What does Sandtray Therapy have to do with counseling?
Think about a time where you might have heard, smelled, tasted, or felt something and it jarred your memory to another time and place (recent or past).
We store memories within our 5 senses...Sandtray Therapy goes beyond talk therapy to access underlying issues, experiences, and/or trauma as well as other difficulties you may be experiencing.
In traditional talk therapy you use your logical, analytical part of our mind (what is referred to as the left brain) to talk about the issues you are experiencing. You think about what you will say and process/explore how you are experiencing the issues.
When you use sandtray in therapy or other forms of expressive and creative types of therapy you are accessing your more emotional, abstract, and creative parts of your brain (what you may refer to as the right brain).
Sandtray therapy is one of the techniques I use in therapy for individuals/couples, adults, teens and children. The trays may look different for each age and stage in life. For example, a child will process the tray as if they are in play therapy, moving the items around and telling a story, while a teen or adult will set the miniatures in the tray and explore their meaning through metaphors, similes, and comparing and contrasting the items in their created world (a scene).
Creating a world in the sandtray is done non-verbally, the miniatures used represent things that are meaningful to the individual. The meaning of each item is subjective and has significance to the person creating the tray.
Processing the tray is where your Right-Brain meets Left-Brain, in other words, you get to process the underlying issues, hurts, thoughts, feelings, and trauma and are able to talk about them in a way that you may not have been able to before.
This is where the hope and healing begin...you can talk about the issues in a safe, supportive, and compassionate environment, and I will be there to help you through your healing journey.
Check out the following video clip by Amy Flaherty of Southern Sandtray Institute to get more information of the how and why Sandtray is beneficial.