Making A Small World Constellation

Sand Box Therapy: A Powerful Way of Gaining Perspective on Your Life and Relationships

I never offer things to clients that I have not tried out myself before, so when working in the medium of sand tray, I’m aware that moving out of the sometimes ‘defended’ state of talking can feel quite weird. 

However, if you are able to suspend disbelief, building a sand tray picture by placing artefacts in relationship to one another in a giant box of sand, can deliver you a 3D model of your inner world – often with powerful insights for you. 

When clients work with the models and figures, grouping and placing them, they often discover that they know instinctively where they need to go, and they often report that, following some initial reticence, this can be a gentle and enthralling process. 

Choosing from the range of miniaturized models and natural stones and crystals and placing them in relationship to each other in the sand tray, enables you to make a composition which represents a snapshot of your inner life, a glimpse of how things are for you that day or indeed, in general.  It is also possible to build an aspirational tray of how you might like things to be!  

That momentary glimpse can then be crystallised and recalled in later sessions – as an explanatory short-cut to a feeling.  Hence, ‘that row of fences’, ‘that ladder out of the tray’, ‘that Buddha head’ can become representative of a meaning that might otherwise have taken longer to articulate. 

The process of building the tray brings potential – perhaps pieces need to move around or relate to each other differently.  And perspective – if we zoom out what does the picture now look like of this relationship? 

The most important part of this for you, the client, is to follow your inner responses authentically, perhaps even accepting that some contents of the tray might be inexplicable right now.  I always remind clients that they can freely add and subtract from the artefacts, as well as noticing what can be moved or shifted.   

If you’d like to give this form of therapy a go, please ask.  I usually offer it to clients coming for longer periods of therapy with the absolute understanding that there is no onus on them to agree if talking is the preferred focus.