Inspired. Creative. Or even magical. Whatever word you use, what we know for certain is when Side by Side’s Hilda Leon introduced her puppet Molly to her remote therapy sessions, it made a world of difference for her younger counseling clients in the North Bay who range in age from four to ten.
After the shelter in place order required a shift to remote therapy, Hilda noticed that her young clients were having trouble staying engaged and sharing their feelings, yet they badly needed her support. An inspired idea was born. “I said to myself, ‘OK Hilda, you have puppets, let’s use those puppets.’”
There are countless articles about the effectiveness of play puppets in children’s therapy, but Hilda understands the power of puppets from personal experience. “When I was younger, I needed help processing a trauma I had experienced,” says Hilda. “My therapist used a puppet. I knew I had to try the same technique with my own clients.”