Cameron, Scott

Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 12, Number 1, 2003

KEY WORDS: research, self, sandplay therapy, ego-self, STA, interviews, self-tray, mother-child unity.

ABSTRACT: In this research article the appearance of the Self is described in sandplay literature as the most significant event that occurs in a sandplay process. There has been little systematic examination of how the appearance of the Self is recognized in sandplay therapy, however. To this end, this study explored the following questions related to the Self and sandplay therapy: What does the appearance of the Self mean with regards to sandplay therapy?, (2) What are the issues related to recognizing the Self in sandplay therapy?, (3) To what degree is the term “Self tray” accepted and used to refer to the appearance of the Self in sandplay therapy?

Eleven semi-structured interviews were conducted with members of Sandplay Therapists of America (STA), to explore these questions in depth. A guide for these interviews was constructed by consulting with sandplay therapists and by conducting four pilot interviews. The interviews were transcribed and qualitative research software was used to facilitate data organization and analysis. The conclusions of the study are a description of the elements and themes which emerged during the process of data gathering and analysis.