One of my favorite activities as a therapist is to use sand tray with my clients- typically I use this once my clients are really comfortable in counseling and have gotten to know me well. Sometimes people can’t really identify what it is that’s going on- they might be overwhelmed, confused, or uncertain. Sand tray can be a way to get those emotions out without having to say a word. We use the metaphor of the figures instead. We often use verbal metaphors to describe our emotional situations. You’ve probably heard this before: I feel like I’m under water and I can’t seem to get my head above water, my life has lost it’s color, I feel like I won the jackpot, I feel like I live on an island and no one understands… etc. These are all ways we use metaphor to describe something that’s difficult to say.
Sometimes my clients can expand the metaphor through creative activities like sand tray. We use figures and sand- these are all symbols of what is going on inside. Clients are often fascinated by what they’re drawn to as they choose a figure to represent their situation. I have all kinds of figures: people, objects, animals, props, sets (like bridges, fences, ladders, trees, etc). These have incredible meaning, and seeing them in a tray all together usually creates a powerful moment of perspective. I like to think of it as a mental or emotional diorama.
I have been trained in this technique and would be happy to answer any questions. If you’re interested in learning more about this, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or book an appointment online.