The first time I experienced sand tray was with my supervisor during my internship supervision. I heard about this therapeutic tool through coursework but never witnessed it in person nor seen it practiced with a client. Sand tray is a technique that uses sand accompanied by figurines and miniatures to help a person understand themselves, their world, and reality. My biggest assumption was that sand tray was only used with children, but little did I know it is just as beneficial for adults.

What my supervisor always says is that if you are asking a client to participate in anything during therapy, you, too, should be willing to take part yourself. She had me complete a series of prompts that allowed me to express what my inner world looked like, which in turn helped me release feelings and emotions, express inner conflict, and face whatever unconscious fears and thoughts I had. I was provided with a safe environment to truly reflect on who I am as an individual and how I am currently feeling in this space as a practicing clinician.

I instantly took a liking to sand tray after experiencing the benefits and wanted to learn more to utilize it in my own practice. Fast forward to this week, I wanted to attempt sand tray with a current client who stated she wants to convey more of her feelings but struggles and does not have much to say. I knew there was much to be revealed and was aware that it is easier for her to express herself through creativity. We had a successful session using art therapy, so I was confident that sand tray would be a great exploration. She agreed to participate in sand tray and I am thrilled to say we had excellent results! The client quickly noticed how much self-discovery occurred in just one session through the sand. We both learned so much more and appreciated the growth that was created by this tool.

Healing comes in many different forms of therapy. There is no one size fits all, and I challenge you to explore more than one intervention in your therapeutic journey, even if it sounds unfamiliar or intimidating. You will learn many things while even unlocking a creative side of yourself.