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Falling Through Fingers - How Sand Tells Stories in Play Therapy

Do you remember the sensation of sand trickling through your fingers? The wonder of watching the grains fall like rain, disappear through cracks, create mountains? Now imagine the grains of sand are your story. Where do they fall? What landscapes do they make? The sand tray is a key part of the play therapist's toolkit. Ideally it is rectangular, with a blue lining. For in Jungian terms, blue is the colour of the unconscious: it is the sky or the ocean, apparently without boundary. The well-equipped therapist will have a range of objects for a client to use in the sand: natural and man-made, buildings, vehicles, animals, fantasy creatures, religious symbols... and once chosen, these objects

Play Therapy 101 (Part Two)

This second of three blog posts picks up the remaining four of Virginia Mae Axline's eight principles, which serve as guideposts to my practice in non-directive play therapy, where the therapist: 5. Maintains a deep respect for the child’s ability to solve his/her problems and gives the child the opportunity to do so. The responsibility to make choices and to institute change is the child’s. I believe that we all have within us a drive towards being the best version of ourselves possible, demonstrated by our drives to learn, play and explore when we have established that we are safe and we matter. So in my room I often say, "That's something you can decide". Often children have few choices i

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