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Sandtray Play Therapy


Sandtray is an expressive and dynamic play process that is used by children, adolescents, individual adults, couples, families and groups in the presence of a trained sandtray therapist.

For a sandtray therapy session, sand contained in a tray is used. The client is invited to create a world in the tray by making patterns in the sand or by placing objects into the sandtray in any configuration that feels right.

Everyone is encouraged to play with the sand exactly as they wish. Some dig into its depths. Others build up to the heights. Some create geographies of mountains, valleys and rivers. Others create worlds with objects and figures. Some create dramatic play that tells a story. Some work with dry sand and others add water. Some talk as they build and others remain silent. There is no right or wrong way to play.

Sandtray translates personal experience into a concrete, three-dimensional form. As a picture can say more than a thousand words, a figure or scene can express feelings, emotions and conflicts that previously had no verbal language. Hence, the sand-worlds that are created offer a rich and highly personalized vocabulary for pre-verbal or non-verbal experience. Without having to depend on words, clients can increase their capacity for expression through the tray. Self-awareness and communication are enhanced by this process.

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