Humanistic Sand Tray Therapy

Authored by: Stephen A. Armstrong , Ryan D. Foster , Tim Brown

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.ch20

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Abstract

In humanistic sand tray, therapists establish an empathic and accepting relationship, facilitate a reconnection to inner experiencing and awareness, and restore a sense of trust in the clients’ perceptions and emotions. The tray and miniatures allow clients to use a metaphorical and indirect mode of expression that provides a less threatening place to experience and express distressful and unsettling emotions they may be unable to disclose in traditional talk therapy. Therapists create a climate of growth and change in which clients feel safe, free, understood, and validated. This therapeutic environment allows clients to become more open to here-and-now experiences they have previously avoided and disregarded, because they feared the unpredictability and intensity of emotion in the moment.

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