Sand Tray Therapy

Sand Tray Therapy

Have you ever wanted to remove yourself from a situation that was bothering you? Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you had the power to change certain events in the past or certain people around you?

In Sand tray therapy children and adults alike create a miniature representation of their world and use miniatures to represent people, events, and places that hold special significance to them. Therapists can be non-directive in the process, allowing the client to lead what type of scene they create in the sand, or directive, providing prompts for the client to follow that include ways in which they might solve problems occurring in their lives. 

By taking a more objective view of their life in the sand, clients are encouraged to problem solve how they might be able to change things within their life and are empowered to make such changes

Sand tray therapy provides a way for an individual to communicate nonverbally in counseling through the use of sand and miniatures. The process is non-threatening, emotionally safe and free of rules.

As the name suggests, Sand Tray Therapy consists of playing in a specifically proportioned tray filled with sand. Immersed in play, the client loosens his or her hold on known life narratives and can explore feeling states and experiences, which may be outside of daily conscious awareness. Internal material becomes manifest in the external world, and thus becomes available for processing and change. The physical experiences that unfold in the sand tray can access neural pathways of these wordless memories. As these troubling memories are played with, old neural pathways take in the safety of the therapeutic environment and the compassion of the therapist. This new information flow in the brain offers an opportunity to heal troubling relational patterns (Grayson, R., 2015). This approach can be appropriate for people at any age and has been a form of therapy used since the 1940’s.

Benefits of Sand Tray Therapy

Sand tray therapy is a safe and non-threatening way to build self esteem, manage feelings, and improve communication for children, teens and adults. Since it is fun and playful, participants learn and internalize coping strategies while they play.

During sand tray therapy, the therapist becomes a silent observer watching the creation and listening to the creator’s story and acts as a facilitator to guide the process. Most people, especially children, enjoy sand play, as they can create and tell their own stories in a supportive and secure environment. With assistance by the sand tray therapist, a child can begin to recognize the relationship between the creation in the sand and their own inner world. Sand tray therapy facilitates a deeper exploration of self.

Many children are unable to vocalize their emotional state as a result of trauma, or because of their age and limited verbal skills. Often children will remain silent because they do not have the verbal ability to voice their feelings or struggles. Utilizing the familiar medium of the sand allows a child to instantly relax and achieve a sense of comfort and security to help the child verbalize internal feelings.

How Can Sand Tray Therapy Help Me?

As Carl Jung said, “Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.” Sand tray therapy allows your inner psyche to create a unique three-dimensional world within a safe container; it may incorporate long forgotten or buried memories.

If you struggle with perfectionism or have difficulty expressing yourself verbally for any reason, sand tray therapy can help you open up and access deeper self-awareness than you might achieve with talk therapy alone.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment or get any of your questions answered, please call our office at 954-378-5381  and 561-223-1066 or send us an email at info@caringtherapistsofbroward.com.

Contact Us

We service all of Broward County, including Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Hollywood, Cooper City, Davie, Plantation, Southwest Ranches and Weston.

We service all of Palm Beach County, including Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Boynton Beach and Lake Worth.