Margaret Lowenfeld and Dora Kalff had this brilliant vision of welcoming the universe of miniatures into the therapy room, and playing with them so what needed to be said -and eluded words- had a way to show through. There were initially meant as a tool to work with children only, but later on its use generalized to adult populations. Sandplay therapy takes place in a wooden box filled with sand and with the bottom painted blue to represent water. Along with that box – which I like to introduce it as my “friend”, since it allows us to look at ourselves with absolute kindness and empathy- countless miniature objects are offered to the client, so scenes might be built and created with them, as if making dioramas or tiny theaters with the characters and events from our psyche.
“Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.”Carl JungThe Practice of Psychotherapy
The more objects, the better: our psyche appreciates the fact that it might find suitable mirrors to reflect itself and it is instantly drawn into a visual and archetypal logic. Within the sandtray, we daydream. Also, we meditate while moving our hands to the miniature´s rhythm and by doing so they show who we are. While we are looking for “that” object and our hands place it along with others on the sand, we start to unfold what hurts us, what we love, the fears that cannot be said otherwise, whom we are. Sandtrays are open, playful doors to our true selves. Our hands, connected with what we already know, create tiny dances to show us what needed to be integrated.