Affirmation Mandala in conjunction w/ Sand tray Therapy

by Play Therapy Student
(Mercer U)

Mandala with Sand tray therapy

Mandala with Sand tray therapy

Creating my mandala was a therapeutic experience for me for sand tray therapy. I initially had no idea how to approach the task but decided instead of forcing it, to lean into the project. What came out was an issue I had been toiling with for several weeks but was unable to articulate. From the sand tray activity, I created a pictorial view of what is pressing on my mind. Though the activity brought the issue to the forefront, I was still unable to articulate the factors that created the anxiety.
I decided to create an affirmation mandala. On the left side, I listed the three emotions I feel when looking at my sand tray. When looking at the various options I face post graduation, I feel fear, uncertainty and lack of control. Until this activity, I was unable to give a name to the emotions other than saying I was experiencing anxiety. This was particularly hard to comprehend as all of my options have positive outcomes. I colored the left side black to represent negativity. On the right sight, I listed a positive affirmation to reframe my thoughts and eliminate the negative emotions. I colored this side green for growth.
I found the mandala to be a great tool to use in therapy. I can envision assigning it as a homework assignment to a client because it requires an exploration of both thought and feeling. I would not want the client to feel rushed to complete in a 50 minute session. Though my mandala is simple, it took about 2.5 hours to complete as I had to dig deep. It helped to use my sand tray to begin the process to identify the emotions associated.

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