Jungian Sandplay Therapy


Sandplay is a non-verbal therapeutic modality developed by Dora Kalff, Jungian therapist, in Switzerland in the 1950s and '60s. Sandplay grew out of Dora's studies at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, in Tibetan Buddhism, and with Margaret Lowenfeld in England.


Sandplay therapy is suitable for adults of all ages, as well as for children. Images, symbols, and archetypes live and move in the psyches of all people. Here in the sand tray, through a process of quiet active imagination with hundreds of miniature figures to choose from, these images and symbols which live in our unconscious psyche are given the opportunity to move, to speak, and to transform. As they are given space, time, and permission to form themselves into three-dimensional scenes, the conscious mind rests--trusting the unfolding of a deeply healing process. The work of sandplay happens deep within the psyche, and is not directed by ego. Over time a process unfolds, directed by the Self, and gradually becomes integrated and grounded in daily life. Sandplay is frequently used as part of a depth psychotherapy process.

In a Jungian sandplay process, more is happening than "just playing in the sand". The therapist provides a free and protected sacred space wherein the patient is allowed to play, unfold, and recalibrate. When psyche has this type of atmosphere a process of inner development is activated and unfolds, supporting the individuation of the patient. Sandplay works through the language of the unconscious, which is symbolic and is accessed through the imagination. Because of this, it is integrative, and can be very helpful with trauma.