Who benefits from Sandplay
Sandplay is a form of therapy used with both adults and children. Therapists who work with sand will have an office with a large sand tray in the center and shelves and shelves of toys that can but built into the sand tray. Pieces are chosen by the client and arranged in a design in the sand tray.
People who have experienced trauma, abuse or neglect in their lives can benefit from this therapy. Being a nonverbal therapy it can be used to help the client gain trust and build a relationship with the therapist. It can and is used in conjunction with other therapeutic modalities.
How it works
Sandplay acts as a roadmap to undercover issues buried in the deep psyche. The pieces and placements of the pieces all help to uncover underlying issues the client can work with the therapist on. Sandplay is based on the internal symbolic world providing self-expression without a need for talent or judgment that may come with other forms of art therapy.
Sandplay can build knowledge over time of how the client is changing and releasing issues. Taking a picture of or journaling about your tray and re-visiting it later down the road for self-reflection can build an understanding of self.
There are no current certifications for Sandplay in the US. When looking for a therapist find one you feel comfortable with. Although some therapists are certified in Play Therapy. Ask them if they have had advanced training in Sandplay. Also, check to see if they have a number of toys for their sand tray set up. Many therapists will have bookcase after bookcase full of toys and things to be used in the sand. The therapist you choose should carry an LCSW, LPCC, LMHC, or an LMSW. They are also psychologists and even psychiatrists who will do this work.