Beginning Sand Tray Therapy Example: Use of the Zen Garden

by Sand Tray Therapist
(Sand Tray Class)

Sand Tray Zen Garden: Beginning Sand Tray Therapy

Sand Tray Zen Garden: Beginning Sand Tray Therapy

This is my Sand Tray Therapy Zen Garden. I first began the garden with the stones. The stones represent calmness and tranquility. The different colors represent the multiple aspects of and de-stressors in my life that continue to provide me with a peace of mind. They form a circle around the border to represent life as ongoing and free-flowing. Next, I placed the rocks in the sand.

The rocks represent stability and a foundation. They are circular on the inner coast of the stones. Foundations of mine include God, my family, close friends, love, and hope. Within the rocks is a buried mermaid with a purple fin.

I love the color purple, and I found it refreshing as I placed the purple tail sticking up to represent the fresh air that always exist despite troubles that attempt to conjure up from the past and in the present. The butterfly is placed within the marbled circle to symbolize growth, strength, courage, resilience, and freedom. I long for the day when I will be free from school and work stress! The bridge symbolizes multiple journeys taken in my life. It also represents the multiple journeys that are to come.

I moved the sand at the bottom of the tray to symbolize water on both side of the bridge. Because of this, there is always a way out of any difficult, stressful, or tiring situation. The water is serene and peaceful. The blue color represents another calming agent.

The four trees are another source of foundation. They surround the water so that their roots are strong. They rise high and grow from an abundant source of sunlight, shade, and oxygen. Looking over the entire Zen garden, I feel proud. I feel peace. I feel calm. I feel hopeful. I feel happy. I feel strong. I feel courageous. I feel rooted.

After I built this sand tray in sand tray therapy class, someone saw it (and ignorant of the sand tray therapy process) attempted to stick their hand into the tray. I immediately yelled aloud "NO!" I laugh now as I think about it. It was the first time that I was protective of something that I created and now trusted so quickly.

More Ideas for Play Therapy Link:

More Ideas on Play Therapy

How to Use The Sand Tray for Sand Tray Therapy Link:

More Ideas on Sand Tray Therapy

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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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