Sand Tray Therapy
Sandplay provides an opportunity to process life experience through a tangible, visible procedure which is both fun and intensely meaningful, both intimately revealing and symbolically concealing. The process of healing takes place while playing with the sand and figurines, without the need for interpretation, verbalization, or conscious awareness. The tray absorbs the fear and anger and hurt as these feelings are revealed in the scenes, rather than being painfully voiced as in verbal therapies.
-Linda B. Hunter, Images of Resiliency
What is Sand Tray Therapy?
Sand Tray or Sandplay Therapy is an expressive and interactive approach to therapy, which allows a client to represent their inner world. The creative and symbolic nature of the sand tray allows clients to express, process, and integrate both conscious and unconscious material that may could be more difficult to access through other treatment modalities (Kubic, R., n.d.).
Sand Tray or Sandplay Therapy helps clients to address and resolve their own problems and builds on the natural way that clients learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them.
APT defines play therapy as the “systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development.”
Sand Tray Therapy Theory
Sand Tray Play Therapy originates from the work of Margaret Lowenfeld and Dora Kalff. Sand Tray Therapy is supported by neuroscience research that shows thoughts start with images prior to language, and some parts of the brain cannot access the language at all, Sand Tray Therapy gives voice to those thoughts and images, working to improve overall mental health (Kubic, R., n.d.).
Kubic, R. (n.d) An overview of sand tray play therapy. Home. retrieved from: https://azapt.org/An-Overview-of-Sand-Tray-Play-Therapy