“BEAUTY IS NOTHING OTHER THAN THE PROMISE OF HAPPINESS.” CLINICAL JOURNEY’S INTO THE EXPERIENCE OF BEAUTY
Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 19, Number 2, 2010
KEY WORDS: therapeutic relationship, ephemeral, empathy, protective function, Stendhal, Sandplay therapy, clinical example, beauty, uglyness, public service setting, drug addicts, private practice, clinical examples, various patients.
ABSTRACT: The author reflects on how the concept of beauty represents one of the channels through which patients, working with sandplay therapy, may describe their internal world, and together with other methods, may begin to formulate a narrative of themselves in order to portray the processes of change generated by the ongoing therapy. The following questions, pertinent to every psychotherapist, acquire a particular depth when it comes to sandplay therapy: What does the patient express through beauty? What can be called beautiful? Can beauty be a channel which might permit us, to reveal the internal world of the patient? What is it that can represent, for the patient, an object perceived and defined, as beautiful? And yet, simultaneously, may an object, which is defined as ugly, then open and reveal new and unexplored conceptual spaces. At the same time, how does the therapist react, to the incidence of beauty or, analogically, of its opposite ugliness? This article, attempts to get to the heart of these themes, comparing a public service setting for drug addicts with a that of a private practice, examining sand work carried out by several patients, retracing in their sandplay scenes and in their individual stories, elements which are able to suggest answers, to the various questions, brought about the incidence of beauty.