Harding, Brendan
Omagh, Northern Ireland

Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 17, Number 2, 2008

KEY WORDS: depression, ECT, animus, Grim Reaper, negative animus, negative mother, Sandplay therapy, clinical example, suicidal, female, adult, depression, symbol, marital, relationship, clinical example.

ABSTRACT: The author describes his work with a suicidal 50-year-old woman suffering from depression. In the first sandtray, an ominous image called the Grim Reaper by the client, is identified as a dark aspect of her mother, perhaps the negative animus of her mother. As the sandplay therapy progresses, this figure transforms to a more compassionate one. The patient’s relationship to her husband improves greatly as she questions her ideas about men and the masculine. The author understands this to show that a woman may be in the grip of her mother’s animus but it is possible to escape it.