Sand Tray Therapy combines art therapy and and play therapy. Sandplay Tray Therapy is a therapeutic intervention that uses nonverbal cues and toy figures or sandtray miniatures, a sandbox, (usually wooden) filled with sand or water, to create scenes with sandtray miniatures to convey ones world that also reflect a person’s inner struggles, concerns and thoughts. This form of play therapy is practiced along with talk therapy, using a sandtray and figures that are sandtray miniatures as communication tools.
Sand Tray Therapy is often used in therapy for individuals who have faced abuse, neglect, or trauma. Sand Tray Therapy is well suited for children who sometimes struggle with verbal communication, older individuals such as teens and even adults may benefit from Sand Tray Therapy as well. When people seek treatment the non verbal aspect of Sand Tray Therapy is vitally important when clients face experiences that are difficult to speak about and Sand Tray Therapy is the perfect tool to open Therapy interactions.
Sand Tray Therapy typically takes place in a Wooden Sand Box. This Sand Box is normally constructed of wood do to the sensory nature of the wood in sand Tray. The measurements are a standard given by a pioneer of the sandtray named Dora Kaliff, and those measurements are what a child can typically see in their field of view without turning their head. These measurements consist of a standard that is: 49.5 x 72 x 7.5 cm; the American standard is: 19.5 x 28.5 x 3 inches. There are two trays, one contains moist sand and typically theirs another sand tray that contains dry sand.
Beyond the Wooden Sand Tray with Lid is the interior that is painted a blue that is representative of a natural sky and lake or body of water. The Sandtray is then filled with a sensory sand one of the largest Sensory Sand Providers is Sandtastik in which Play Therapy Outlet carries in stock for your premium sand trays.
Sand Trays are filled with Sand and sometimes water then they are a World in which Sandtray Miniatures reside and the individual in Play Therapy uses these sandtray miniatures to convey their World onto the Therapist for review and analysis. By allowing the client to build their World free from interruption to create and live in the Sandtray with the Sandtray Miniatures and Sensory sand, this creates a sense of calm and sparks the creative nature of play, however, at the same time the Child Therapist is watching the on goings of this play, and takes detailed notes along with photographs as well and catalogs them as therapy sessions progress, for sometimes several weeks to months, and sometimes years.
Once a sandplay session is completed, the therapist and client analyze and discuss the client’s toy arrangement, toy choices, and their pattern in the sand, along with their metaphoric and symbolic meanings. The Play Therapists discusses with the client the arrangement of the sandtray miniatures and may even make changes to the world they have created in sand.
With the help of sand trays, and miniatures, clients are guided by the therapist and they begin to understand the connection between the world they created in sand and their own inner world. One the client is able to recognize and make changes in the sand, they are then empowered to make those changes in their real world life as well.