I love Sandtray Therapy!  In my early days as a therapist, while I was working towards licensure Tammi Van Hollander was very influential on growth as a, then, aspiring Play Therapist (to be).  She has a private practice in Ardmore, PA. Her passion and enthusiasm to helping people through Play Therapy is contagious.  Since then, I have had years of experience with Sandtray, but will never, ever forget how much she taught me.  I will always feel so very grateful to her and her work Sandtray work.  This episode has been a dream of mine for a while now.  We recorded it 2x due to technical errors, but finally got it out there.   Here are some notes from our conversation on Sandtray Therapy.

  • Sandtray Therapy it quietens the entire nervous system and it helps to turn off the thinking brain.
  • It can go much deeper than talk therapy.  For children, their language is play.
  • Little toys called toys, called “miniatures” are placed in the sand to tell stories.  It surpasses the limitation of words, which is especially helpful when they have difficulty articulating some things.  Or, may not even be able to identify what is bothering them.
  • Fences and bridges are often used with children that have chaos in their lives to bring order to their situation and help them to compartmentalize things that feel out of control and difficult to cope with.
  • We have a conscious and unconscious mind that is often in conflict.  When we place the miniatures in the sand, we can find a resolution to the conflict.
  • Sandtray Therapy can be done with any age group for individuals, couples and families.
  • Sandtray Therapy is based in neuroscience and understanding how the brain works.
  • Healing can occur on a deep level through Sandtray Therapy.
  • Family Sandtray therapy can be really helpful to establish respect, boundaries, and connection as well as help families heal from deep rooted issues.
  • Resources can be identified and inner strength can be brought out through Sandtray Therapy.
  • From session to session, the created scenes transition and start to take on a life on their own.
  • Tammi writes down their story to help with the processing.
  • The possibilities are seemingly endless, as each person makes their experience unique to their needs and situations.
  • Sandtray Therapy can be especially helpful for helping people with trauma.
  • Resolving ongoing arguments and relationship issues can be resolved through sandtray work by providing a safe psychological distance that increases the probability of involvement on a deeper level than talk therapy.
  • Sandtray therapy can offer a freedom that is available through that increased dialogue.
  • It is such sensory experience that can create a full body experience.
  • It can be fun and engaging way.
  • Many different types of sands can be used – kinetic, dry, wet, and many more.
  • The sand can calm people down and quieten their nervous system.
  • Problem solving can be attained in the sandtray by helping individuals and families look at issues in a new way with resources that they hadn’t realized before.
  • Once a sandtray is created, the creator leaves it there without cleaning it up.  The clean-up is done after the person has left.
  • Some clients take pictures of their sandtray scenes for reflection purposes and gaining of new insights.
  • This type of therapy can be used with parenting support as well to strengthen the family system.
  • Sandtray therapy can be used with Couples as well.  It can be really powerful.

 

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