Dolls for Lifeline are given to individual children who have been referred for support in all of the stages following rape, abandonment and abuse. Their dolls need to be kind looking, softly firm, with textures that would give comfort through stroking. The doll could represent any age, eg baby to granny. There needs to be the potential for rich and enduring play.
Make several extra clothes to go in the doll’s shoulder bag, and perhaps put it in a larger bag to suit a boy or girl. Add a doll wrap which will nurture the child as he or she nurtures the doll. Some pale skinned dolls are needed too. These are dolls to be made with your highest talents and deepest compassion.
Lifeline counsellors also make good use of family groups of dolls, especially those with uncles and brothers. Observing how the child arranges the family can give insight into who may be the perpetrator and lead to protection of other family members too. There is also a role for counsellors to use dolls with different expressions, eg anger, sadness, crying, worry. These could also be hand or finger puppets.