Sandplay Therapy is a creative, nonverbal method in which one can build a world with miniatures in a sandtray. This method was developed in Switzerland by Dora Kalff (1904 – 1990) and is now used with people of all ages in many contexts. Two sandtrays are available at waist height, one with wet sand, one with dry sand. The size of the trays is approximately that which can be seen in one glance. The sides and the bottom of the trays are blue so that sky or water can be depicted.
In sandplay we have no rules: one can build with or without figures, however one fancies. In this way, inner images can emerge spontaneously and playfully and become visible. Even if we do not interpret the images, we look at the sandplay scene together and „take a walk in the picture“, so to speak. Sandplay can further healing on many levels: not only is the process of individuation (after C. G. Jung) initiated, but sandplay works through letting one´s self fall into playing in silence, through letting things happen and giving up control, through the touching of the sand, through the energy of the symbols used, through making inner images visible. Sometimes intense emotions are mobilized, which can also be healing. This method is hard to describe in words, especially for adults; children, on the other hand, usually grasp immediately what is possible. Our experience is that sandplay not only enrichens therapy but also gives essential impulses which would not occur in this way in purely verbal therapy.
Examples for Sandplay Therapy: