By Lindsey Brady, LMFT
The most basic building block of therapy is communication- our ability to talk with each other. So what does that mean for our kids? Children haven’t naturally developed the language to tell us what they have experienced, what they are feeling, or what they need. This is where play interventions come in. Play is a child’s natural language and Sandplay is an intervention that allows children to let us into their inner world without words.
Sandplay begins with a basic tray of either wet or dry sand that can be sculpted into a scene. The child then selects figures or items to place into the tray to create a scene. Objects selected will often show personal and archetypal meaning. The relationships between objects can provide us with insight into the child’s psyche and allow the child a safe space for expression which can often lead to more balance and wholeness for the child.
I will never forget my first experience with Sandplay. A friend of mine was leading a training for psychotherapists and requested that I put together a tray for her to present. I didn’t know what to expect and randomly placed items into the tray. During the meeting, she pulled out the tray and began to discuss interpretations and symbols. I was shocked at what it revealed. So many things were going on in my life at the moment that were so vivid in the tray, but I had no idea! That was when I wanted to learn more about how to incorporate this intervention into my therapy sessions. I took several other trainings and began my practice. I am still regularly stunned by the ability of this intervention to reveal our inner world so clearly. In my first Sandplay session with a child, the scene in the sand will most often be chaotic. Over time, the scenes begin to make more sense and have more structure as the child’s unconscious thoughts and feelings become integrated. It is really such an incredible process. Sandplay can also be used with adults, and can allow access to things within our minds that are below our level of consciousness.
If you’d like to know more about Sandplay or interventions for children, you can contact Lindsey at email@example.com or 619-681-4330. Check out her bio here for more information!
We at Thrive hope you enjoyed reading Lindsey's first blog for Thrive! If you would like to talk with a Thrive Therapist about your child or teen attending therapy with one of us, please reach out to us either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 858-342-1304.
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As always, thanks for reading and comments are always welcome regarding any issues around child, teen psychotherapy and adult psychotherapy with San Diego Psychologists at Thrive Therapy Studio.
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"Watch your thoughts,
They become words.
Watch your words,
They become actions.
Watch your actions,
They become habits.
Watch your habits,
They become character;
It becomes your destiny."