Working with Sand – by Clive Black
Working with sand is a valuable creative tool that can be used with children and adults in counselling and therapy. Using a solid tray measuring approximately 30x20x3 inches, “fitting “ within peripheral vision, coloured blue to represent the sea and sky, and a wide range of miniatures including natural world, fantasy, buildings, fences, trees to name but a few, represents a “still frame” of a persons world.
By using the miniatures, in a symbolic way, allows the child or client to create a visual, concrete representation of their world and their place within it. Quite often I will ask for them to create a “world”, as it is for them in the present, the here and now, and then create another alongside it representing how they would like their world to look, to be.
The work would then be how, or what needs to change to make the latter become more of a reality for them. Sand, clay and water are mediums that seem to help with relaxation, lowering levels of anxiety, enabling the user to really access feelings and experiences and be able to demonstrate these creatively in a safe therapeutic environment.
Watch our sand tray film in our media centre to see how it can be done. When properly supervised, sand tray work can be an extremely powerful and helpful medium for facilitating conversation and providing valuable insights into a clients world.