Chiaia, Maria Ellen
LOSING AND FINDING: ONE CHILD’S EXPERIENCE OF MOURNING
Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 7, Number 2, 1998
KEY WORDS: mourning, losing, finding, child, sandplay therapy, clinical example, identity, self, loss, death, transformation, co-transference, burying, digging, object constancy.
ABSTRACT: This case study of a two year sandplay process is that of a 9 year-old girl. She is very private, unable to describe her thoughts or feelings. Her father and stepmother report that she has symptoms of crying fits, and she is unkind to her friends. The child experienced loss in many ways in her young life. Her house was destroyed by fire one year before the death of her mother. A family friend died as well. Her initial trays reveal her attempts to maintain object constancy through hide and find behaviors. With this established through several sandplay experiences, she makes a Self tray, surviving her losses, expressing her mourning.