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Story Stone Play: Embodied Imagination in Virtual Therapy and Beyond

Updated: Mar 7, 2022

This 17th chapter of Nature-based Play & Expressive Therapies is co-authored by Cyndera Quakenbush, MA. and our Chief Editor Dr. Janet Courtney . When times feel uncertain, the ancient and solid nature of stones can be comforting and dependable. Stones can also spark stories. With the rise of online therapy, child and family therapists are exploring ways in which they can more meaningfully connect with their clients in a virtual world. Within this chapter you will find a 10-step creative intervention called, Story Stone Play that includes photographs of special stones available as printed cards. The Story Through Stone Reflection Cards reveal universal symbolic and archetypal patterns occurring naturally within the stone, such as human figures, animals, and landscapes. Guided by Jungian theory and Narrative Therapy, the Story Stone Play process encourages children to find their own imagery in each picture and to tell their own stories, tapping into their feelings, memories, and imagination. The inner life of the child is validated and drawn out in a creative form that they can feel pride and ownership over. Stones are convenient tools in the therapist’s repertoire of therapeutic approaches.

When asked about the process of writing for this book, Cyndera Quakenbush said, "This chapter means so much because it marks the beginning of Story Through Stone work to nurture the "wolf raised by humans" that each child's inner life represents to me. Listening to their call and need for a deep connection to nature, Story Stone Play allows for children to find the magic and myth surrounding them at any moment through animated storytelling. "

Cyndera Quackenbush, MA graduated from Pacifica Graduate Institute with her Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, with an emphasis in Depth Psychology. Having been given a unique stone inheritance from her father, Cyndera is the creator of the “Story Through Stone Reflection Cards.” Cyndera facilitates workshops in California and internationally on the topics of Therapeutic Use of Card Imagery and Archetypes. Learn more about her work RIGHT HERE.

Dr. Janet Courtney is the Chief Editor of this book and at the first Nature Play Therapy Training Retreat she presented a fascinating course on the powerful use of stones in play therapy. She is the Founder of FirstPlay® Therapy and the author of “Healing Child Trauma Through Expressive & Play Therapies: Art, Nature, Storytelling Body & Mindfulness,” and Editor of, “Infant Play Therapy: Foundations, Models, Programs and Practice,” and “Touch in Child Counseling and Play Therapy: An Ethical and Clinical Guide.” Dr. Courtney has been an Adjunct Professor at Barry University School of Social Work, Miami, FL since 1997. Learn more about all of her wonderful work RIGHT HERE

Come on over to our HOME PAGE and purchase your copy of Nature-based Play & Expressive Therapies and be sure to register to get your downloadable, printable intervention handout packet.

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