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Sandtray and Symbol Work/ Expressive Therapies


Sandplay Therapy is an expressive counselling and psychotherapy modality with over 75 years of clinical application. This treatment modality integrates both verbal/ 'speak' therapy and expressive type interventions, that encourages a safe yet deep processing to occur, where by distressing behaviors and resultant emotions, their intensity and frequency are often reduced.

When an issue or trouble is represented symbolically (via things like ornaments, cards, items found in nature that are placed in the sand), in íts distance or externalized form , new insights, perspectives or offerings become available to the person.

The capacity to arrange or move the symbols in the tray assists in the communication of emotions, the development of insight or awareness and safe expression of feelings. Clients are invited to observe things from 'different angles' or see things from different perspectives often assisting in improved decision making with greater clarity.

Clients can 'notice how each opportunity for potential change 'fits', how they can be helped to be supported in this process and obtain resources for their chosen outcome.


​Sandplay is considered one of the most effective and probably safest therapeutic modality and is utilised by various counsellors and therapists to enhance treatment or as an alternative to cognitive therapies for children, adolescents and adults.

The use of Sandplay Therapy in Expressive Therapies approaches has occurred due to the earlier therapy work of Dr Margaret Lowenfeld - a child psychiatrist who pioneered therapeutic play for children back in the 1920's and Dora Kalff, a Jungian therapist who created sandplay therapy in the 1950's,

The utilisation of both Jungian and Gestalt interventions were incorporated with symbolic objects in Sandtray and Symbol Work as a component of.Expressive Therapies. Expressive Therapies, developed in Australia by Mark Pearson, Helen Wilson and Patricia Nolan since 1987,