Hunter, Linda B
SEWING ON THE SHADOW: TROUBLED INNER CITY CHILDREN WORK TO INTEGRATE THE GOOD BAD OPPOSITES
Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 6, Number 2, 1997
KEY WORDS: shadow, inner city, children, good, bad, opposites, integration, sandplay therapy, chaos, differentiation, latency, child, clinical example.
ABSTRACT: The sandtray images of latency age boys of color in a residential treatment setting portray their struggle to identify and connect to their own personal ‘positive’ shadows while fighting to free themselves from the ‘negative’ shadow society projects onto them. Their sandplay process is seen as moving through three stages: 1) Differentiating the chaos of good and bad, separated and defined, 2) Understanding the meaning of the conflict on instinctual, personal and abstract levels, 3) Integrating the power and energy of ‘bad’ anger and fighting with ‘good’ goals and positive means. Gradually the battle scenes of killing and destruction transform into contests in which the meaning of good and bad becomes greater or lesser skill and winning means transcending the polarities, finding and claiming the treasure, the gold, the resilient, beautiful aspects of their own black shadows.