Bradway, Kay

Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 3, Number 2, 1994

KEY WORDS: sandplay, sandplay therapy, healing, individuation, growth, conscious, unconscious, understanding, containment.


  1. Sandplay is meant for healing, not for diagnosis.
  2. Sandtrays show how the sandplayer is coping with distress and pathology.
  3. Therapist provides freedom, protection, and empathy so the twin urges toward health and growth can activate healing and individuation.
  4. Two levels in the process may overlap. a.) Healing. Therapist needs to be alert to possible emotional or sexual abuse and other trauma and to be empathic in allowing sandplayers to move at their own pace. b.) Growth. Therapist recognizes stage and aspects of individuation, etc. with eventual shift of energies from preoccupation to creativity.
  5. It is the sandplayer’s experience, not the therapist’s understanding of the process that heals.
  6. The therapist’s understanding of what is happening is essential, to facilitate empathy, in offering protection, if and when to make referrals or to seek consultation, and in a later review of the process.