What is Sandplay therapy?
Sandplay therapy is a therapeutic approach that combines elements of play therapy and the use of a sandbox filled with sand and miniature objects. It was developed by the Swiss psychologist Dora Kalff in the 1950s and is often used with children but can also be effective with adults.
In sandplay therapy, the client is provided with a tray or a small box filled with sand, along with a wide variety of miniature figures and objects such as people, animals, houses, trees, and various symbols. The client is given the freedom to create and manipulate their own world within the sand.
The client is encouraged to use the sand and objects to create scenes or landscapes that represent their inner thoughts, feelings, and conflicts. The therapist acts as a facilitator, observing the client’s creations and engaging in dialogue when appropriate.
The symbolic nature of sandplay therapy allows clients to express and explore their unconscious thoughts and emotions in a nonverbal and non-threatening way. It provides a safe and contained space for clients to work through their experiences, gain insight into their struggles, and find resolutions.
Sandplay therapy can be particularly effective for individuals who have difficulty verbalizing their emotions or for those who have experienced trauma. It can help in processing traumatic memories, exploring inner conflicts, and fostering self-awareness and personal growth.
It’s important to note that sandplay therapy should be conducted by trained professionals, such as licensed therapists or counselors who have received specific training in this modality. They have the knowledge and skills to guide the therapeutic process and create a supportive environment for clients to engage in sandplay.
Shervan K Shahhian