“Sandtray therapy is an expressive and projective mode of psychotherapy involving the unfolding and processing of intra and interpersonal issues through the use of specific sandtray materials as a nonverbal medium of communication, led by the client(s) and facilitated by a trained therapist.” (Homeyer & Sweeney, 2011)
“I set for myself as a goal to work out an apparatus which would put into the child’s hand a means of directly expressing his ideas and emotions, one which would allow of the recording of his creations and of abstracting them for study.” (Lowenfeld, 1979)
From Margaret Lowenfeld to Dora Klaff, incorporating the use of sand and miniatures has endured 76 years of scrutiny and growth in Play Therapy. Lowenfeld steered the movement of Sandtray Therapy and Klaff adapted Lowenfeld’s approach into the direction of Sandplay. Klaff’s Sandplay traditionally focuses on a Jungian approach.
For the purpose of this App we will focus on Sandtray Therapy. The key aspects of Sandtray therapy include a “dynamic interpersonal relationship”, an emphasis of promoting “play and relationship”, and the Sandtray therapist “facilitates rather than choreographs the process” (Homeyer & Sweeney, 2011). Each of these are critical to traditional Sandtray Therapy, and each of them can be achieved with the Virtual Sandtray App.
We would like to emphasize a very important concept behind the development of the Virtual Sandtray App. This App is not a replacement for traditional Sandtray work; rather it is an expansion which allows the amazing therapeutic gains of the traditional process to be used with more flexibility, in more settings with a more diverse population and potentially with less cost.