Sandplay was originally developed by Dora Kalff, a Swiss Jungian Analyst in the 1950s. As with art therapy, images and symbols are used as part of the process of healing. While there may be some discussion, it is often a non-verbal approach to healing that accesses deeper layers of our selves, and can be profound in it's healing capabilities.
Sandplay uses a varied collection of miniature figures, natural objects and a sand tray for clients to create symbolic worlds. The use of Sandplay in my practice is for clients (both children and adults) who again, find the use of words unsatisfactory in describing their lives; and are drawn to creating their stories and worlds in the sand. Together we witness the creation of these worlds and the healing process that develops through the depiction of inner and outer stories.
Sandplay can provide the client with the opportunity to describe both their inner and outer world. When traumatic events are described the sand tray can safely contain the response with out re-traumatizing the individual. Often, in a sequence of trays there is a movement from chaotic organization to more orderly trays, reflecting the individual’s ability to integrate their experience. There are many other issues that a sandplay process can explore besides trauma.
Particularly in this present time many people are disconnected from natural environments, and the use and development of their own imaginations. The digital age provides a huge amount of ready made imagery, and information that people rely on rather than their own imaginations. Sandplay allows people to reconnect to their own inner images, and healing processes through the use of natural materials, sand, water, and many natural figures, as well as prepared figures and sometimes even figures that clients make out of art materials.
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