Sandplay Therapy is a psychotherapy originating from the work of Margaret Lowenfeld and further developed from the work of Dora Kalff. The psychological theory supporting Sandplay Therapy is that of C.G.Jung. Other trainings the therapist will have e.g. psychodynamic, Gestalt, Narrative etc. will further support the understanding of Sandplay Therapy.
A Sandplay Therapy room has a collection of miniatures and objects which can be used to make pictures or images in a tray containing sand. As with Art Therapy, no interpretation is offered. The personal meaning for the clients is paramount. The client is free to arrange the sand and the objects to form images or pictures in the tray. Conscious and Unconscious processes become visible in a three-dimensional form and in images comparable to dream experiences.
Sandtray work is often mis-named as Sandplay Therapy. This is more directed, solution focussed work done also with miniature objects in the sand. In this work, the therapist / counsellor takes a more active directing and questioning role around the clients’ focus.
Symbol work can be done in or out of the sand. It is a projective technique, understood within therapeutic frameworks.
Sandplay Therapy literature is extensive and includes a bi-annual peer reviewed journal, the Journal of Sandplay Therapy. (Sandplay Therapists of America (STA).
For more information about sandplay therapy in New Zealand and internationally please visit: