Sand Tray Therapy at Olive Branch Group Therapy — New Jersey
Beaches, sandboxes and playgrounds are often associated with feelings of happiness and rejuvenation. What can be found at all of those locations? Sand! While it may seem unusual as a therapy device, sand acts as a unique tool for people of all ages to communicate and express themselves and their experiences.
How Does Sand Tray Therapy Work?
To put it simply, a sand tray provides an empty canvas that is easily manipulated by all ages, allowing people to depict scenarios or emotions in sand with small toys or other objects. Typically, the sand tray is composed of a large blue tray, filled with small grained sand, with a variety of miniature toys available off to the side, usually comprised of animals, people, small buildings, objects from nature, etc.
Here at Olive Branch Therapy Group, we provide a full sand tray room with certified sand tray therapists. During a session, a therapist will sit down with you in front of the sand tray and ask you to pick out objects and create patterns and shapes in the sand to depict your inner emotions and conflicts. While you “play” in the sand tray, your therapist will observe you. After you have set up a scenario in the tray, you and your therapist will discuss your object choices, the way you set them in the tray and any symbolic meanings behind them.
How Olive Branch Sand Tray Therapy Helps All Ages
So how exactly does sand therapy help you or your children?
Sand tray therapy is based on the thought that if a person is given a safe place to express themselves, they can use the sand tray to work out solutions to their problems. The sand tray helps you connect the scenario you created in the sand with your internal problems. By solving issues in the “play-world” in the sand, you’re in turn empowered to find solutions to your own real-world problems.
We believe at Olive Branch Therapy Group that sometimes the sand tray provides those that have a hard time communicating in words an easier and safe outlet to express themselves. Even for those of us that communicate well verbally, the sand tray helps develop our sense of expression and awareness, often letting us communicate things we may not be able to put into words.
Who Sand Tray Therapy Helps
While sand tray therapy is often used with individuals who have suffered traumatic events, especially children and teenagers, we offer sand tray therapy to anyone who could benefit from it.
Individuals we often see and treat with sand tray therapy include those who have suffered:
For those who have difficulty communicating with words or for children who haven’t developed the emotional or verbal capacity to express themselves, sand tray therapy is an invaluable asset to any therapy program.
Please don’t hesitate to contact our highly knowledgeable clinical team if you have questions about sand tray therapy or if you feel you or your child could benefit from it.
How to Get Started with Sand Tray Therapy
Simply contact our team at Olive Branch Therapy Group. We’d be honored to help you find the fulfillment and peace you deserve. Our specialized group of counselors and therapists are always ready and willing to help you in your life’s journey.