Sandtray Play Therapy – A Mindful Approach is a bodymind approach that integrates sandtray theory with mindfulness meditation principles, which nurture conscious awareness of a person’s whole-life experience. The benefits of mindfulness meditation have been widely researched: an important instance is the work of Jon Kabat Zinn at the Stress Reduction Clinic of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Current research literature on how the brain functions in regard to trauma and attachment is strongly indicating the psychotherapeutic value of a practice that develops somatic awareness and affect modulation, by using techniques that access the intuitive wisdom that is informed by the body. These advances of understanding in the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology are presented in the writings of Badenoch, Ogden, Briere, Levine, McFarlane, Orloff, Schore, Shapiro, Siegal, Perry, Van der Kolk, James, and others.
This body-mind approach is concerned with being fully in the present moment. (Stern, Tolle) It can appreciate a cognitive, behavioral perspective but takes the experience to a deeper and more holistic level of healing. In Sandtray Play Therapy, the therapist/client relationship, which is key to any successful psychotherapy, is grounded on respect for the conscious, pre-conscious, and unconscious factors of each lived experience as it unfolds. Sandtray, play therapy, art therapy, and focusing are recommended sensory modalities for healing trauma. Each of these provides a simple yet profound way to be with people through the joys and pains of living.
* An exerpt from the Sandtray Play Therapy Certificate Program: A Training Program for Psychotherapists in Sandtray Play Therapy – A Mindful Approach*