Self-Healing in Sand Tray Therapy Page Three

Activity One

The Miniature Sand Tray Experience

Getting Started in Self-Healing Sand Tray Therapy

Let’s start our journey in self-healing with a very simple sand tray. Don’t feel as if you need to purchase anything expensive.

I go to the Dollar Store and purchase picture frame shadow boxes and use these as Zen Gardens, Fairy Gardens, or miniature sand trays.

You may even want to try a decorative dish made out of clay, or plastic.  Below is one I buy at the Dollar Store:

It does not matter if your miniature sand tray is round, square, or rectangular. Get some play sand at the home improvement store for your new sand tray.

Make sure you have clean sand in your tray. I also would not recommend a kitty litter box.

I often make little sand trays filled with miniatures, candles, nature items, or small tokens and give them to friends, families, and even clients.

Below you will find a picture of one I have made as a gift to a dear family member:

I use a feather as a rake because it is soft and soothing. I also want to show the sand tray as a different experience than a Zen Garden which uses a regular rake. 


Miniatures and Small Tokens

Miniatures can be anything you want them to be. I suggest you start out with a small collection of items. 


*Note: You can collect anything you want to add to your sand tray therapy tray. I find many items at the Dollar Store and Walmart. My graduate students would purchase plastic items in bags to start off their collection.

As you can see above I have plastic farm animals, army men, bugs, jungle animals, dinosaurs, sea creatures, and reptiles.

Natural items are also beneficial for your Self-Healing Sand Tray Therapy. Rocks, flowers, pine cones, etc. are perfect for your sand tray. I also use candles and shiny objects in the sand tray when I am working in the sand tray.

It is important to note that you also need some frightening and ugly objects in your Self-Healing Sand Tray Therapy collection.


Page Two of Self-Healing in Sand Tray Therapy
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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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