Play is the natural language of children
Most children and teens don't have the cognitive ability to engage in traditional talk therapy
Children who have experienced trauma, abuse, or neglect in their lives are often much younger cognitively than their chronological age
Although in may seem like children are 'just playing' in a sand tray, it is actually an opportunity for them to tell their story and express their feelings in a safe, nonthreatening way
The Sand Tray gives children and teens the ability to externalize 'the problem", "the hurt", "the abuse", or whatever issue they are struggling with
They don't have to retell their story to yet another adult. Instead they can tell the story of this little one in the sand.
The sand can help them gain a sense of control and mastery over their life as they move figures and change their world
Exploring the thoughts, feelings, and perspective of the figures in the tray helps children learn more about their own sadness, anger and fears
Sand Tray Therapy puts children and teens in control of their world and their therapeutic experience. This helps them develop self-awareness and self-responsibility
"Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity."
Kay Redfield Jamison