Herrmann, Steven B.
THE TRANSFORMATION OF TERROR INTO JOY
Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 16, Number 2, 2007
KEY WORDS: Trauma-defense, complex, liquidation, Sandplay therapy, dreams, male, boy, child, persecutory, archaiac, mother-imago, terror, joy, integration, shame, bedwetting, emotional states, symbolization, metamorphosis.
ABSTRACT: In this article the author describes the dreams and sandtray pictures of a four to nine year old boy. Through a series of sandplay images he examines the emotional interaction between a terrified boy identified with the figure of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, and a persecuting archaic mother-imago identified by the boy with the terrorizing Wicked Witch of the West in that movie. Over the course of Willy’s therapy the affects of the terrified boy/terrifying witch object come together in his psyche and with this integration the embarrassing and shaming symptom of bedwetting is eliminated. A shift in the patient’s emotional states, from terror into joy, is symbolized by sand pictures and dreams depicting the liquidation of the witch and Willy’s metamorphosis.