

She was asking, if I still love her when she isn’t perfect at all (one hand is shorter, one leg is longer). That question was such a surprise to me – how can’t she see that she is important for me…

My puppet was dancing slowly and crooning, she gave me her arm to go together, I don’t know where…that means she really trust me…,it was something very melancholic in all her movements…

I was so surprised by that puppet, I was even about to cry, but I won’t

it’s sad to me, that she thinks that I don’t love her..

I even don’t know if she has told me everything she wanted, she was just calling me to go somewhere so clearly…together…

It was safe and much easier for participants to tell about oneself indirectly, behind the puppet. Puppets were “mirroring” their authors in different situations.  

To develop puppet animation into a meaningful etude required a team work: a lot of understanding, common decisions, attentiveness, patience, tolerance, coordination etc. – improving social competencies.

After finishing 2 workshops we feel much stronger in using puppetry for social inclusion and have a strong confidence in the method as we see an evident progress in participants’ attitudes, self-esteem, creativity, growing abilities for self-analysis and acting in the group.

The feedback from participants confirmed the efficiency  of using puppetry in supporting the unemployed and retired woman in their struggle for social recovery.

It was important and satisfying to hear the feedback such as: I could  have never believed that puppet made of paper could talk and tell so much…and about me.



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