Dirt Sand Tray #2 for Sand Tray Therapy Class

by #2 Summer 2014
(mercer University )

How to do a Dirt Sand Tray for Therapy

How to do a Dirt Sand Tray for Therapy

This sand tray for sand tray therapy class was definitely a different experience, I had become accustomed to using the miniatures and sand. This was a stretch of my creativity and it was instrumental in encouraging me to think outside of the box. I created this tray on a day when I was feeling frustrated, annoyed with self, and very tired with school. The tray looks dry of course because it is dirt. I created a square boundary to act as my sand tray outline. I found this tray to be somewhat difficult; when I was searching for the items to place into the tray. As usual I didn’t know what items I wanted, I just knew that I would know when I saw the items. The dryness of the tray represents how I was feeling at the time; as if I did not have anything left to give as such my tray is pretty empty. I choose a pine cone because I like the smell of pine cones, I choose two leafs; one with bright yellow spots to represent how my happiness was struggling to emerge. The yellow flower represents the fact that no matter how I am feeling I know that happier days are going to appear eventually. The yellow flower gave me a glimmer of hope. I drew a swirly line to separate the brighter cheery side from my solemn frustrated side.
I think I will attempt to make another dirt tray but choose a different scenery. I liked the act of searching for items to place into the tray. Unfortunately there was not a lot of choices in the area that I choose to make the tray. I would love to make a tray on the beach, or out in a small forestry area. Creating a tray outside requires me to be more attuned with nature and seeing items that I may not normally see as useful. This tray taught me that it is ok to have a not so good day, and step back and process what is going on. I usually have difficulty doing this when it is related to school because I view school as something that I have to press through and I don’t have a lot of time; so I’m constantly moving, thinking, and producing.

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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.

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