Through use of the material of sand and water, and the addition of miniature figures and elements from the natural world – rocks, shells, feathers, for example – one is invited to create a world in the sandtray. Sandplay was first developed by Dora Kalff, who was influenced by the work of Carl Jung. Kalff believed in creating what she called “a free and protected space” for children and adults to explore their inner world, and through that exploration to find healing and the individuation of the Self.
I am a certified teaching member of the Sandplay Therapists of America the International Society of Sandplay Therapists. I find Sandplay to be an inspiring intervention with children as well as adults. It is a natural with children, who easily express themselves creatively and metaphorically rather than verbally. For adults, it is a welcome opportunity to explore through the heart and the body. For both children and adults, it is an exploration of the unconscious, leading to knowing oneself better and working through personal issues. I find Sandplay to be especially appropriate for those who have suffered abuse or trauma, as such issues are not resolved merely through talking about them; any trauma affects us on multiple levels, conscious and unconscious, through all the senses, in feelings as well as thoughts.
Recent workshops and presentations:
- Challenges to Containment in Child Therapy
- June 4, 2010. STA National Conference, Boulder, CO
- Sandplay and Silence
- March 9-11, 2011, Land of Medicine Buddha, Soquel, CA.
- Symbolic Process in Sandplay Therapy
- March 31, 2012. Training sponsored by Northern California Regional Sandplay Society, Arcata, CA.
- Silence in Sandplay
- June 2, 2012. STA National Conference, Berkeley, CA
- Refuge in Being and Nature
- A Sandplay Intensive, October 4-9, 2013