Sandtray and sandplay therapy are two distinct ways of doing therapy in the sand. Have you ever struggled to explain the differences between the two methods? Or were you even aware that there are subtle but important differences? To be fully informed therapist working in the sand, you need to know how to explain who you are (sandtray vs. sandplay therapist) and why you do what you do.
Attendees at my trainings have often remarked about how much they appreciated really understanding the differences. They walk away with a full understanding of the sandtray method and how it differs from sandplay. Ignorance is often the root of people misrepresenting themselves; doing this can have dastardly consequences. Misrepresentation can not only make you look like you don’t know what you are doing, but it can also be illegal.
So, now that you have a healthy fear and understanding of the importance of knowing the difference, I’m here to explain the nuances fully in a simple but effective picture.
Before delving into the differences, it’s important to remember that all sand work originated from Margret Lowenfield’s work with her “Wonder Box.” Both methods focus on the client’s understanding of his or her world. Both use sand and miniatures to tell a story of the world, facilitating a deeper, fuller awareness not possible through just talk therapy.
Here you go. A simple picture of the important differences between sandtray and sandplay therapy.
Now you know the differences between the two different types of work in the sand.
Where do you fall with the sandplay/sandtray question?
I’m interested to hear your thoughts and reasons for your choice.