Play Therapy and Sand Tray Therapy Grief Counseling Technique

by Play Therapy Student

Play Therapy: Sand Tray Therapy Grief Counseling Technique Example

Play Therapy: Sand Tray Therapy Grief Counseling Technique Example

While completing this play therapy and sand tray therapy assignment, I was really sad over problems going on in my family. I turned this into a grief therapy project.

I lost my mom, brother, and grandfather, so I truly cherish my children, dad and grandmother. Lately my grandmother’s other children have been arguing over who she will leave her house and other possessions to once she passes. This is quite upsetting because:
1. she is still alive and
2. no material items in the world would matter to me if one more close family member were taken from me.

So when I sat down to work on my sand tray for my sand tray therapy class, all these things were on my mind. My sand tray depicts an island that I sometimes wish I could be placed on. Frogs are my absolute favorites so I made an island within an island with one of my frog collectables.

This collectable set of frogs represent the fact that though I am surrounded by love and loved ones on my “family island” I still need to pull away from them at times on my own separate island. I put: myself (pink princess), my three children (Christmas ornaments), my dad (purple crown) and my grandmother (pink crown) on my island.

The flowers are there to add joy to the island in the face of evil and danger. The flowers are also there because even though my grandmother is 89 years old, she still enjoys tending to her flowers in her yard.

The alligators and scorpion represent that evil and danger that we can see. The sharks in the water stand for the dangers we cannot see but are always there. I left the blue showing to illustrate how beautiful something may seem even though there may be underlying dangers within this beauty.

I immediately thought of my other family members who are currently arguing over material possessions. Family can be such a wonderful thing to be a part of (like the beautiful blue water), but they can also be your worst nightmare (like the sharks within).

To be completely honest, it took a while for me to get into completing this sand tray therapy assignment. I could not really decide on where to go with it or how to complete it. However, when I finally sat down to complete it, it was to take my mind off of what was going on with me and to just get it over with. I had no particular theme or plan in mind.

I began to use the miniatures to “talk” through my issues without even realizing it. I am not suggesting that my problems were resolved through this assignment; however, I did begin to better understand how this process could work. I plan to get more training and understanding of this type of sand tray and play therapy.

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

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

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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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