What is Sandplay Therapy?
Sandplay is an adjunct to talk therapy. It is a therapeutic method that facilitates the natural capacity for healing (sandplay.org). The trained therapist provides a "free and protected space" where the client creates, using miniatures objects (placed in either a dry sand tray or a sand tray where one can use water), a personal scene, story, or depiction reflecting their self. Working in a dry sand tray verses working in a sand tray using water reveals differences in expressiveness. The "sandplay helps honor and illuminate the client's internal symbolic world, providing a place for its expression within a container." (Harriet Friedman and Rie Rogers Mitchell, Sandplay Therapy of America (STA.org).
The Sandtray provides the specific container to work in, and the sand provides the tactile sensation, while the miniatures that are chosen to place in the sand create a picture that reflects their personal experience. The process in the sand tray is often created quietly, and the therapist will withhold interpretation or judgment and listens as the client shares their story and personal narrative. The play itself is symbolic play, and the miniatures chosen to place in the sand tray reflect the individual's internal process. The purpose of the symbolic play is to help the psyche heal and to freely express in a safe container within the therapeutic relationship (STA.org).
How I Help
As a sandplay therapist, my goal is to make your child feel self-assured and safe as they discover sandplay therapy. I work closely with children, adolescents, and young adults to explore the origins of their trauma and/or behavioral challenges. My aim is for your child-young adult to feel an improved sense of self-confidence, increased self-esteem, and an improved sense of self. I always create a safe environment that builds and supports a therapeutic relationship as the individual processes healing.
My priority is to establish trust in a non-judgmental relationship with your child so he/she can be open to the therapeutic process. The child will take the lead in the therapeutic process, the therapist provides guidance and support.