Have you ever had one of those days where you don’t want to talk about that thing that is eating you up but want to get it off your chest differently? Have you ever come to talk therapy and realized you aren’t sure where to start that day? Sand tray intervention or therapy can be an alternative. Sand tray can be used as an expressive therapy tool when it is difficult to articulate that feeling or experience. 

A blue sandbox sitting on a wooden table with various toys inside the bor is arranged differently. 
The text says... t Dr. Kendal Vaarwerk, What is... Sand Tray Therapy, explorewhatsnext.com/blog

What is Sand Tray Therapy

Well, essentially, sand tray is a “container” for the individual’s world and experiences. 

How Does Sand Therapy Work?

They can use objects, figurines, symbols, etc., to create a picture or scene, either stationary or with movement. You have all the power to create whatever it is that they want to depict in the sand. You can project your world into the sand, then together we can talk/discuss the thoughts that emerged from the sand tray and process them together. Allowing yourself to express yourself through symbols, images, and objects within the sand. Through this discussion, you begin to understand the connection between the world you created in sand and your own inner world or reality. You can alter or change aspects of the world you created, which can aid in making those changes in your actual world. 

Is It Like Art or Music Therapy?

Sand tray provides an alternative to other types of expressive therapies like art therapy, play therapy and music therapy. Sand tray can be used with children, adults, couples, and families. Although it may appear like child’s play, sand tray is a valuable outlet for all ages to gain understanding and insight into their traumatic experiences. 

Additionally, sand tray supports personal growth by allowing the individual to find the answers that are already within them, problem-solving or address conflicts (try it out in the sand tray), and gain insight and perspective into your values and goals, among others. Overall, sand tray can be a powerful therapeutic tool. 

If you or your child are struggling with the emotional effects of trauma, abuse, or neglect and are looking for an alternative therapeutic tool like sand tray, please feel free to contact Dr. Kendal Vaarwerk for a free and confidential consultation with her, after which, together, we can decide your preferred next steps. She looks forward to hearing from you!