Union Internationale de la Marionnette

Non-Governmental Organization affiliated to UNESCO


International PUPPET THERAPY Training

Spring 2024 in BARCELONA

Led by Andrea Markovits & Polo Fernández

Guest Matthew Bernier


For the first time, we shall meet up in person with our colleague Matthew Bernier, after three years of collaborative teaching in the Puppet Therapy Online Course. Matthew will accompany us in this intensive week of creation and research, sharing our experiences and views on the contemporary field of Therapeutic Animated Forms.

The International Puppet Therapy Training is a 5-day training course in the center of Barcelona, which aims to bring together former course students and other professionals interested in the therapeutic power of puppets, art therapy, mental health and animated forms.

In response to international scenarios of emergencies and learned hopelessness, this training programme presents and reviews Puppet Therapy Chile’s model of research and intervention with adults in the context of memory, trauma informed and transgenerational damage (Post Memory).

This conscious look at the use of animated forms follows the model of Expressive Therapies (ETC) for a deep understanding of the main areas of the brain involved in creative work with materiality and puppets in movement.

The training also teaches animation, in the silent language (without words) of animated forms (puppets, objects, and materials), and in the cognitive functions of these to integrate elements of art therapy, the dramatic and physical function of puppet theater as resources to guide group processes from the creation and exploration centered on the person and their potential for repair at the individual and group level.

It is based on the importance of the therapist’s role in the group, in listening and observing metaphors and the emerging group as creative material for the elaboration of new narratives from the process of creation and animation.

The © Model of Therapeutic Animated Forms: Memory & Trauma presents a guideline with strategies that allow the accompanying of individual and collective traumas in the creation of intimate and safe processes from the informed trauma, where the personal becomes collective, achieving the physicalization in material and form of complex experiences that make it possible to find metaphors to approach, resignify, and understand traumatic experiences.


This training is aimed at therapists, art therapists, psychologists, social workers, drama therapists, puppeteers, play therapists, artists, and other professionals involved in therapeutic work at the individual or group level, linked to the world of therapy and the arts for social change.


Taught in English and Spanish


Monday, March 18 to Friday, March 22 from 10:00 to 17:30 hrs.


D’Ortigosa 14, 2nd floor. Metro Plaza Urquinaona, Barcelona Center.



10:00 – 11:30 Welcome and registration of participants.

Presentation of the speakers.

Introduction to the method of work Muñecoterapia Chile and the concept of Therapeutic Dimension of the Animated Forms from the Informed Trauma. ©2020

11:30 – 11:45 BREAK

11:45 – 13:00 Post-Memory and Object Biography.

Workshop with objects.

13:00 – 14:30 LUNCH

14:30 – 16:00 The Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC) applied to Puppet Therapy in understanding information processing in the brain.

16:00 – 16:15 BREAK

16:15 – 17:30 Animation workshop with giant materials: From the material in pain to the figure.


10:00 – 11:30 Case studies.

Psychological functions of puppets.

11:30 – 11:45 BREAK

11:45 – 13:00 Types of puppets applied to therapy: benefits and difficulties.

13:00 – 14:30 LUNCH

14:30 – 16:00 Puppet self-portrait construction workshop (Materiality).

16:00 – 16:15 BREAK

16:15 – 17:30 Puppet Self-Portrait Construction Workshop (Objects).


10:00 – 11:30 Group identity is formed through explorations of materials and objects. Discovering the identity of the group (its pulse and movement)

How to work the slogans. Group animation.

11:30 – 11:45 BREAK

11:45 – 13:00 Phases of the creative process, according to Fiorini can be applied to puppet therapy.

13:00 – 14:30 LUNCH

14:30 – 16:00 The hurt matter: the use of animated forms in emergency contexts: natural disasters, forced displacements, and wars. An example of the use of the portable studio.

16:00 – 16:15 BREAK

16:15 – 17:30 Self-portrait construction workshop.


10:00 – 11:30 The metaphor of damage. Trauma, objects, and puppets. The puppet’s body as a safe double.

11:30 – 11:45 BREAK

11:45 – 13:00 Work with collective scenes to experience and analyze the conductive power of the puppet as an intermediary object and the physicalization of trauma.

13:00 – 14:30 LUNCH

14:30 – 16:30 Collective Object Memory. Workshop with objects. Use of the object as a support for the recovery of hope at a collective level.

16:00 – 16:15 BREAK

16:15 – 17:30 Self-portrait construction workshop.


10:00 – 11:30 Dismantling and analysing symbols in the work of Puppets In Transit. Therapeutic creative processes (the therapeutics of art) v/s Art Therapy.

11:30 – 11:45 BREAK

11:45 – 13:00 The therapist’s metaphors.

13:00 – 14:30


14:30 – 16:00

Sample of students’ final animated self-portrait exercises.

16:00 – 16:15


16:15 – 17:30

Certificates and the closing ceremony.








*To apply, please fill out the application form and send it to:


Once we have received  the completed application form, we will send you the payment information (method of payment, via PayPal, Swift Code, or Western Union).

  • Training includes materials.
  • * A certificate of participation will be given on the last day of the training.


ANDREA MARKOVITS From Chile, based in Barcelona. She has a Master in Arts in Health and Art Therapy (Universidad Finis Terrae). Studies of puppet and object theater at the School of Puppetry and Drama in Tel Aviv. Postgraduate degree in Dramatherapy (Universidad de Chile). Teacher of Differential Education (IPP). Theater Studies (Teatro La Casa). Member of the UNIMA Education, Development and Therapy Commission. Teaches seminars on Objects in therapeutic contexts for Ukrainian puppeteers (2023). Created the first Puppet Therapy Academy in South Korea in 2022. Worked as a Puppet Therapist and Dramatherapist at Reuven Feuerstein’s Center in Jerusalem, The International Center for the Enhancement of Learning Potential. Was a volunteer puppeteer at the Sieff Hospital in Israel with child victims of the Syrian civil war. Tours with puppets for the The National Association for the Habilitation of Children and Adults with Intellectual Disabilities programme. Developed research on memory with puppets with relatives of the disappeared and victims of political violence in Chile (FONDART). She has been invited to exhibit at the Puppet Power Conference (Calgary); to the I Puppets, Health and Education Conference organized by Centro Dramático Nacional de Madrid and Topic Tolosa; and to the First Symposium “The Broken Puppet: Symposium on Puppetry, Disability, & Health” (Cork). She has been invited as a guest lecturer to the Master of Art Therapy course at Finis Terra University, on the Diploma of Arts in Health and Art Therapy at Universidad Católica Villarrica, and to the Postgraduate in Art Therapy course at the University of Chile.

MATTHEW BERNIER He is a registered and board-certified art therapist, artist, puppeteer, and associate professor in the graduate program in art therapy and counseling at Eastern Virginia Medical School, where he has taught since 1990. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology concentrating on theater arts. He holds a master’s degree in creative arts in therapy from Hahnemann (now Drexel) University. He is pursuing a PhD in expressive arts therapy and social change at the European Graduate School in Switzerland. His expertise focuses on theories of psychological development, therapeutic art processes, the continuum of expressive therapies, creativity/symbolism/metaphor, theoretical approaches to art psychotherapy and therapeutic puppetry. He teaches internationally and is co-editor of Puppetry in Education and Therapy: Unlocking Doors to the Mind and Heart.

POLO FERNÁNDEZ From Chile, based in Barcelona since 2022. Trained as a puppeteer at the School of Puppetry and Drama in Tel Aviv and graduated in Philosophy and Spanish (Universidad de La Serena). Trained with the English puppeteer Stephen Mottram. Co-founder of the company Puppets In Transit and the International Puppet Therapy School. He has worked as a set designer and lighting designer, creating and participating in various projects such as the theater company Laboratorio de Sueños, La Ironía teatral, and Sudamerikan Art. He worked with Jack Robinson and Alef-Alef, designing and creating scenery for theater and television and giant puppets for carnivals. He worked with Puppets In Transit, as a volunteer puppeteer with children who were victims of the Syrian civil war. He was invited to exhibit at Puppet Power 2020 (Calgary, 2020). He has developed Puppets and Memory Workshops in Villa Grimaldi and Museo de la Memoria (Ministry of Culture and the Arts 2015–2017—Chile) and puppet workshops with children and young people with Downs syndrome (Ministry of Culture and the Arts 2018). He gave Puppet and Therapy training to professionals of the mental health team at the Roberto del Río Hospital, Salvador, Futaleufú Hospital, and PRAIS Norte Service (2014 and 2017). Designer and set designer to the Theater & Diversity Project (2004–2010) of Laboratorio de Sueños, which comprises a cast of young actors and actresses with Downs syndrome.