"Sandplay is a nonverbal, non-rational form of therapy that reaches a profound preverbal level of the psyche. In this psychotherapeutic modality clients create three-dimensional scenes, pictures or abstract design in a tray of specific size, using sand, water and a large number of miniature realistic figures." (Estelle L. Weinrib)"...the sandplay process encourages a creative regression that enables healing." (Estelle L. Weinrib)
By creating a safe and protected space, the therapist supports the client(s) in creating their world through the symbol(s). Each symbol represents a bridge between the unconscious and conscious world. By working further with the symbolic meaning more awareness can be gained. In working with children there is usually less verbal input, instead we encourage a follow up of painting, drawing or clay work.
Sandplay therapy is a modality that provides:
- Access to the personal inner world of impulse and feeling.
- An instrument for the recovery of the specifically feminine dimension of the psyche.
- A way for creative (nonrational) experience to counter collective emphasis on the ego-oriented intellect.
- A way of repairing damage to the mother-image that might impair fulfillment of the potentiality of the whole personality.
- Activation of a natural, self-healing capacity of the psyche.
- A way of reaching and/or experiencing the transpersonal realm of the psyche.
- An opportunity for inarticulate clients to emerge from inner isolation through the communication made possible using sand pictures.
- An opportunity to rechannel or transform blocked energy.
An outline of some of the most influential people in the development of sandplay.
Tara holds two "one day" experiential training workshops at New Grove. In these workshops participants learn the basic principles of sandplay therapy, learn how to record basic sandplay work and how to work with symbols. Participants get the opportunity to be a client as well as a therapist. Tara has for a number of years lead workshop days for training establishments and social agencies. As she believes that only experiential learning is a safe way to learn sandplay therapy, clients need to attend her workshops at New Grove.
"Sandplay & Symbol Work Emotional Healing & Personal Development" by Mark Pearson and Helen Wilson is a book that contains detailed instructions for facilitating sandplay processes. The book discribes a range of exercises that can be used by the therapist. Preview "Sandplay & Symbol Work Emotional Healing & Personal Development" at Fishpond NZ.