Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sandtray in School Counseling

As part of my play therapy training, I had a sandtray class. As a school counselor, I have adapted many of the techniques and things that I learned to be more conducive to a school environment. I use sandtrays in a briefer manner than if used in a therapeutic setting and I tend to not dig as deeper with processing through the sand tray as I would in a non-school environment. I use sandtrays quite a bit individually with students. Sand tray is a great way for students to process through their feelings without having to use words. I have students that will come in, go directly to the sandtray, work for a few minutes, show me their picture, and leave. They feel better, they've processed their issue, and they are ready to go back to class.

I also love to use sandtrays in group counseling. This is something I've experimented with off and on over the last year and I'll be honest, sometimes it works better than others. You have to know your audience. I did a sandtray group last week with a group of 3rd and 4th grade girls that have been in group together for about six weeks. I just asked them to create a picture of their world in the sand using the miniatures that I have available. I turn soft music on and let them work for about 30 minutes. After they have completed their picture, I give them a post-it and have the title their picture. Then as a group, we look at each tray individually. If the student wants to share their "story", I let them. Sometimes they don't want to and that is okay. If other students have a question, I let them ask. Students will become very engaged and interested in what others did and often times the questioning becomes a very bonding experience for the group when they open up and start sharing with each other about their trays.

Sandtray is a great resource for school counselors to use individually with students or in groups. If you are interested in learning more about sand tray, I encourage you to seek out training. It is something you need to have background knowledge about to use effectively.

Here are a few pictures of my girls doing their sandtrays last week.

No comments:

Post a Comment