My Very First Sand Tray Therapy Experience

by Sand Tray Therapy Student

My very first sand tray therapy experience

My very first sand tray therapy experience

This was my first introduction to using a sand tray therapy. I did not google prior to the class to better understand the process and I am glad I did not. Being able to witness in person a session using sand tray for sand tray therapy was the optimal learning experience for me. Allowing the client to re-create what is going on in their world via the sand tray quickly allowed both the client and the therapist identify the critical areas that needed to be addressed and processed. As stated in one of the videos, the sand tray really does act as a therapist. The “live” therapist simply facilities the process for the client. Considering the push by many insurance companies for short, brief therapy interventions, the use of a sand tray can be very beneficial in helping therapist quickly get into the client’s world.
The sand tray I created in my attempt of self therapy depicts a woman looking at a lighthouse. Before here are three straws which represent three options that she is facing. At the end of each option, there is a different miniature representing something happy. With approximately 100 days before graduation, I am optimistic about my next steps but there are many options. Though all the options are positive, I am faced with a bit of anxiety about making a choice. The anxiety is increased as my first option is out of my control but dependent on my acceptance into a doctoral program. the angst of waiting is tortuous.
Using the sand tray to depict what is going on in my world. helped me in several ways. First, it allowed me to release what was spinning around in my head. Though it is still on my mind, I had a moment where I was free. After completing my sand tray, I walked around it to view it some several angles. Visually seeing all my options from different perspectives gave me the sense that I can not go wrong, no matter the outcome. Even choosing the miniature that I placed at the end of the option was therapeutic. All of them represented something fun and nothing ambiguous, scary or mean. That helped release some of the fear associated with each choice.
After observing the session in class, working with my partner and then working with myself, I am a fan of the sand tray. Though I originally viewed the miniatures as a bit immature, it is just a symbol of the things that we are faced with in our lives. Because I am wanting to work more with adults than children, my challenge will be to get the client to relax and reframe their perception of working with a “toy.” Establishing a therapeutic environment complete with trust and unconditional positive regard would help facilitate this process.

How to Use The Sand Tray for Sand Tray Therapy Link:
More Ideas on Sand Tray Therapy

For more free ideas on creative therapy visit the link below:
Creative Counseling Home

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Submit Your Creative Counseling Ideas / Lessons with Other Professionals / Publish Your Ideas Here!.

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.

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

See our Exciting Selection of eBooks:

Award Winning:

Creative Counseling 101 eBook 
Our Best Seller!

Step By Step Therapy:

Learn how to be a more Creative Therapist with the Book that started it all!

- Graduate School Counseling book used by hundreds of graduate counseling students!

- Includes full color reproducible worksheets with most activities.

- Winner of the Counselor Writer of the Year Award, 2011, Georgia Regional Award

Download Your Copy Today Only $39.95: 

See Creative Counseling 101 eBook Information Here:

Get the Set
of all four  

eBooks for only $98.95:
An incredible collection of how to do therapy eBooks!
A $159.80 Value,
You Save Over $60!

Get your complete set of the Creative Counseling eBooks by Dr. Michelle Stangline for only $98.95, that's less than $25.00 per eBook (Regular Price is $39.95 for each eBook.).

Your complete set includes:

- Creative Counseling 101

- Creative Group Counseling 101

- Creative Play Therapy 101

- Creative Sand Tray 101

For more information click the link below:

See Complete Set of eBooks For Sale Here:

New!!! "Beyond Art Therapy" 101 eBook

Over 300 pages of Beyond Art Therapy activities and techniques. Learn what I teach graduate counseling students!

See the link below for more information.

Only $39.95

Art Therapy 101 eBook for Sale Link

See More Invividual eBooks For Sale:

Sand Tray Therapy 101 eBook:

Learn how to do Sand Tray Therapy or enhance your skills.

Sand Tray Therapy eBook for Sale Link

Play Therapy 101 eBook

Learn how to do play therapy or enhance your skills.

Play Therapy eBook For Sale Link

Small Group Counseling eBook For Sale:

Learn how to do creative group therapy and enhance your skills.

Creative Group Therapy eBook For Sale Link

School Counselor Guidance Lesson & Social Stories eBook for sale:

Get a year's worth of school counselor guidance lessons with "Creative Warm & Fuzzy Classroom Guidance Lessons eBook". Introduce your students to the "Warm & Fuzzy Way". Click the link below for more information:

Warm & Fuzzy School Counselor Guidance Lessons eBook