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Article by Dawn Beatty-Taylor, MC, LPC
Blanco, how can I possibly explain how beneficial this little creature has been to my clients? The following are just a few examples of how Blanco has working in the lives of my young clients. (Different names used to protect their identity)
The first client that worked with Blanco had abuse issues. Her father had sexually abused her when she was around two years of age. Once mom realized what was occurring, she removed the little girl from his care. Yet, the court insisted on visitation. It took a forensic counselor to stop this situation from continuing. Although the interaction with her father had stopped, the damage was done. Stephanie was ten when she first came in for counseling and she was a very outgoing child until it was time to talk about her father. At that point she would shut down. After several months of trying to get Stephanie to open up, to no avail, Blanco was introduced into her life. It was then that Stephanie began to let out her frustration and anger. She would draw all over Blanco and the pictures would vary in their intensity. Stephanie would throw Blanco across the room and yell and scream at him. Finally after several months, Stephanie was able to talk about what happened and her healing began. It was at that point that she was able to say that she was done with Blanco and thanked him for his help in her recovery.
The second client that benefited from Blanco was four year old Matthew. He was brought in by his father. Matthew’s father was very concerned about his son because he would return from visits with his mother and state strange things. Dad stated that one time he came home and stated that his mother gave him beer and that he preferred juice. After several sessions Matthew began to talk about “flame”. He would state that “flame” was mean to him and that “flame” would hurt him. At that point Blanco came in to the picture. Matthew would fight Blanco at first and he would always name him “flame.” Eventually Matthew would begin to draw “owies” on Blanco. After he would draw and owie, Matthew would want me to put a Band-Aid on it. I would draw a Band-Aid, and he would continue to draw the “owies”. One day Matthew came in and stated that his mommy had kicked him in the head. He then showed me the welt on his head. After several calls to the child protective services agency, for this incident and several others, nothing happened. Dad went back to court and the judge would do nothing to protect this little boy. Dad contacted the police and a detective was to interview Matthew. I suggested that Dad take Blanco with him and he did. The detective began the interview by talking and having Matthew draw, she was unable to get him to open up at all. The detective then decided to bring Blanco out. Matthew began to draw. As he drew he told the detective all the things that his mother had done and showed her where his mother and her boyfriend had been hitting him. He also confirmed that “flame” was the boyfriend. Blanco gave this little boy a voice and that voice aided in removing him from an abusive situation.
Finally, I am working with a young boy that is going through a very difficult divorce situation. Nate is five and his parents divorced approximately two years ago. His father is very angry with the situation and tends to put Nate in the middle. Nate uses Blanco to express his anger. He will throw him around the room and then draw blood on him. Nate will then resurrect him and give him muscles and then throw him around the room again. At times Nate will ask that I will fight him with Blanco so that he can beat him up. Blanco has been a great help with Nate in expressing and releasing the anger that he feels at what he is going through.
My Blanco as born on August 28, 2006 to be a therapeutic outlet for an abused child. The Play Therapist who administered My Blanco found the child to be engaged in safe anger expression that the child had previously avoided when using other techniques. This outlet served to be a catalyst for the child to express the anger inside and to help begin the healing process that was so desperately needed.
My Blanco is a versatile and non-suggestive 3-dimensional canvas for expressive artistry.
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Place all my Blanco into a pillowcase and tie shut.
Wash all myBlanco PRODUCTS in cold water or just rinse with cold water at the sink and allow to drip dry overnight. (I hang my bigger Blancos by their ears or the hearts by the bottom, puppets from their heads on a pants clip-style hanger to drip dry.) IF you put Blanco PRODUCTS into the dryer, please dry them on low heat and tumble them; place all my Blanco PRODUCTS in an individual pillow case, don’t want them to scorch.
I have realized that the teal colored marker is suddenly stubborn to wash out. If you’re noticing a problem with the teal color, use some dish soap on the areas (or wash Blanco PRODUCT in the dish soap). This usually takes care of the Teal ghosting. If that does not work to your satisfaction, you can add a little bleach to the wash cycle and that should take care of the problem. (I have asked Crayola if they are going back to the original formula and they say no…so it’s possible that Blanco will be changing to a different washable marker brand.) Sorry FOR the inconvenience. I, too am sad, teal is my favorite color.
My Blanco monkey figures, heart and puppets are an essential addition to a play therapy play room. You can use them again and again after children draw on them. Her new addition of a washable puppet family is particularly exciting for those of us working with children and families.