The sandplay therapy process of a thirteen year old girl : a case study

Davids, Charmaine Catherine (2005-03)

Thesis (MEdPsych (Educational Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.


The main focus of this study is an exploration of the sandplay process of a thirteen-year old girl as it unfolded during the creation of twelve sand worlds. The girl is from a historically disadvantaged background and was experiencing emotional and learning difficulties. Sandplay therapy involves letting the client play with sand, water and a variety of realistic miniature figures to build an image in a tray of a specific size while the therapist witness this process. The interaction with the sand, water and miniatures allow the client to access unconscious issues and give them concrete form through the images portrayed in the tray. By creating a series of sand worlds the client can confront and contain their conflicts and touch a transpersonal aspect called the Self. Self-trays are characterized by signs of centering and have a spiritual quality. The case study is single-subject qualitative research design and data was produced from assessments, interviews, observation, video and audio recordings, a school report and photographs. The assessments and interviews were mainly used to conceptualize the case and to inform treatment. It appears as if the girl has a learning difficulty that seemed to have been the source of her feelings of anger, frustration and rejection. She also appears to be functioning at a concrete operational level. An interpretation of the photographs indicated a progressive movement from an unstructured first sandworld to a structured, organized last one. Signs of centering could be observed in the last three trays.

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