Growing Up with Andrew

A young boy’s discovery of Self in Sandplay

Authored by: Jorge de la O

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


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When Andrew first walked into my office, I was surprised by his height. Just 10 years old, he was not that much shorter than his mom, who brought him in. As a public schoolteacher at the time, my first thought was that he would be considered one of the big boys, in my class. In fact, if this were Picture Day, I imagine Andrew would have been toward the back of the line with the taller children. Andrew was referred to me because of troublesome panic attacks, which he had suffered since kindergarten, and, curiously enough, only occurred when arriving at school. These moments of fear happened at the beginning of a school week and would taper off as we approached Friday and the upcoming weekend. He cried uncontrollably and refused to leave the car, or go into the classroom. The attacks were such that he could not remain in class, and would eventually work himself up to the point of vomiting. Andrew also experienced dizziness and difficulty breathing. Andrew would usually need to go home by recess, or sit in the office until someone could pick him up.

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