A PROLOGUE TO SANDPLAY WITH AN INNER-CITY GAY MAN: A CASE STUDY
Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 18, Number 1, 2009
Keywords: sexual orientation, abuse, minority, sandplay, clinical example, inner city, male, sexual abuse, physical abuse, boundaries, self-destructive behavior.
Abstract: Inner city minority men rarely have the opportunity to engage in sandplay in conjunction with their psychotherapy or counseling. This case study focuses on the use of sandplay with an African-American self-identified gay man from a relatively violent inner city neighborhood who had experienced sexual abuse and severe physical abuse as a child. Although sandplay facilitated the client’s integration of the past and helped him to establish healthy boundaries for present and future relationships, he did not descend to a deeper level of contact with his unconscious. This is understandable in view of his personal history and his environmental context. Nonetheless, significant progress was made during the course of therapy, as evidenced by increased stability in his employment and academic pursuits and a decrease in self-destructive behaviors such as alcohol use and anonymous sexual encounters.