This blog creates a space for for social workers and therapists to share their favorite interventions, resources, activities, etc. If we all share the wealth of knowledge and experience we have then all of our clients benefit.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Sand Tray Themes
I created this chart in Pages. You just check off what themes you see in each sand tray your client does. This chart helps you to create a great visual of your client’s progress in therapy. Initially, check-marks are usually all clustered on the left, but as time goes one more and more drift over to the right. It is great to see.
Themes That Suggest Wounding
Chaotic: Haphazard, fragmented, or formless arrangement; e.g., objects’ flung into the tray; boundaries of outer reality disregarded; items carefully placed but overall appearance is jumbled or disconnected.
Empty: Reticence to use figures or lifeless feeling with lack of energy and curiosity; e.g., a nearly empty tray with only a dead tree placed in a corner.
Split: Parts of tray appear separated or detached; e.g., river, fence, or elephants placed from bottom to top of tray seem to divide tray
Confined: Figure or groups normally free are entrapped or caged; e.g. an agonized figure is placed in a cage; a sand wall is built around an old woman.
Neglected: Figure is isolated from possible support; e.g., a baby in a high chair while mother is sleeping in the nextroom.
Hidden: Figures buried or hidden from view; e.g., a gun hidden behind a house; a witch buried in the sand under a tree.
Prone: Figures normally upright are intentionally placed in a reclining, fallen position; e.g., a standing pregnant woman placed face down in the sand.
Injured: Figures with injuries or in the process of being injured; e.g., a bandaged man lying on a stretcher; a cowboy placed in the mouth of a dinosaur.
Threatened: Menacing or frightening events and the inability of the endangered figure(s) to escape the experience; e.g., aggressive animals surrounding small child.
Hindered: Possibility of new growth and development is impeded or hindered; e.g. a boat moving into new waters, while under siege by an army.
Themes That Suggest Movement Towards Healing, Wholeness, and Transformation.
Bridging: Connection between elements, joining of opposites; e.g., a ladder joins earth and tall trees; a bridge links an angel and devil.
Journeying: Movement along a path or around a center; e.g., a knight follows a trail, someone paddles a canoe down a stream.
Energy: Alive, vital, intense energy is visible; e.g., organic growth present, construction machines work on a task, airplanes take off from a runway.
Going Deeper: Discovery of a deeper dimension; e.g, a clearing is made, a treasure unearthed, a well dug, a lake explored.
Birthing: Emergence of new development; e.g., a baby is born, a flower opens, a bird lays eggs.
Nurturing: Nourishment or help are provided to support growth and development; e.g, a mother feeding babies, supportive family groups, nurse helps a patient, presence of food.
Changed: Sand and/or objects are creatively changed or used; e.g., sand is contoured to build a land bridge; sand is moved/stacked as an essential part of a lunar compound; a house is built from twigs picked up on walk to school.
Spiritual: Religious & spiritual symbols present, such as supernatural beings, worshiping figures or numinous items; e.g., Buddha overlooking a couple.
Centered: In center of tray, elements are aesthetically balanced or a union of opposites occurs; e.g., a man and woman married; mandala centered in the tray.
Integrated: Congruent organized idea encompasses entire tray; unity of expression; e.g., day at the zoo, baseball game, abstract construction unifying whole tray.j