Sometimes words are not enough. Sandtray therapy is a type of play therapy, or an expressive therapy that allows for the “builder” to show their inner world in a contained dimension within the sand tray. Using the tray, sand, and miniatures or figurines, the client builds a reflection of their inner world, which includes their thoughts, struggles, concerns, feelings, and strengths. While the client builds, the therapist is a silent and attentive witness to the process, and along with the client, gently explores and experiences the world together after the building phase is completed.
It sounds so simple, but is actually an incredibly powerful therapeutic tool. It can be used with children, teens, and adults. It works so well because it bypasses the thinking/language part of the brain and gets to the “feeling” part of the brain that does not always have words. Through the building of the tray, many emotions and memories are unlocked, providing answers that may not have been possible to get with words alone.
Sandtray is often used with people who have experienced trauma, abuse, or neglect as a tool to help them communicate and process their feelings.
Here is a brief video explaining the why and the how about Sandtray. It gets into neuroscience, but in a simple way that makes it easy to understand why this works.
Our therapists have specialised training in Sandtray, and use this tool often with kids, teens, and families. If you’d like to learn more or try it out, contact us here.