Sand Tray Therapy is a form of hands-on expressive therapy that is sometimes referred to as Sandplay Therapy. There are some differences between these methods, Ballarat Art Therapies offers both Sand Tray and Sandplay Therapy sessions.
In both methods, the focus is on the client and the understanding of their world. Sand and miniatures are used in a wooden tray providing a place to create symbolic worlds and tell a story. This helps to facilitate a deeper awareness than traditional talking therapies may provide and helps discover the answers already within.
By externalising an internal issue we can give ourselves distance to see it from different perspectives. Leading to new insight and awareness, a new relationship to the issue that is often resolved or better understood.
In either method, no experience or artistic skill is necessary.
Sandplay Therapy is Jungian in nature and there are no directives or interpretations given by the therapist when in the tray. This process is gentle and predominantly non-verbal. The client builds trust in their inner wisdom while play and creativity are used to form a deeper understanding of the client’s inner and outer worlds. The scenes created within the wooden tray, may not make immediate sense to the client, but can reveal what may previously have been buried or hidden. Old feelings, concepts and memories can be released, and new understanding and wisdom can immerge.
Sand Tray Therapy involves what the client is experiencing at that moment. The client may be asked to share their thoughts and feelings as they happen. The scene being created can help build acceptance of self, allow for conflicts to be resolved and removal of obstacles. This process may incorporate different counselling techniques and theoretical orientations. The therapist may use some directives in session and are actively involved in facilitating the client’s experience of awareness and growth.