Sandplay Therapy

Sandplay Therapy

What is it?

Sandplay Therapy is a way of expressing feelings and personal experiences.  Individuals are invited to create a picture in a sandtray using figurines and miniatures from the therapist’s collection.  The sand can also be molded into shapes to provide a three dimensional aspect to the picture.  It is commonly used in conjunction with the customary talking therapy and greatly assists in building up a broader picture of an individual’s “problem” as well as their “resources” and unique way of moving forward.

Sandplay Therapy is an approach developed by Dora Kalff  in the 1930’s.  Dora Kalff was strongly influenced by Buddhism and  the work of Margaret Lowenfeld and Carl Jung.

Who is it for?

Sandply is great for both adults and children.  Children naturally use play as a way of exploring and expressing their feelings and experiences.  For adults it is a great way to get back in touch with the natural instinctive wisdom within.  Often when we have experiences of trauma the impact of that experience can remain unprocessed in the body.  The body can retain the memory of the hurt, pain, and fear.  Working with a non verbal way of expressing our experiences can assist in working through these experiences of trauma.  Incorporating sandplay into therapy enriches a verbal counselling process by inviting us to attend to the non verbal communications that emerge spontaneously from our hands and body as we create a picture that “feels right”.  In this way we begin a process of listening to what our body and instincts have to say about our situation as well as to what our ego and rational mind have to say.

The Sandplay is offered as an option for adults in counselling.  It is an option that invites us to get in touch with our creativity as well as our non verbal ways of expressing the landscape of our inner world.  It is an option that assists in creating a greater awareness of our feelings and wounds, as well our recourses and capacities for healing.

When is Sandplay usefull?

Sandplay Therapy can be used to assist in the treatment of:

  • Trauma (relational, physical or sexual abuse, natural disasters etc.)
  • Grief and Loss
  • Anger and behavioral problems
  • Unexplained fears and anxieties
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Managing a chronic or life threatening illness
  • Depression
  • Self esteem

Franca’s training in Sandplay

Franca Gatta has been training in sandplay therapy since 2009.  Franca is currently working towards certification as an accredited Sandplay Therapist with the International Society for Sandplay Therapy (ISST),


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