Johnson, Donna

Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 8, Number 2, 1999

KEY WORDS: fairy tale, symbol, sandplay therapy, collective, parental complexes unconscious, animus, anima, projection, separation, individuation, clinical example.

ABSTRACT: An interpretation of the Grimms fairy tale “The Skillful Huntsman” is interwoven with sandplay case examples to illustrate the various psychological stages portrayed in the tale. It is a tale of a man’s journey and that of his anima, a woman’s journey and that of her animus and the journey that both man and woman must travel in order to unite fully as whole personalities. Through the interpretation various Jungian concepts are explained: puer aeternus, hero, anima/animus, trickster, logos, eros senex and conjunction. Symbols that are explored include: forest, giants, tower, castle sword, king, and hut. Case examples are that of an eleven year old boy with an eating disorder, a thirty-four year- old woman shifting form domination by patriarchal values to an internal transformation, a sixteen year-old depressed girl, a fifty year-old woman retreating to introversion for healing, and a forty-four year-old woman at the culmination of her process.