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Sand Tray Therapy

Sand Tray Therapy 

Another form of expressive therapy offered is sand tray or sandplay therapy. Clients may choose from hundreds of miniature figures and objects to create a story, picture, or "world" in the contained space of the sand tray. This is a powerful and very non-threatening expressive modality for both adults and children.  The three-dimensional nature of sand tray with the additional options of movement, change, and narrative allows exploration of many layers of meaning simultaneously.  

Sand tray therapy bypasses inhibitions about one’s creative abilities by providing an appealing array of ready-made symbols.  The creation of a three dimensional image  or installation art in the sand allows one access to deeply meaningful personal inner symbols.  A story or narrative often emerges spontaneously.

Through imaginative play or narrative dialogue with the figures within the sand tray,  new solutions to a dilemmas or challenges can emerge and a sense of resolution or healing often occurs.  This can happen entirely on a symbolic level.

While both the individual and the therapist may understand the sand tray's deeper application or meaning,  one can choose to stay within the symbolic realm to process material which may be too painful to talk about directly, and still gain a sense of closure or reconciliation. Sand tray exploration can be deeply healing for children, adolescents, and adults, and can help the adult client access the imaginative, playful inner self.

Images and content © 2000 - 2009 Robin Feldman