Gontard, Alexander von
THE NUMINOUS IN SANDPLAY THERAPY WITH CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
Alexander von Gontard, Homburg, Germany
Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 20 Number 2, 2011
KEY WORDS: numinous; spirituality; archetypes; complexes, children, adolescents, Sandplay, Jung , Sandplay therapy, Self, archetypal core, individuation process, analytical psychotherapy, clinical examples, school, ADHD, dyslexia, enuresis, encopresis, low self esteem, depression, irritability, parental separation, divorce, disorder of motor function, somatoform, anorexia, wonder, anxiety.
ABSTRACT: The term “numinous” was chosen by C.G. Jung to describe the essence of spiritual experience. Spirituality is regarded as a subjective set of qualities aimed at transpersonal transcendence and can show itself in all ages and in different ways, such as wonder, philosophizing, wisdom and inter-relatedness. Spiritual and numinous experiences are the same and denote contact with the archetypal level. This experience is possible not just through contact with the archetype of the Self, but all archetypes, as these connected to the Self. As each complex has an archetypal core, personal suffering is an entry point to the numinous. Although welcome and important, the numinous is not a prerequisite for the individuation process or for therapy to be successful. The aim of this paper is provide a short overview of spirituality in children and adolescents and to discuss the relevance of the numinous in analytical psychotherapy. Observations of the numinous in sandplay therapy are presented and illustrated with case vignettes.