What is Sand Tray Therapy?
Sand Tray therapy involves creating pictures or scenes using three dimensional miniatures in a tray of natural sand. It is a unique way of accessing the unconscious mind through images. Many find it less intimidating than creating art using painting, drawing, or sculpting, because the images are ready-made and have only to be chosen and arranged in a way that feels “right” for them as they work with the sand tray.
Sand Tray therapy has roots in both Jungian Psychology and in Play Therapy, having developed in a parallel fashion in these fields, and is equally effective in work with adults and children.
What is Art Therapy?
Art Therapists work from the principle that the creative process can promote well-being on a number of levels:
Art-making is a way for clients to communicate feelings and experiences which may be too painful or too confusing for words.
Art-making can allow unconscious thoughts, feelings, and images to arise, letting the client experience and work through past events or long-ignored emotions with the help of the art therapist.
Art-making can promote relaxation and reduce stress, thus improving clients’ ability to cope with difficult situations such as illness and anxiety.
It is not at all necessary to have skills in drawing, painting or sculpture. The PROCESS of creation is the crucial element. While the finished piece may sometimes be something you find beautiful, our focus will be on seeing what it has to offer in terms of insight and deep personal meaning for you.
Paying attention to what is going on for you while you experiment with and explore the art making process will teach you many things about how you handle other situations in your life, and can be an important way to try out new or different ways of being. Certain materials or art exercises may help to calm anxiety, others may help you to think through a problem creatively. An Art Therapist has the skills and training to figure out which materials and exercises will benefit you the most for your particular concern.
What’s an art therapy session like?
A 60 minute Art Therapy appointment usually begins with a brief check-in, followed by time to make art.
You may choose materials and subject matter yourself, or I may suggest a particular exercise to help you meet your goals. We spend time at the end discussing your art and what it was like to make it.
What if I don’t want to make art?
It will always be up to you to decide whether you want to use Art Therapy in your healing process. I am happy to work with you using any or all of the tools at my disposal.