Sand tray therapy is a technique which can be used to facilitate healing in adults, adolescents, and children, allowing them to express their thoughts and feelings when words alone are not enough. In addition to its therapeutic use, sand tray can be a tool for personal growth and the development of creativity.
A sand tray therapist’s office is equipped with a specially proportioned sand tray with a blue interior and a large collection of miniatures, including human figures, fantasy and folklore figures, animals, buildings, objects from nature, vehicles, and others. The miniatures represent all of the elements of life-the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly, the comforting, the frightening, the happy and the sad. The therapist, who has been specially trained in the use of the sand tray, provides an accepting environment in which the client is invited to create a world in the tray using the sand and miniatures.
Though some people are not creative enough to use the sand tray technique, creativity is not a requirement. There is no right or wrong way to build a world in the sand. Some people use only sand, most include miniature objects in creating their worlds. After the client has finished building, she or he tells the therapist about the world, sometimes making up a story about it. Together the client and therapist then discuss the ways in which what has been experienced in the sand relates to the client’s life.