Creating Safety to Process Trauma Using Sandtray
Welcome to Part 3 of my Sandtray blogs! Part 1 introduced Sandtray Therapy (http://www.ccpa-accp.ca/blog/?p=4171) and Part 2 explained how to set up the first Sandtray session with a client (http://www.ccpa-accp.ca/blog/?p=4240). Sandtray is often used in therapy to facilitate healing traumatic events and related intense feelings. I truly feel it can be used for many issues and concerns clients present with and it is even great for couple counselling!
So while Sandtray can be used to process trauma, there are many other techniques and approaches used to this purpose as well. So one of the ways I use Sandtray is to create safety before I begin facilitating the processing of intense traumatic memories, even if Sandtray is not used again in session with that client.
I do this by first discussing this with a client at least one session before they complete the tray, so they know what to expect. When the session comes to complete the tray, I facilitate it in a slightly different way than usual, slightly more directive. For example:
“We are using this tray to create feelings of safety and self-care within your spirit before we begin talking about the difficult memories you have alluded to. So I would like you to create a tray that creates feelings of safety, love and self-care today. This is a feeling you will be able to access while we get into talking about some horrible experiences you have had. There is no right or wrong. You are creating a world in which you are in full control and it can be anything you want it to be. So please choose your figures thinking about safety etc…”
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA