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When You Just Can’t Figure Out The Right Words: Sand Tray Therapy

Ever have those moments where you know something is bothering you, but you can’t quite place your finger on what it is exactly? Do you know general words to describe your situation, but then just draw a blank? Believe it or not, your therapist is not a mind reader. No one can tell you the exact way you are feeling. Luckily, there are some tools to help figure that out! One of those tools is sand tray therapy.

Feedback from this therapy has been phenomenal! I personally have used it with individuals who have been through trauma, abuse, or difficult backgrounds. I’ve used it with adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder to help pinpoint where their anxiety is stemming from. It is also extremely useful in couples and individual counseling as well.

What is Sand Tray Therapy?

Sand tray therapy consists of a container that looks like a miniature sandbox with several dozen figurines for you to choose from. The premise then is simple. I would give you a prompt that is related to something we are working on, such as:

  1. Create your family in the tray.

  2. Show how you relate to fear.

  3. Describe your journey from five years ago to now in your life and what that looks like.

Instead of having to figure out words to answer these questions, you will use the tray and figurines to answer the prompt. These figurines are chosen specifically to represent a wide scope of life situations including religion, family, death, nature, protection, vulnerability, etc. You then add the figurines you want into the tray and move the sand as you wish.

What is the Meaning?

In case you are wondering, don’t worry, there isn’t some magic meaning behind the figurines that I will know as soon as you touch it. We figure out the meaning together. After you complete the tray I will guide you through some questions about the tray as we try to piece together information that may have been difficult to convey with words.

This form of therapy will begin with sessions that are traditional talk therapy based. Sand tray will be added in after we have a strong foundation of knowledge to be able to understand more of the work that you do in the tray. 

If you are interested in utilizing sand tray therapy as a tool to help you in your journey, give Amy Wine Counseling Center a call at 832-421-8714! I would love to work with you as we “dig through” things together.


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