Sandtray: Playing to Heal, Recover, and Grow by Roxanne Rae
Sandtray refers to psychotherapies that use sand, water, and miniatures. In this versatile and multisensory process, clients create a three-dimensional “world” in a tray of sand. In doing so, a person can uncover and access the image or implicit thinking portion of his or her mind that lies out of the reach of everyday consciousness. In such a play encounter, individuals can discover deeply held beliefs and/or resources. The right hemisphere of the brain is where implicit images reside and is the primary recorder of traumatic events.
The stories in this book demonstrate that Sandtray provides a means to access this right-brain function for accomplishing successful trauma treatment. Theories of play-research pioneer Margaret Lowenfeld and concepts from the field of interpersonal neurobiology are illustrated by stories of real people—from three-year-old Jada to eighty-three-year-old Mary. Instructive techniques are provided for both verbal and nonverbal interventions. The author presents a framework of Sandtray “aspects” to view play and Sandtray session interactions. In this reader-friendly, story-driven book, the student or novice therapist will find information to initiate the use of Sandtray methods, while the experienced psychotherapist will be able to integrate and apply these techniques with ease. Sandtray: Playing to Heal, Recover, and Grow invites mental health professionals to read this book to improve the integration of physical, intellectual, and emotional experiences of their clients. The Sandtray approach promotes a more coherent sense of self and greater mindfulness in daily life.
Informed by Lowenfeld’s methodology and current research in attachment, Rae presents a lyrical, yet practical, tapestry of the Sandtray process. She weaves in vivid clinical examples from her work in this area over several years to provide the reader with a sumptuous overview of the healing power of sand and symbol in all its multi-sensory glory. I highly recommend this book, especially for practitioners wanting to integrate Sandtray into their work with children.