Sandplay Therapy

Unusual Therapy

[Photo Credit: Margareta Ehnberg-Vital]

Sandplay Therapists of America define sandplay therapy as a powerful therapeutic method that facilitates the psyche’s natural capacity for healing. Sandplay is a way of making the psyche heal itself in the proper way.

Sandplay therapists believe that the mind, when put in a natural environment, has an instinctual wisdom to heal itself. Using his or her imagination and with help of a trained sandplay therapist, a client is able to produce a tangible manifestation.

Sandplay therapy was first introduced by Dora Kalff, with inspiration from psychiatrist, Margaret Lowenfield. They developed the therapy with the idea that if a therapist provides a safe space, then clients can move towards healing.

In Sandplay therapy, sand water and miniature objects are used to help a client. With the tray filled with sand, the client is able to create stories to represent his/her inner world. The therapist provides the client with toys ranging from humans to imaginary fairytale figures with which they can make a visual representation of their struggles.

The main aim is to help the client become aware of past and present life struggles. Sand therapy could be directive and nondirective, verbal or nonverbal and can incorporate other therapeutic approaches. It is a therapeutic process used to help the brain reduce anxiety which in turn promotes brain health and function.

Often times, sandplay therapy is used for children who cannot verbalize their emotional states. Although it has been used on adults and teens as well. It has been used on people who have experienced abuse and cannot speak of it, those struggling with grief, aggression, anger management and low self-esteem.

Sand therapy is used for individuals with depression, anxiety, physical and learning disabilities, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Several studies have shown that sandplay therapy is useful in treating challenges and anxiety disorder in children.



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Written by Monsurat

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