After a brief hiatus, I am now back on track to complete the series I started about the various myths surrounding sandtray therapy. To refresh again, we now know that sandtray therapy is NOT
- Just playing in the sand
- Only for kids
Sandtray therapy is a great way to connect with clients across ages and various issues. It’s brain informed and does not have to be expensive to use.
Myth #4: Sandtray therapy is not mobile
Another concern I often hear from therapists about sandtray therapy is its seeming lack of accessibility for nontraditional settings. Many therapists do not have the luxury of having an office where all things sandtray can be stored. It was not so long ago I was in this very situation.
Good news! Traditional sandtray therapy can easily be converted to be very accessible with a little ingenuity and creativity.
Two main problems arise when thinking about doing sandtray therapy in a nontraditional environment. First, how do I do effective sandtray work without having shelves of miniatures. Second, what about the sandtray- how can I make this more mobile?
Let’s break down each challenge and provide possible solutions.
Challenge 1: What about all the miniatures?
Solution: Tackle boxes or other rolling shelving you can purchase at your local store.
My tackle box from a sporting goods store. It has a large handle on it as well as the smaller ones you can see.
I made these labels using my label-maker just for a little more organization. The miniatures did not always get put back exactly where they were supposed to go but it gave me a general idea.
I chose to go the tackle box route. I bought this tackle bag with all of the plastic containers at a local sporting goods store. I put labels on them. Remember, don’t stress to much about not having everything. As discussed earlier, the brain will get what it needs from what you present.
Challenge 2: How do I do a portable sand tray?
Solution: The nice thing about sandtray therapy (as opposed to sandplay) is its versatility and flexibility about materials. For sandtray therapy, one only has to have a box (exact size is recommended but not necessary) and sand. For a more travel-friendly sand tray, use a smaller blue plastic box with a lid with sand inside. Make it small enough to carry around in your trunk. Again, do not stress so much about what you have but how you are with your client.
Here’s a picture of my mobile set up that I often used before getting my current office.
I did just as effective sandtray therapy with this as I do with my many shelves of miniatures.
What are some creative ways you have managed the challenge of therapy in a home or school setting? Please share. New ideas are always welcome!