The right brain speaks in imagery, metaphor, relationship, and emotion. Sand Tray is a therapeutic technique that can help you access your right brain's way of seeing the world. It is hard to describe the depth of Sand Tray work in words. If you are looking for deep inner exploration, are having trouble understanding why something is an issue in your life, have trauma that is difficult to access because of the overwhelming nature of it, or work well with the creative or artistic sides of you, sand tray could be a therapy that works well for you.
What is Sand Tray Therapy?
Sand Tray Therapy, sometimes referred to as Sandplay Therapy or the World Technique, is a nonverbal, therapeutic intervention that makes use of a sand tray and sand tray miniatures (toy figures) to create scenes of miniature worlds that can reflect a person's inner thoughts and traumas. This expressive therapy is practiced along with talk therapy, using the sand tray and figures as communication tools.
How does Sand Tray work, and who is it for?
Sandplay therapy was developed in the late 1950s by psychologist Dora Kalff, who combined several techniques and philosophies to come up with her own therapeutic approach. Kalff learned what became known as the World Technique from pediatrician and child psychologist Margaret Lowenfeld, who developed the original sand-tray intervention. Kalff incorporated the use of sand trays into her own form of therapy, which was based on her Jungian training and Eastern philosophical beliefs. With the help of sand trays, clients, guided by the therapist, begins to understand the connection between the world they created in sand and their own inner world. By making changes in their make-believe world, clients are often empowered to make similar changes in their real world. Today, some therapists and counselors choose to modify Kalff’s parameters for sandplay and incorporate a similar technique into their own therapeutic process. - Psychology Today
Although sand tray therapy may look like child’s play, it is a highly therapeutic and multidimensional form of therapy that can provide emotional release and realization for a person in therapy. Adults who have been traumatized and show limited response to other forms of therapy may respond well to sand tray therapy. The environment presents an atmosphere free from threats, and the therapist works with the person in therapy to alter the positions of the miniature objects as representations of the true people and events. By beginning to facilitate change on a fictitious level, a person can gain the courage and ability to recognize that these same changes can be made in his or her own life. While the sandplay process involves creating a series of trays and might last for months or years, significant change may be experienced in just one sand tray session. - Good Therapy