Analysis of Sandtray Therapy - P.

by Sand Tray Therapy Student
(Decatur, GA)

Analyzing C. Sandtray for Sand Tray Therapy

The first article selected for the sandtray was the mask. The mask has an unpleasant or even a pained expression on its face. It also fits well in the sand, with the sand coming up through its open mouth. C. said that she selected it, because it represented the mask that she shows the world, so no one knows that she has a turmoil of emotions underneath. Using, which will be used in all of the following interpretations, it would seem that the mask represents exactly what the client has related. A mask can represent you are trying to be someone you are not and hide your true feelings. One might only reveal half truths about themselves.

The second miniature selected was Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse can symbolize the magic and joy of childhood, a time when you were carefree. Carilee confirmed that Disney World was a very happy time in her childhood and that she still enjoys visiting.

The third miniature selected was a little blue guy, that looks like a policeman or military person. He has a weapon in his hands and looks like he is in the midst of some sort of shoot out or protecting the public. Blue can signify peace or depression. In the context of this miniature, it seems more like depression. Police can symbolize structure, power, control, and authority. C.does seem to feel the burden of the control she places on herself and the burden of the structure she feels she must adhere to. Police can also signify the feeling of failure to honor obligations and commitments. Client was responsible for caring for her younger siblings while growing up; it is possible she has some unresolved feelings about that situation.

The fourth miniature selected was the purple heart. The heart is a very sad looking heart--very dark with some fissures showing in it. In the sandtray, the heart is by itself with a bridge a good distance away. Purple signifies healing abilities, kindness, love, and compassion. Since the heart reminds me of bleeding heart, I am going to use that analysis. Bleeding hearts signify extreme sadness, despair, the lack of love or support in some aspects of one’s life. I am wondering if this is the case. C.'s is wonderful about giving support to all who surround her, but does not necessarily receive such support.

The fifth miniature was the green guy. Green signifies health, hope, vitality, and even envy. He seems to be a superhero, and it seems that client has to be the hero to many people without having a hero to help her. The superhero can also represent someone you thought was strong, but disappointed you or let you down.

The sixth miniature was the blue mirror. Mirrors can mean pondering about who you really are or your inner self. This mirror is really blank, just a plastic facsimile, but not seeing yourself in the mirror may imply you have lost your self-identity, because you had to change to please others. This mirror is half-buried in the sand near the mask.

The seventh miniature selected was the bamboo bridge. A bridge can signify an important life decision or transition. This bridge leads to the broken, purple heart or away from it directly to Mickey Mouse, though there is distance between both.

The last miniature was the orange, punching bag guy. Orange signifies hope, friendliness, and sociability. He does look friendly but looms over much of the tray. The punching bag can signify pent up anger or feeling like a punching bag yourself, which is probably the case. Always serving others can be unsatisfying and unrewarding, it seems.

Sand Tray therapy class assignment

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*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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