Sand Tray Therapy - My Extended Sand Tray S.B.

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

Sand Tray Therapy - My Extended Sand Tray #1

Sand Tray Therapy - My Extended Sand Tray #1

Sand Tray Therapy Activity Extended Sand Tray
The concept of the extended sand tray was very difficult for me to grasp. I think I was not sure how I was supposed to start the initial sand tray. It seems like I understood in class but by the time I started it on the next day, it did not make sense to me. I started with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and then added or took away miniatures based on how I felt for that day. I am not sure that I experienced the effects of the extended sand tray.

When I started setting up the sand tray, I only had the physiological level of food, shelter, and clothing. By the end of the night, I had completed the pyramid. On some days, I did not feel as if I needed to add or take away anything. As the week progressed, I did more taking away than adding.

On the physiological level, I added an angel. I am praying for my angel to watch over and provide for my physiological needs. Initially, my Angel was on the self-actualization level. But by the end of the week, I needed my Angel watching over my physiological needs. On the safety/security level I added a soldier and a flag and removed a brown horse. The brown horse, with one raised hoof, seemed like it was on guard, patrolling my life. By the end of the week, I felt I needed more reinforcement, so the soldier was called in. The flag, to me, represented the marking of my territory (astronauts placed flag on the moon). There remains a studious girl and a boy wearing religious clothing (Catholic).

The greatest change that I made was to the self-esteem level. By the end of the week, I had removed the princess, clapping hands, bride/queen, and the lion. It had all been replaced by a soldier and an ostrich. There have been some things that have happened recently that have resulted in a lowered self-esteem. The soldier is there to fight off negative thoughts or comments. The ostrich represents my embarrassment, shame, and guilty feelings; although in the dictionary of symbols it symbolizes justice, righteousness, and truth. For self-actualization, I have a lighthouse and a green bush, representing peace, guidance (lighthouse), and growth (bush).

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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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