Play Therapy- is play therapy
Through play, therapists can help children learn more adaptive behaviour in situations where the child presents emotional, or social deficits.

Why use Sandplay therapy?

Today about why you should use Sandplay therapy. We know from previous posts that Sandplay is a therapy for children, but also for adults, especially those who have difficulty verbalising their emotions. There are a lot of such people. In my practice I meet mostly children, but there is also no shortage of adolescents and adults who treat their emotional life as an entity independent of anything - they seem to have no control over it.

Sandbox therapy - why choose it?

  1. Because play is the language of the client at any age, as Haim Ginott said, miniatures are the equivalent of words in play. This language allows for self-expression in a creative, artistic and safe way. The therapy process conducted with Sandplay enables clients to be fully themselves and with themselves. Thus, Sandplay therapy becomes more than just a tokenisation of the psyche - it is a space for full self-expression and self-exploration. Sandplay therapy allows clients to be with the emotions they cannot or are afraid to express. These emotions become projected onto the figures, onto the placement of the figures, onto the sand in the safe space provided by the therapist, and onto the sandbox itself, into which the therapist should not put his or her hands without the client's permission.
  2. Stacking figures in the sandbox is free from judgement, which is feared not only by children but also by adults. The fear of being judged often imposes masks on us in accordance with the expectations of others. Over time, self-expression becomes the same as hiding behind a certain persona. In Sandplay it is different: here the Self is at work, being explored and expressed by the person in a safe way. There are no good or bad images in Sandplay - each is an illustration of the client's emotions. I remember a middle-aged woman who sat for an hour in front of an empty sandpit. She put nothing in it, no figure. In the last seconds, she gently touched a few grains of sand and said: "This is exactly my depression. Having so much, I can do nothing'. This woman went from being a silent participant in life to an observer of herself and her feelings. And that was a good start to her therapy.
  3. Sandplay also has another value: through sand and figures it has a unique kinesthetic quality, providing a safe sensory experience, which is particularly needed by clients in crisis regardless of age. This ties in with the needs for attachment, relationship and safe experience. Touching, moving one's hands over the sand reduces the client's anxiety and helps self-regulation, as tactile stimuli are interpreted by the limbic system as soothing.
  4. The final part of the answer to the question: why use Sandplay? - addresses the very fundamental issue of the therapeutic relationship. Sandplay creates a safe space for the client. The non-directive therapist, through his or her accepting presence, following the client, respecting the client's process, creates the space to build a trusting relationship, for the client to experience himself or herself safely, to develop the client's capacity for symbolisation, sublimation, projection and also abreaction. Here we already enter the area of trauma. But this will be discussed in the next posts in our series on Sandplay.

In the next episode, we will talk about sandbox and sand for Sandplay. We will share our knowledge and experience on what sand is worth choosing, where to buy it and, most importantly, what to put it in to inspire the customer process.


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501 460 714

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05-077 Warszawa