The history of this technique is very important! Please read this:
I used to be a sand tray therapist years ago until I discovered that online therapy can actually be as healing, if not more healing, for hypnotherapy techniques (The secret is that the client and the therapist are more relaxed when in their own environment and hypnosis works better). Now, I am strictly an online therapist and use the power of the internet to do techniques in hypnosis and meditation.
Yet, I missed doing my powerful sand tray therapy activities, especially fear/shadow techniques. In rethinking this sand tray therapy technique I created a powerful way to meet your "Fear/Shadow Part" online. This is actually a better technique because I no longer have to have all the sand tray therapy "stuff" aka: miniatures of every kind. Needless to say I am no longer hoarding miniatures for every type of genre in the world!
Let me begin by saying if you were my client years ago and I was doing this sand tray therapy technique for trauma / fear / archetype I would listen to you talk about your emotion based from fear (anxiety, depression, anger, etc.). I would explain to you that I believe there are basically two emotions: Fear and Joy. Between these two emotions are a gamete of emotions with fear at one end and joy at the other.
After you (client) talked about your fear emotion I would take you to your safe place through a meditation (Or hypnosis which is even more powerful). Once here, we would do a mild induction of breathwork ten times (Longer for hypnosis). Then I would ask you to tap into the fear feeling from your last experience with this emotion. I would ask you to get this feeling up to a 7, 8 out of 10.
If you were in my office and I was a sand tray therapist I would then ask you to walk around my office and look for a miniature that represents your "Fear Part". I would tell you to take your time and that you will resonate with a miniature object when your subconscious mind picks out your fear. If you need more information on "resonating" tell the client to pay attention to any sensations, tingling, shock, lack of breath, gut feeling, kicking feeling in the gut, or recoiling in fear feeling. This is your subconscious communicating with the cognitive mind.
New Way of Doing This Hypnosis / Meditation Technique:
After you (client) talked about your fear emotion I would take you to your safe place through a meditation (Or hypnosis which is even more powerful). Once here, we would do a mild induction of breathwork ten times. Then I would ask you to tap into the fear feeling from your last experience with this emotion. I would ask you to get this feeling up to a 7, 8 out of 10.
Once you have reached a 7, 8 out of 10 I would ask you to go to another tab in your search engine (Mine is Google). Once here on this search engine I would ask you to search for "Animal Species of the World" including reptiles and insects. Make sure you are in the "Images Tab". Then you would simply scan the images on your computer and when you get to an animal / reptile / insect image that you resonate with you have found your "Fear Animal". This is part of your "Shadow".
Now, my job as the therapist is to translate this animal for you. If I had my sand tray therapy practice I would have looked up the translation in the "Penguin, Book of Symbols" (Found on Kindle / Amazon). However, this book takes a lot of pages to get to the jest of the translation. This book is worth getting to know and it will help you see how the translation is a very important part for the client when they are stuck in their own translation.
Today, I just use the internet and search for a dream website (This all comes from the subconscious mind) that can translate what the animal image means. I simply put in, "To dream of a _____" (Your Animal / Reptile / Insect). Once this is completed there will be a great many website with translations of the "Fear Animal". I then read only the headlines to the clients of about three website translations. The client will choose what resonates from the translations offered. My clients can clearly pick out what parts have a meaning to them.
I have to say that I have never had this technique fail with a client. The client always resonates with what the translation is saying. The translation opens up a new dialogue between the client and their "fear". Fear is put into a new perspective. It has a face to it now. Fear is not as frightening for the client. This technique has changed my clients lives for the better!
I then ask the client to find a miniature of the animal / reptile / insect (Even an object if the client picks an object to represent fear). The client's "homework" is to take this miniature with them everywhere during the week between sessions. The client is to talk to this miniature, especially when negative feelings present.
I encourage my client to ask the miniature what it is trying to tell the client. Clients reconnect with this split off part of themselves and they learn that the "fear" is only trying to protect them, it is something that was created in a time of trauma (mostly from childhood) and the goal is to let the "fear" relax and be heard and then put on vacation, or retirement.
I usually use this technique a few sessions into the therapeutic process and before I use an age regression hypnosis on the client. This is a way for the client to rethink their shadow emotions and realize that all emotions are trying to tell a person something. All "emotions" only want to keep a person safe if we can translate and find out what the emotion is wanting to say.
*Please note, if a client picks a mammal the fear is not as deep as a reptile, or insect. Objects are usually picked by those on the spectrum of Autism.Learn More About Shelter House Play Therapy Technique
Disclaimer: This website and its content is intended for trained licensed mental health professionals and school certified mental health professionals to use for their clients / students at their own discretion.
*If you ignore the disclaimer above are using these techniques on yourself and you feel any discomfort or upset it is highly suggested that you seek out a licensed mental health professional immediately.
"Beyond Art Therapy" is the concept from Dr. Stangline that combines all creative fields in therapy. It is not the traditional "art therapy" but goes beyond to include sand tray therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, meditation, color therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a vast majority of other therapies.
For any other type of mental health emergency call your local 911 / Police Number immediately.
Dr. Stangline does not offer advice / suggestions to anyone who is not a professional mental health provider, or a student who is studying this field and has questions about mental health programs of study.
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