Sand Tray Therapy and Mandala Application

Sand tray therapy allows us to create our own little world using small materials (usually toys). This field is a reflection of one’s own life. This reflection is aimed to solve conflicts, reduce anxiety and eliminate the existing barriers.

sand tray therapy
sand tray therapy

What is sand tray therapy?

Sand tray therapy is a form of experiential therapy that uses sand and a container to create a healing environment. It can be used as a therapeutic technique for children, teens, and adults in addition to those experiencing challenges with mental health or who are grieving from loss or life transitions.

Sand tray therapy is a therapy method that is especially used in child therapy. Although there are similar features with Sand tray therapy, there are differences.

Inner thoughts, concerns, and problems are exhibited in this miniature world. Sand boxes, toys, and other small materials are used.

Both therapies are usually applied to children. However, it is also used in adolescents, adults, couples, and group therapies.

Examples of Sand Tray Therapy

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Source: instagram
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What is Mandala?

A mandala is a tool of meditation for many years. It means the circle holding the energy.

You can see Mandala in various ways in nature. such as ant nests, cobwebs, snail shells, trees.

Carl Jang used the mandala in therapies. Jung also benefited from Mandala to discover the unconscious. Carl Jung is also supported Sand Tray Therapy.

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Sand play therapy

Sand play therapy is a game therapy technique that mostly works with children. It can work on all individuals over 2 years old. This technique works well with mandalas. As we said mandala and sand tray therapy can be combined, especially for adolescents and adults.

Mandala and Sand Therapy

Therapists use sand tray therapy and latch together. Note that this therapy is not art therapy, but has similar characteristics.

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Properties of Sand tray and Mandala Therapy

  – It’s a three-dimensional therapy.
  – Feeling the surface of each piece (stone, sand) increases your awareness. Many sensory channels in your body open at the same time.
  – If you have tried the Mandala on paper, it is easier to implement.

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Source: instagram

Used materials

 – A large container for the floor:
   It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can use simple materials or it can be a special box or soil material. Most therapists use plastic containers.

 – Sand:
  You may have to order a special kind of sand for this. Sand tray therapy works well especially in therapy with children.  
 – Other materials:
  Small objects can be used as well such as pebbles, stones collected from the sea, mussel shells, buttons, marbles, leaves, pieces of wood, flowers.    

Tip: Kinetic sand is okay even though it doesn’t feel sandy. At least, you can prevent too much disintegration this way.

    Sand Therapy and Mandala Application

 Mandala motifs should be shown as examples. Then, starting from the center, you can try to form a ring motif with small materials on the sand.

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Mandala themes

  • What do I feel now, what are my feelings?
  • What are my goals?
  • How do I feel?
  • What problems do I struggle with?    

How Therapy Process Works

  • The client should focus on the colors, textures, shapes of the objects he has selected when completing the ring.
  •  It should be noted that there is no concern for artwork.
  •  It should be noted that there is no “correct” choice.
  •  When selecting objects, the client can be asked what the selected objects are.
  •  Relaxing music in the background can be more effective.

You can find more psychotherapy information for children and about other mental disorders:
Child and Adolescent Psychology

Mental Disorders and Treatments

Last Updated on December 11, 2022 by Lucas Berg


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