Sand Tray Therapy Class --Zen Garden Student #2

by Julie Berger
(Atlanta, GA, USA)

Sand Tray Therapy Class --Zen Garden Student #2

Sand Tray Therapy Class --Zen Garden Student #2

I was excited to create a sand tray therapy zen garden because of its essence of calmness, peacefulness, and happiness. It has the potential to lessen the stressfulness inherent in busy and complex lives. As I considered what materials I would use to create my sand tray therapy zen garden, I chose a rectangular dark tray to place the pure white decorative sand so I would have a stark contrast. I decided that I wanted to use only natural items because I wanted my garden to resemble items in the natural world.

Being in the outdoors brings me joy. Since both the woods and the ocean are relaxing settings for me, I decided to use items from both locations. Sitting at my desk, I noticed two very important items: 1) a rock that I brought back from Israel visiting the place where God told Peter he was the rock on which He would build His church, and 2) a fascinating pine cone that my husband gave me that has a smaller pine cone connected by a twig. I decided these items would provide the main focus along with several sea shells, also significant because I helped collect them with my daughter during a beach trip. I love color so it was important for me to include different hues. I chose to outline my garden with a pathway using small similar-sized stones to increase the meditative quality as well as add dimension because I have always loved paved walkways and cobblestone streets in places where I have traveled.

I love my final sand tray therapy class zen garden and enjoyed taking time to be creative. I tried to make it interesting but also keep it simple. I love designs so enjoyed using a miniature rake to finalize my garden by creating swirling movements. Looking at my Zen garden makes me smile!

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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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