Lisa Shouldice MA, RP, CCP, Psychotherapist
Sandtray for Trauma
Sandtray for Trauma
My work as a therapist has included working with clients that present with abuse histories, and often complex trauma. I find this can take years to heal and is hard emotionally and spiritually on a client. So I trained with Lalita Salins MA, LMFT in order to use Sandtray/World Play in my work.
One of the ways I use Sandtray is to create safety before I begin facilitating the processing of intense traumatic memories, even if Sandtray is not used again in our sessions. This is a feeling you will be able to access while we get into talking about some horrible experiences you have had. There is no right or wrong. You are creating a world in which you are in full control and it can be anything you want it to be. The purpose of a safety tray is similar to using visualization to create a safe space, for those of you who have tried this before. The tray deepens the feeling of safety so when you leave the session you will likely feel really good. If a time comes in which you have been healing some negative memories for awhile and we decide you need a break, I may suggest another sandtray, a Self-care tray. This is a similar process in which you re-create a feeling of safety in the tray and introduce figures that depict self-care, whatever that looks like for you. It is a wonderful way to rest the spirit and remind you about all of the ways you take care of yourself.
Many of these types of trays depict nature or garden scenes. They may include a wise other, a partner etc. Some trays include war worlds with warriors for protection. The memory of this tray can be also used in a visualization at the end of an intense session, to help you pull out of the past before you leave our session.
I use Sandtray in many ways to help you heal your traumatic memories and experiences. This is one example so you have an idea of what to expect.