Comments for First Experience with Sand Tray Therapy

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Interpretation of a play therapy sand tray therapy tray:
by: Student 1

Interpretation Students First Sand Tray Therapy Tray
July 4, 14
By Student 1

I first noticed the sand tray therapy tray was simple and not cluttered. The student selected a turtle and a penguin to represent herself. Dream Dictionary states that a turtle symbolizes wisdom, faithfulness, longevity, and loyalty. On the flip side it also can suggest that you need to take it slow in some situation or relationship in your life. This goes a bit further by meaning as time passes you will still be reaching a goal by steady progress. A turtle may also indicate that you are sheltering yourself from the truth or possibly hiding behind your shell as a turtle may do. The student mentions feeling angry. I wonder if that is connected to not being able to express herself because of some fear or pain that she experienced earlier in life.
The penguin can be a sign for problems are not as serious as the person perceives them to be. It serves as a reminder for a person to keep your cool and remain level-headed. This is interesting since the student said she felt some anger while doing the tray. I am wondering if the anger may be related to her unexpressed emotions weighting her down. The student mentions that the penguin has open arms and she is a loving person but sometimes it is hard to see it from the outside.
This tray may simply represent a need to find some balance and inner harmony. I think the student has a desire to love others but needs to give herself full permission first. There is something still holding her back like the outer shell. There seems to be a tiger in the back of the tray but it is hard to see. If this is correct, the tiger may be the issue holding her back. I also noticed a tree in the back. That can signify growth and new beginnings. I think because the student has realized her struggle, she is now bound for a new journey.


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This was an anonymous comment from one of my students at Mercer University.
by: Dr. Stangline

Thank you for your anonymous comment on the sand tray. I am glad that my students are seeing the real power behind the sand tray and play therapy!

I only wish more therapist would seek this training in order to truly help their clients heal.

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