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"The experience of puppet therapy with adults has successfully provided a means to disarm client's resistance in a quick and easy fashion. There seems to be regression in the service of the ego, which facilitates adult play. The experience of puppet therapy with children flows naturally from the ability of the child to play and to transfer his/her own world onto the puppet, providing deep insight and meaning to the healing work. The client's healing is literally at the counselor's fingertips."

-- Dr. Joanne Vizzini


Puppet Therapy Institute

Meet the Puppets

Client, Clinicians, & School Children Reactions: Puppets

Discarding Defenses

Yoga Therapeutics Presentation

Press Reviews



View the Being Mean isn't Cool Puppet Session at Elmer Wolfe Elementary

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I have been a puppeteer who uses puppets to reach out regarding pertinent issues for 30 years now. During my doctoral studies I was able to create an experiment by which I compared puppet therapy to regular therapy for adults using my Vizzini Puppet Therapy Model - 2001. I felt called to share the unique healing offered through Puppet Therapy. In 2007, I began training other providers to use the Puppet Therapy Model and what I am finding, as I have over my years of service, is that the Puppets are powerful.

Puppets add humor and allow the story to become more real for the listeners. It was in the classroom teaching first and second grades, at parent meetings, and when preaching with the puppets in church that I understood that puppets reached people of all ages. I would receive phone calls from adults thanking "Cool Eugene," one of the puppets, for the insights shared.

When I began the Pastoral Counseling Program in 1995, we had clinical internships. In the basement of a church in an Intensive Outpatient (IOP) setting, I ministered to men and some women who had just begun their recovery from substance abuse. The puppets were a great means of doing therapy. They were encouraging, healing and challenging. Puppet therapy with adults was effective. I was then hired by Ms. Ann Smith, in a program called Breakthrough (now Breakthrough at Caron) to provide Puppet Therapy as part of her 5 day residential program for healing.

The puppet work began at Towson State University in 1980 when I received a research grant to study the effects of puppet use to educate children about mainstreaming learning disabled youth into classrooms. I went into schools and taught staff how to deal with the children's feelings. I gave workshops to librarians and to the Learning Disabilities organizations in the Baltimore area. The puppets have since been used in school settings to address topics such as bullying and smoking cessation (the teens from RICA gave me a camel puppet in a little coffin box after their presentation to teach other teens and discourage smoking).

Thus far I have trained multiple therapists and providers of all types: teachers, ministers, counselors, and counselors in training and recreational guides how to effectively use puppets in therapy or as a therapeutic and healing tool.

I am a DOCTOR OF THE HEART and find that having a puppet on my hand lifts my spirit to bring life and love back to many who have lost touch with or feel brokenhearted. Come join me on this great journey with the puppets. See their pictures at MEET THE PUPPETS and read about workshops at WORKSHOPS. Teleconferencing and Skype/webcam are options. I trained one person from Sweden and one from California recently. I want to pass on my unique legacy and teach others the potent and powerful effect available at one's fingertips. Share in my gift!

Dr. Vizzini at Puppet Therapy workshop using Cool Eugene

Freedom through Psychotherapy - Specialties Freedom through Psychotherapy - Puppet Therapy