Tatum, Janet

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

KEY WORDS: sandplay therapy, white, bear, clinical example, symbol, polar bear, enuresis, divorce, regression, helpful, animals.

ABSTRACT: Through considerable research, this writer provides adequate material to acquaint the reader with the symbol of the white bear, exploring the ambivalence of the white bear being friend or foe. Three sandplay cases are presented, showing the use of the white bear to represent the foe transformed to the friend. An 11-year-old girl traps the bear in her first tray, but then, finds her spirit in unity with the Mother, in the warmth of nature. A 9 year old boy uses the white bear to express a cold environment and isolation, but then through his process, moves to a peaceful, nurturing place within himself. The bear becomes a friend in the helping spirit as another 9 year old boy makes a tray with his father, molding the sand like a leaping bear. This play together seemed to solidify their relationship. These case reinforce the research of the significance of the white bear through the ages.

* The full version of this article is available only on the printed Journal/photocopy.