SYMPTOM, SYMBOL AND SANDPLAY: MANIFESTATION OF A TIC DISORDER IN A CHILD
Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 18, Number 1, 2009
Keywords: tic disorder, symbol, symptom, identity, anxiety, sandplay, clinical example, child, male, congenital deafness, abandonment, separation, development, stages, Sandplay therapy, sister, emotional, parents, medical needs, sibbling, stages.
Abstract: The author discusses how the symbolic manifestation of a symptom reflects the identity of the person. In the case of this 5 year old boy the symptom was a specific ear tic that conveyed symbolically the problem related to congenital deafness in the younger sister. He experienced an emotional abandonment by the parents due to the increased medical needs of the sister. This resulted in over control of his emotions and resultant anxiety, which exacerbated when he entered kindergarten, a developmentally normal separation from mother. He was not emotionally equipped to handle this separation, and thus became symptomatic. The sandplay therapy allowed the necessary healing for him to become tic free and meet developmental challenges appropriately.