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  • Writer's pictureJulie Galloway, LPC-RPT

Sandtray Therapy for the Family WIN

How do we get out of our head and unstuck? We speak it, we show it, we share it.

Sand tray therapy is a part of play therapy that just makes me turn into a total geek. Watching my clients go from doubtful to "ohhhh", is one of my most favorite moments. Sure, it looks innocent enough, miniatures from super heroes, to doll furniture, bridges, trees, animals and cages...and really anything in between. These miniatures are the representations, metaphors and symbolisms, of the words and descriptions that often get stuck in our subconscious.

When words fail, we use miniatures.

The sandtray represent our world. Together the magic of creating a scene that we can see and explain often is that moment where we can create just enough distance to feel safe and comfortable enough to problem solve, explore and connect.

There's so much more though, the science behind Sandtray Therapy actually has been researched and proven effective for the toughest struggles like trauma all the way to sharing concerns over school/work projects. It was actually developed in the 1940s by Margaret Lowenfeld when she was attempting to understand the inner world of children so that she could develop interventions to improve mental health.

The break down is simple, we often spend most of our time in left brain mode, that analytical mode, where the thinking in words, mathematics, logic and fact are formed. Sandtray is a right brain thing, where your right brain is responsible for feelings, visual images, imagination, holistic thinking, intuition and arts. It's the subconscious work that allows us to release those struggles by bringing the painful, forgotten, the uncomfortable thoughts to present time.

Almost every session my clients say, "I did not expect to say all of that." And for a geek like me, that's just music to my ears.

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