Thursday, November 02, 2006

working in the sand

One of the things keeping me busy lately is all the amazing work my clients are doing in the sand. To give you an idea of what this work looks like, here's a tray I did myself in 2004, in celebration of my "real" birthday, which comes only once every four years.

Sandplay therapy was developed by Dora Kalff, a Jungian therapist, via her work with the Jung Institute, Tibetan Buddhism, and Margaret Lowenfeld, a child psychiatrist. It offers the client an opportunity to create a world inside the boundaries of the tray, using figures and the arrangement of the sand itself, that corresponds to the inner state and is comparable to the dream experience.

Within the temenos, or sacred space, the shattered pieces of a life can be reassembled.

As Jung said, "Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain."

My own sandplay process in 1999 triggered the writing of my first novel, a long-held desire that had been buried for a number of years. I highly recommend this work to creative artists experiencing blockages or the inability to complete creative works.


Joseph Gallo said...

"Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain."

This must be why we write and make art. I've shared with my students and fellow writers that I often do not know how I feel about something until I write about it. Pulling the smallest thread unravels the whole mystery.

Yes, we shall be mutual readers of our work. Sand sings the secrets.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful space in your sand tray. I can totally "see" myself in a space like you created. Elements of it remindsme of a picture in my head of the Wind River Range in Wyoming. Specifically, a point near the base of the range where I crossed a glacial river.

Thanks for the reminder.

billie said...


"Pulling the smallest thread unravels the whole mystery."

Yes! I am reworking my first novel right now after two years away from it - it's only now I'm able to see those fine subtle threads to unravel some of the deeper story woven in. I am beginning to be glad it didn't sell the first go-round, though presumably an editor would have helped me find the threads and the underlying wisdom.


there's a whole blog entry lined up to do with the "little interesting things on windowsills" - :)

here's to a move that takes you *home.*


there's a place called Bisti Badlands that I first saw 20 years ago in a book of photographs - those black and white photos of hoodoos stuck in my head all the years hence, until finally we made a family trip out there a couple of years ago... it was dreamlike to finally be there, almost like going from a sandtray to the real thing.