Sand Tray Therapy Class Student

by Sand Tray Therapy Student

A sand tray therapy experience

A sand tray therapy experience

I did not quite know a lot about sand tray therapy or the actual power of its techniques until my sand tray therapy experience in class. First, a classmate shared her sand tray with the class and it was very emotional for her. I was reaaly able to see sand tray in action. I feel as though it was very intense and so much information about the participant was revealed in a short amount of time. I can see how effective it can be with adults and I can say it is probably even more effective with children.

As I began to set up my sand tray, I had to really think about what I wanted to place in my sand tray and why. I had to think about what and who the miniatures represented and their significance in my life. My partner in class asked me to tell her about my sand tray, and my story began.....

I began with my immediate family, my husband, my children, my mom, and my brother. I placed a dinosaur in the very back of my sand tray and it represented my dad. Growing up in a single parent household my dad was rarely around and when he was around there were more bad times than good times. I have tried over the years to build a relationship with my dad but the attempts have not been as successful and I would have liked. I couldn't finish everything in class but I was able to finish at home.

I noticed that I put my relationship with my dad on the back burner and my sand tray represented just that. I didn't block him out but I just never really gave it much energy. Looking at my sand tray where I have my miniatures that represent my family made me feel like something and someone was missing and it is my dad. My sand tray experience allowed me take my dad from the back burner emotionally and begin to think about him again. I didnt move him up to the front with my other family members but I did tell myself that I would try to reach out to him again. Having children and wanting them to have a relationship with their Grandpa is important. I just dont want them to be disappointed like I was.

The sand tray therapy assignment helped me to explore feelings that I had surpressed. And I felt kind of sad that I let so much time go by without at least trying again to reach out to my dad. This experience was great because as a future counselor, it is very important for me to iron out any issues in my life before I can help and serve my clients.

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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.

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