Holistic approach to counselling
Sandplay Therapy is a holistic approach to counselling. By using miniature objects that represent all aspects of life, the client will display their inner world. It is a deep process that shows the client what underlies the current situation that they are presenting.
Sandplay allows a movement within the client that is profound. It identifies unspoken issues and brings solutions. Sandplay is for everyone. Children love it and adults marvel at it.
Sandplay is a journey in which both the facilitator and the client work together. It encompasses everything both past, present and future. It can sometimes reveal something so buried that the client has forgotten the original event.
A powerful therapeutic technique
Sandplay is hands-on psychological work. It is a powerful therapeutic technique that facilitates the psyche’s natural capacity for healing. Sandplay helps honour and illuminate the client’s internal symbolic world and provides a place for its expression within a safe container, the tray filled with sand.
Sandplay is done adjectively to talk therapy during the process of the therapeutic work. Sandplay has the possibility of leading the client into layers of experiences that are often pre-verbal and long forgotten to the conscious mind. With sufficient time and understanding, this experience can lead to the development of a new psychic structure of the personality.
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A background of Sandplay therapy
In Sandplay therapy, a scene is made from figures and objects placed in a box of sand. The construction of the scene is guided almost entirely by choices made by the hands of the clients, while the analyst watches nearby in respectful silence.
Developed by Swiss Jungian Analyst Dora Kalff, – “Sandplay is a form of therapy that gives both child and adult clients the opportunity to portray, rather than verbalise, feelings and experiences often inaccessible and/or difficult to express in words. Sandplay also provides a balance to the extroverted, verbal, and outer–focused everyday world. It can lead to a more open and integrated way of life. In the midst of an age and time that rushes toward the future, the simplicity and depth of Sandplay helps maintain a place of internal integrity as well as a sanctuary for contact with the symbolic world out of which can emerge a healing experience.
The archetypal world expresses itself in symbols; those symbols act as a bridge between our inner and outer worlds. With the use of images (i.e., the miniature on the nearby shelves) in the safe space provided by the analyst, the making of the sand creation begins to unfold. It is in this creative play in the sand where the ancient archetypal patterns that live within us are explored. And it is the very action of Sandplay- that is the viewing, personal choosing, and the placing of the miniatures in the sand – that activates this powerful internal archetypal dimension.
Since Sandplay is one of the few therapeutic techniques in which language skills are unnecessary for understanding the expressions of the psyche, it has truly become a cross–cultural method that is now practised therapeutically worldwide, within this ever-shrinking world. Sandplay now offers us a unique opportunity to view universal archetypal patterns as well as observe the unfolding development of the individual psyche. Harriet S. Friedman, M.A., M.F.T., J.A.
Benefits of Sandplay therapy
- Help children with developmental delay demonstrate emotions
- Promote self-expression, feelings, and emotions
- Help children work through difficult experiences
- Communicate personal emotions
- Offer sensory experiences for all ages
- Help provide insight into traumatic experiences
- Sandplay equips the child, while empowering the parents!