SILENCE AND SANDPLAY
Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 5, Number 2, 1996
KEY WORDS: silence, 1995, STA, conference, sandplay therapy, ego silence, deep silence, natural silence, trauma, rules
ABSTRACT: In this co-keynote address at STA’s 1995 conference, “Sandplay: The Silent Voice of the Self,” the author distinguishes three stages of silence in the sandplay process. In the “ego silence”-silencing the ego-the therapist can help a client make the transition from outer talk and inner works to the quieter realm of silent play. In “natural silence” the therapist is contained yet attuned, attending to the client’s play with its struggles and obstacles. “Deep silence” is a more archetypal realm-beyond words, beyond feeling, beyond the personal. Therapist and client trust the inner guide, the Self, on the journey of encountering deep dark things, resolving and healing through symbolic play. Shadow aspects of silence are explored: deadening or dissociated silences, controlling silences and diagnosing by the therapist that jeopardizes the safe place. Examples are given of practical difficulties in ending sandplay. The various ways therapist view the completed sandtray with a client are discussed.