SandTray Play and Storytelling

A catalyst for imaginative thinking in children’s educational and emotional development

Authored by: Kristín Unnsteinsdóttir

The Routledge International Handbook of Sandplay Therapy

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138101692
eBook ISBN: 9781315656748
Adobe ISBN: 9781317325970

10.4324/9781315656748.ch15

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Abstract

Sandtray Play in Education draws on the methods of Jungian Sandplay Therapy, using the tray of sand and miniature figures. In her Sandplay work with children and adolescents, Dora Kalff (1980/2003) observed evidence of the individuation process, as described by C. G. Jung. In my doctoral studies (2002) on traditional fairy tales and children’s own fantasy tales, I maintained that patterns operating in the process of individuation, that is, differentiation, transformation, and integration, are embedded in the structure of traditional fairy tales. As well, I argued that this theory extends to tales of fantasy generated by contemporary children. In the analysis of the children’s tales, I discovered that the children engage in a creative interaction with the unconscious while making their own fantasy stories. This simultaneously stimulates their directed and undirected modes of thinking, which are essential for the development of the creative, individual personality. Inviting children to play in the sand and tell fantasy stories about the creations they make, gives them the opportunity to interact with the unconscious with two methods that stimulate and support each other.

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