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Sandtray: Playing to Heal, Recover, and Grow Kindle Edition

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Rae (Family Solutions, Ashland, Oregon) is a licensed clinical social worker with extensive experience in studying and teaching sandtray therapy. Sandtray therapy is conducted using sand, water, miniatures, figurines, and various objects to create a world. The client is the "creator," while the therapist is the "witness." Drawing largely from Margaret Lowenfeld's work, the author covers the theoretical basis of sandtray and provides advice on technique. Segments from actual clinical case studies abound, with clients ranging from children to the elderly. Rae's well-written book emphasizes the nonjudgmental, harmonious, and accepting nature of sandtray therapy. The techniques can be used in diverse theoretical frameworks and will be of interest to therapists who want to integrate expressive exercises into their work. The book would be an excellent addition to a collection on expressive therapies (e.g., play, art, and music therapies). Includes extensive appendix materials, references, and index. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, research, and professional collections. (CHOICE)

Sandtray: Playing to Heal, Recover, and Grow is clearly a work of love and caring. The careful use of case examples integrated with every aspect of the book helps the reader to more thoroughly understand and use the concepts. The examples range from the trays of young children to those of seniors; from the tray of a 3 year old to that of an 83 year old. Rae spends considerable time on the development of skills of a Sandtray therapist, emphasizing the role of witness. This book is clearly written and explains the author’s approach to Sandtray therapy. . . . I think this is a useful book for therapists of all levels of experience with Sandtray. (California Society for Clinical Social Work)

This text wonderfully describes the healing process of children and adults who, through sandtray therapy, make meaning of challenging personal experiences and assimilate these experiences into conscious everyday reality. I recommend this book to both novice and experienced therapists. It is full of wonderful case examples which illustrate the principles of this dynamic, relational based practice for use with both children and adults. A very accessible and interesting book! (Gretchen Thiel, LMSW, Portland State University)

Informed by Lowenfeld’s methodology and current research in attachment, Rae presents a lyrical, yet practical, tapestry of the Sandtray process. She weaves in vivid clinical examples from her work in this area over several years to provide the reader with a sumptuous overview of the healing power of sand and symbol in all its multi-sensory glory. I highly recommend this book, especially for practitioners wanting to integrate Sandtray into their work with children. (Eric J. Green, PhD, Johns Hopkins University)

About the Author

Roxanne Rae, MSW, LCSW, BCD, is a licensed clinical social worker with more than forty years of experience, much of it studying and teaching the principles of Sandtray and psychotherapy. Rae offers consultation, supervision, and training in her private practice in Ashland, Oregon. See:

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More About the Author

At the end of a session with me, "Hana expressed her astonishment at how the structure of the Sandtray revealed her family's functioning." Sandtray: Playing to Heal, Recover, and Grow presents stories of interpersonal transformation that demonstrate the powerful impact of both the overt and subtle techniques that I use to facilitate a Sandtray session. Each procedure is described in my book in detail to aid readers in the integration of these methods. All of the therapeutic procedures and principles presented are readily translated for use in play therapies, expressive arts therapies, and verbally based treatments. (For examples, see Josh's Story, Lucia's Volcano and the Snowman story, and Abra's Story.) This Sandtray method offers a framework for recovery, particularly from traumatic events. The Sandtray process is also client-directed, facilitating safety and agency and encouraging the discovery of strengths and resources. As my book demonstrates, Sandtray therapy provides opportunities for gradual self-directed exposure to traumatic experiences.

In writing Sandtray, I sought to design an accessible volume that distills more than 40 years of my study and clinical experience. The reader-friendly descriptions of attachment and neurobiology theories serve as a foundation for the vignettes that establish the use of these Sandtray skills in clinical practice. Direct involvement with the evolution of my client's lives inspired my writing. Please visit my website to download free articles, review my biography, and to view the dynamic color photos from this book.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gretchen Thiel on August 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book teaches the therapist to guide and support her client, adult or child, in the discovery of the client's unconscious world view. Serving as Witness to the client, or Creator, the therapist supports the client to make meaning of her personal experiences, which leads to the client's healing and self-knowledge. This is a dynamic, psychotherapeutic practice. The author expertly guides the reader through the underlying principles of sandtray practice and through wonderful case examples illustrates sandtray's power to heal. I highly recommend this book to both child and adult therapists looking for a powerful practice to promote their clients' healing processes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Domitrovich on October 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found the vignettes fascinating and the discussion of the concepts underlying sandtray therapy very helpful in understanding how it works from both patient and therapist points of view. The book is well written and in language understandable to a lay person. I think the distinction between working with adults versus children was interesting and one that I hadn't considered before. The only downside: I wish the pictures in the book had been in color.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about sandray therapy for themselves or for professional therapists seeking additional tools to assist their patients. There is plenty of useful advice that I think would be helpful for a professional thinking of setting up their own sandtray room.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jozeffa A Greer on September 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully written book that clearly describes Lowenfeld theory of sandplay. The author's style is easy to understand giving a tangible feeling for the experience of both the witness (therapist) as well as the creator (client). Her vignettes further illustrate the concepts she is explaining, painting clear images of the aspects involved in sandtray therapy. I highly recommend this book both for therapists new to learning this tool as well as for those wanting to deepen their understanding of this projective and powerful process.
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