"The sand picture which is produced by the child can be understood as a three-dimensional representation of some aspect of his psychic situation. An unconscious problem is played out in the sandbox, just like a drama; the conflict is transposed from the inner world to the outer world and made visible. This game of fantasy influences the dynamics of the unconscious in the child and thus affects his psyche". -Dora Kalff
Children are often anxious about seeing a therapist, however when they walk into the clinic room they usually can't wait to get started. As my work includes Sandplay therapy the walls of my clinic shelve hundreds of miniature figurines. The figurines are of people, animals, nature, home life, buildings, mythological and fantastical creatures, symbols and so on.
Sandplay gives children a powerful tool that allows them to process deep emotions that they otherwise feel unable to deal with. They find a freedom within the safe boundaries of the Sandtray in which they can express themselves without fear of wrong doing or judgement. Children will gain confidence and a feeling of inner strength as they create what they choose to, without direction or outside interference. They will learn to identify their emotions and, with the therapist's help, they will learn how to process and better self-regulate their emotions.
It is difficult for anyone to express and heal from traumatic experiences. For children it is especially difficult and they need ways that are seemingly indirect and non-confrontational. Sandplay is a wonderful tool for this purpose. The children are supported by the therapist within a safe, non-judgemental environment. The myriad of miniature figurines that the children can choose from gives them a sense of creativity and freedom whilst also feeling safe, because the scene is created within the boundaries of the Sandtray supported by the attention of the therapist. It is marvellous for children to find a means to express and validate what they have often hidden within themselves. With the guidance and loving support of the therapist they can begin to integrate and heal from their experiences.
Autism / On the Spectrum
Sandplay can be a marvellous tool for children with many forms of autism. Through their creations in the Sandtray they discover a means to express and explore the tensions that they face in life and integrate them in a way they have previously been unable to do.
In a world where children have little time and space for themselves without distraction, Sandplay gives them a wonderful gift. Here at Inner Room Counselling they can use their imagination in a supportive space that is just for them. Here, with the undivided attention of the therapist, they can explore their inner dimensions within a safe and nurturing environment. This allows children to understand, process and navigate through the difficulties and problems they face at school, at home, and within themselves. They build self esteem and knowledge of themselves and their inner resources.
What to expect...
A 50 minute consultation with a parent or guardian is usually the first step. This consultation will give me some insight into the issues that are concerning you in regards to your child. For children up to 12 years of age a session usually runs for 40 minutes, however all children are different and some children will benefit from a 50 minute session.
Generally, after our initial meeting, I suggest that I meet with your child for three sessions and then discuss with you the approach we should take, if more sessions are required.
If you have any further questions please contact me.