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  • Rose Petals Counseling and Play Ther
  • Mary McBride McInerney,LCSW

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Sandtray Therapy

Sandtray Play Therapy is a healing addition to most traditional kinds of talking therapy. It has non-verbal and verbal capacities that help clients to address their pain and life stories. Sandtray therapy is defined by Homeyer and Sweeney (1998) as an expressive and projective mode of psychotherapy involving the unfolding and processing of intra- and inter-personal issues  through the use of specific sandtray materials as a nonverbal medium of communication, led by the client and facilitated by a trained therapist.  Current research literature in the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology strongly supports these body-mind processes as being of great value for healing trauma and for personal integration. Sandplay has a “notable ability to awaken and then regulate right-brain limbic processes and can make it a powerful way to address painful, fearful, dissociated experiences.” (from Being a Brain-Wise Therapist: A Practical Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, by Bonnie Badenoch).

 

Sandtray is:

It has a kinesthetic quality and can be soothing.

It can be indirect and easier to explore feelings, experiences and trauma through figures.

It can be cathartic.

It can include the whole family.  Many families enjoy telling stories in the sand.

It is metaphorical.  Metaphors can be very powerful in our story telling.

It can foster deep self disclosure and can be easier than talking.