My work as a therapist has included working with clients that are present with abuse histories, and often complex trauma. I find this can take years to heal and is hard emotionally and spiritually on both the client and the psychotherapist. So enter my training in Sandtray therapy!
Sandplay is a wonderful technique that taps into the unconscious to access deep emotions and experiences that can then be healed in a gentle way. What I love about this technique is that the natural healing centre chooses unconsciously what and how deeply a person needs to heal something, sometimes surprising them. It can be used in a single session or every session until a person has met their goals. It is great if a client has expressed feeling “stuck”. It is also a way to connect with the elements and heal without talk as the central modality.
Using figures of a person’s choosing and the arrangement of the sand in the tray, your client becomes the « world builder, » and watches whatever reveals itself. It can be transformational helping to process grief, past hurts or help to identify and process what is causing or maintaining depressive and other mental health symptoms, enabling recovery. It provides the possibility, to set up a world corresponding to the clients’ inner emotional state. Through free, creative play, unconscious processes are made visible in visual form.
It is a great way to get out of the head, stop racing thoughts and start processing issues, life events (past and present) and intense feelings in a non-threatening way. The feedback I get is that Sandtray tends to result in less of the “hangover” we sometimes get after a talk therapy session. I find it is effective but also has the potential to speed up the healing process.
I would love for you to get you excited about learning to use this with clients. It is a wonderful way to help clients heal and take care of yourself as well.
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA