I will often invite people to experiment with using different mediums as a response to anxiety or low self-esteem.
For example,drawing, giving a shape or colour or form to some of the voices in our heads can help us get to know them better, to be able to hear what they want, what they are concerned about and to find out more about their history and their role in our lives. Drawing a time line to identify the various experiences in our lives and their relationship to each other can help us to identify themes and patterns, reasons for our anxiety or depression, or our inability to make decision.
Sand tray therapy is an interestingly different way of working - either as an integral part of talking therapy or as the main focus of our work together. I have a sand tray in my room which is the same size as our filled of vision. I also have a selection of models, symbols and images which you can place in the sand to express where you are now, what you are feeling or to try and better understand your response to a particular situation. The aim is to pay attention to your intuition and feelings when selecting the images rather than your more cognitive thoughts. Sometimes we can get stuck in our heads and in language, with the sand tray we are encouraged to respond to intuition, feelings and emotions first, and thoughts later. The tray is then a snapshot of where you are at that particular moment. Trays develop and change as time goes on, we may focus on one element or may start afresh each time.
My experience of sand tray work is that it offers a powerful, and safe, way of accessing deeper feelings and memories, by-passing the use of words.
I also use a communication cube, which creates a three-dimensional space to look at feeling and intuition a with the added element of being able to add layers and depth to the ‘picture' you want to portray.
The theoretical basis for this work stems from Jung and his work on archetypes and a Swiss therapist called Dora Kalff. The tray itself is the size of our field of vision, the space we can see without having to move our head. The symbols/models, shapes in the sand are whatever we want them to be. The suggestion is that sand play work facilitates the psyche’s natural capacity for healing, in the safe place created and facilitated by the therapist. Using the forms and symbols the images and experiences created with the sand tray or the communication cube, we can become more aware of the blocks to our development and growth.
For more information on my services and how I can help you why not get in touch for an informal chat.
"If I remain buried in my childhood needs, locked up in a private dungeon with wishes and regrets, I will continue to condemn the differences between us; I will do everything in my power to make you see the world the way I do in order to get what I want. This, as I realise to my emotional cost, is a truly destructive path which, if fulfilled, can at best build a grand façade with foundations made of sand."
MATTHEW SCURFIELD 2009
I COULD BE ANYONE - MONTICELLO PUBLISHING