Therapeutic Puppetry 
Empowering - Transformative - Healing

International Puppet therapy Training (IPT-S) 

Professional training is now offered to therapists who want to know more about how to use the puppet as a tool in therapeutic settings. Take part in workshops and lectures and become inspired! The world’s most leading teachers in the field will share their knowledge. The training of summer 2023 will be led irl by Daniel Stolfi, PhD, MSc, MA Dramatherapy HCPC-reg. It will take place in Switzerland.


From Wednesday to Sunday the 2:ond to 6:th of August 2023. We will have sessions from 09:00 to 17:00 hrs with a 1,5 hrs lunch. 


In Olten, Switzerland, at the puppet therapy school FFT HF (Fachverband Figurenspieltherapie Höhere Fachschule). Olten is situated 70 km from Zürich. You find a map of Olten HERE (the red dot is where the school is on Solothurnerstrasse 140). There are buses from the train station to the school, it is also possible to walk in approx  15 - 20 min.

See pictures of the puppet therapy school HERE  

You can bring your own lunch or buy something nearby the school. The school has a smaller kitchen with a stove and microwave oven (primarily for heating, not for cooking). There are some green areas close by for those who like to get outside.

The most budget hotel found is Hotel Oltnerhof (from 85 euro per night single room).


Therapeutic Puppetry from a Dramatherapy Perspective 

Course Facilitator: Daniel Stolfi, PhD, MSc, MA Dramatherapy HCPC-reg. 

The aim of this workshop is to introduce and explore ways puppetry and puppet-craft can be used therapeutically in a range of settings with different clients keeping in mind many of the clinical themes and core ideas within dramatherapy and psychotherapy - for example: the subjectivities of trauma, attachment and loss, resilience, family dynamics, differing cultural values, the importance of play, spontaneity and creativity, and uses of metaphor. The sessions will incorporate arts-based, projective, symbolic, and narrative approaches and modalities and draw on themes and examples from a range of socio-cultural contexts. 

Each session will follow a basic plan centred on: a thematic concept interfacing puppetry and dramatherapy, an experiential puppet-making and representational/performative activity discussion, reflection, and feedback Participants can also occasionally be expected to do short ‘homework’ assignments for particular sessions. 

Day 1: Introduction to Therapeutic Puppetry and Dramatherapy: Theoretical and clinical orientations, contexts, and settings. Key concepts. Some puppetry basics: 5 types of puppets. Craft, materials, and skills. 

Day 2: Puppetry and Stories 1 – the Individual: Exploring fairy tales and personal stories as narratives of self. 

Day 3: Puppetry and Stories 2 – the Collective: Working with folktales and myths to investigate group dynamics. 

Day 4: Puppetry as case study and ethnographic performance – bringing Individual and the Collective together: Using puppetry as a dramatherapy medium to work with victims of political violence and trauma. 

Day 5: Revisiting Creativity and the Imagination: Exploring further therapeutic dimensions of puppetry, improvisation, and play. Drawing things together – constructing a conceptual representation of the workshop’s central themes. Ending.

Daniel Stolfi, PhD, is a UK-based dramatherapist (HCPC-registered), a medical anthropologist, and the artistic director of The Awesome Puppet Company ( He is a Core Tutor and Academic Support Lead on the MA programme in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy at Terapia in London as well as the organization’s Institutional Link Tutor with Middlesex University. Daniel is also the Anthropology and Aesthetics Module Lead on Brunel University’s MA in Art Psychotherapy in London, and an Associate Lecturer in Dramatherapy at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. He has been a visiting lecturer at The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama in the UK, and at NYU Steinhardt and the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in the US. Daniel has a specialist interest in the therapeutic uses of puppetry, and how our understanding and experience of suffering and healing are informed by and reproduce social and cultural value. He is active in education, training, research, and publishing in these fields, and has presented his work extensively at national and international conferences. 

VIDEO: You find a 3 minute video on therapeutic puppetry with and by Daniel Stolfi HERE

FULL DESCRIPTION: You can download a full description of the event and of Daniel Stolfi HERE


This workshop is suitable for therapists and students of psychotherapy and the arts therapies who are interested in learning about therapeutic puppetry and dramatherapy and in integrating them into their practice. The workshop is designed to be interactive and exploratory rather than prescriptive of a way of working therapeutically with puppets and will adhere to the safe, confidential, and ethical codes of practice within the dramatherapy profession. 

English language on an intermediate level is required. Seats are limited to 16 participants to ensure personal experiences and opportunities to share practice. 


550 Euro. There is a 50 Euro discount for those with lower income (students and alike) and for those who have attended earlier on a IPT-S training. You pay the registration fee when you have registered (no refund). You will get payment information when you have filled in the registration form. The remaing fee will be paid later on, by the latest in April 2023 (refundable). The registration fee is 20% of the total fee, that is 110 euro for standard fee or 100 euro for reduced fee. For registration, please click the blue button in the right margin or press HERE.


Contact us by e-mailing Åsa Viklund at   

Evelyn Krapf-Schibli

Principal of the Puppet Therapy Institute Fachverband Figurenspieltherapie Höhere Fachschule FFT HF in Olten, Switzerland, see  Masters in special needs education and psychosocial counseling. Further education in art therapy. Teacher.

Åsa Viklund

Course coordinator for the IPT-S training. Child, family and arts therapist in Sweden. Social worker with  further education in symbolic work, psychotherapy and family therapy. For questions e-mail address 

The IPT-S is a cooperation between the puppet therapy school FFT HF and the Commission Education, Development and Therapy (EDT).


SUMMER 2022 - A Person-Centered approach on Therapeutic Puppetry

Karrie Marshall from Scotland taught online for 5 days in July - August 2022. Her approach is person-centered. She shared her knowledge working with mental health care, with dementia in care settings, and with trauma clients. Outcomes for participants: Learn about the principles underpinning wellness focused care (B.I.C.E.P.S Model of connection). Increase understanding and practice of therapeutic metaphor work. Feel more comfortable about end-of-life and bedside puppetry approaches. Insights about life-story puppetry in life, death, and bereavement. Greater understanding of risk assessment and managing risk

Karrie is the author of Puppetry in Dementia Care, she has a background in health and social care combined with puppetry. She founded Zenwing Puppets, a touring theatre company with her partner Chris King. Karrie also founded Creativity In Care, a community arts organisation that uses inclusive and joyful approaches to wellbeing. She has developed several creative learning programmes for care staff, family carers and artists. Karrie runs Laughing Geese.

SUMMER 2021 - Puppet Play Therapy 

Elizabeth Kjellstrand Hartwig, PhD, LMFT-S, LPC-S, RPT-S, was invited to teach on Puppet Play Therapy Summer 2021. Elizabeth is an Associate Professor in the Professional Counseling Program at Texas State University. They held the training online due to the Covid-19. 

The four-week online play therapy training series took participants on a journey of puppet play therapy skills and interventions with young children, older children, teens, and families. Participants learnt what types of puppets are a good fit for play therapy. In the interactive training, participants had the opportunity to create a puppet theater and different types of puppets each week of the training. Participants also learnt and practiced facilitative and directive therapeutic responses that can be used in puppet play, with an emphasis on how to respond in the puppet metaphor. The training culminated with a focus on family puppet play therapy. COURSE DESCRIPTION  REPORT

SUMMER 2019 - Expressive Arts Therapy & Puppet therapy

Matthew G Bernier was invited to teach for a week in Switzerland Summer 2019. Matthew is an art therapist, educator, artist, puppeteer, consultant, and doctoral student in Expressive Arts. He works as an associate Professor of Health Professions and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences in the Graduate Art Therapy & Counseling Program at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia, United States. 

Highlights, among other things, were a historical overview of puppetry in therapy, puppet types, their construction and different possibilities, manipulation of puppets in therapeutic settings, and an expressive arts approach to therapeutic puppetry. COURSE DESCRIPTION REPORT