The Awe of Sandplay

I have trained therapists in sandplay for almost 15 years. What strikes me most about these trainings is the sense of awe experienced by the participants. As they dig into the sand, choose meaningful figures and build their own sandtrays--a very important part of the training--they experience the numinous depth of sandplay. It is very difficult to communicate to the naive reader what this is like. As with so many things, you must experience it for yourself. One can get a sense of this deepening
by viewing slides of sandplay cases, verbally playing with the possible meanings of the images in the sand, but sandplay is a hands on experience, a visceral, emotional experience of deepening into oneself. To fully appreciate this experience, thus expanding your learning of sandplay, I recommendyou find a training that provides you with your own experience of making a tray.

If you find yourself fascinated by your experience with the sand and figures, captivated by the personal, unconscious archetypal story revealed from deepest psyche, the next step is to find yourself a qualified sandplay therapist and begin your own sandplay process. Begin it, and continue with it until you "know" that you are finished. This knowing will come from places inside you other than your thinking mind. It will come from your body, from your intuitive, emotional self, and you will be embraced by a sense of completion. You may choose to take part in sandplay trainings as you do your process, but be careful not to learn too much! The left brain can attempt to dominate the right brain in these matters, overriding what your body and deepest unconscious need to express.

If you find yourself reluctant to do a sandplay process, you might ask yourself, "What do I fear?" Remember that it is important to traverse the territory yourself before you are qualified to lead others. Above all, enjoy the play in sandplay. Let your inner child delight in the sand. Bodily memories of the beach or the sandbox in childhood invite our adult selves to surrender to the play in the sand.

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