Sand Tray Therapy - Building My Own Sand Tray Summer 2012

by Sherrie Bridges-Sinclair #9
(Macon, GA)

Sanding my Sand Tray

Sanding my Sand Tray

Sanding my Sand Tray Glue My Sand Tray Staining my Sand Tray My Finished Sand Tray

Building My Own Sand Tray for Sand Tray Therapy
I wanted to build my own sand tray but was not sure of what materials I needed. I went to several lumber stores looking for a particular type of pre-cut wood that would make it easier for me to put the pieces together. That did not happen. Instead, I settled on getting a plastic container and some blue paint. Initially I had found a blue container. This is perfect, I thought. There is no need for me to paint the container. The problem with this container was that it was too small. I ended up getting a larger clear container and using that for my sand tray.
Since I was not fully satisfied with my clear sand tray, I started another venture to Home Depot and picked out some wood. This turned out to be a great experience! I was directed to a very nice young man who cut the wood according to my specifications. I did not realize it at the time, but this was the beginning of the formation of a new life. The young man and I put the pieces on the floor and simulated the box, making sure each side fit correctly around the base and each side fit snuggly together. I wish I had taken a picture of this event, but I did not.
Little did I know, this experience created in me the feeling and pride of having a baby. The picture of the wood pieces fitting together correctly would have been similar to having a sonogram of the fetus. Once I got the wood home, I sat on the kitchen floor with a sand paper board. Sanding the wood was similar to me caring for a baby, nurturing and molding it.
As I started gluing the pieces together, I thought of the years of raising my children. Putting the glue on the wood and sticking the pieces together was similar to providing them with knowledge, a moral foundation, and support. Next, I stained the wood, providing it with a coat of protection from the outside world. Finally, I painted the inside blue. It was time for the sand tray to take on the world of the psyche. I was finished! I had given birth to a new life, one that would help me define who I am as a person, just as my sons help define the type of mother I was to them as they grew up and matured.

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"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.

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