What is sand tray therapy and is it only for children?
Sand tray therapy is a highly effective method of providing clients of all ages – not only children! It is a way to explore and express what it is you are feeling and experiencing in your life.
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Therapists utilizing this technique seek to provide clients a free and safe space to communicate non-verbally utilizing a large collection of figures, sand and water. The sand tray therapist does not interpret, interfere with, or direct the client’s experience with the sand tray rather provides a supportive presence, reflecting and assisting the client as they explore and express their inner world.
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Using a humanistic, body-brain approach, therapists who utilize sand tray therapy allow the client to explore, uncover, discover and express problems and resolution using the sand, water and the figures as tools for healing and personal growth. The objects and figures in the collection serve as representation of whatever the client needs them to represent. An object may symbolize a fearful presence for one client and for another client may represent loving support. Clients use the figures in whatever way needed. Therapists are trained in helping clients to tune into the somatic (bodily) experience shifting into the right hemisphere of the brain and seeking a “felt sense” of their experience rather than a linear and logical thinking process.
Through creative expression, clients are able to manifest in the sand tray that which they may not be able to vocalize or address in traditional talk therapy. We treat clients as whole and healed, knowing that the process of sand tray therapy allows the person to find the answers that are already within them.
In sand tray therapy, clients of all ages are invited to use miniatures, figurines, and other objects in the sand in whatever ways they choose while the the therapist observes closely and reflects compassionately and supportively. The design of the sand tray is guided by the client’s inner world or otherwise known as the subconscious. The world within the sand tray is expressed through symbolism and metaphor, and may not even make immediate logical sense to the person creating it. With the assistance of the therapist, a person in therapy can begin to recognize the relationship between the creation in the sand and their own inner world. Powerful healing happens through the use of this technique.
Therapists utilizing this technique have gone through specialized training and at Wonders Counseling we find this technique useful for couples, individual adults and child clients.
** Please note the sand trays depicted on this page are not the work of actual clients rather are real sand trays created by therapists during training with express permission for use on this website only**