Sand Tray Therapy

Sand tray therapy is ideal for people who struggle to express themselves verbally due to past traumas, neglect or abuse. Adults who have been traumatised and unable to engage with spoken word therapies often respond well to sand tray therapy, because the act of representing thoughts and feelings in the sand tray separates the event from acute emotions that may arise when recalling events and describing details.

How does it Work?

It uses sand as a landscape or background with symbols or objects to create three dimensional pictures, meaningful images and patterns, which represents how people are feeling or responding to life events. Rather than saying words that have often been avoided because they are too painful to say out loud, have been silenced for fear of harm or criticism. It often reduces anxiety and fear of facing historical events by creating images in sand rather than finding the right words to express the intensity of feelings that have been repressed. The effect can be an emotional release and realisation of hidden truths and unhelpful relationships to people, substances, things or places.

What Happens During a Session?

You will be invited to think about the problems or situations that have brought you to therapy, and then choose items from the collection of symbols, figures, objects or things that attract your attention. Once the symbols have been chosen, the sand can be arranged into a landscape or background and the symbols placed in or on the sand. The best thing is, you don’t have to be artistic; the arrangement of sand and symbols is unique to each person and will only be seen by you and me. When the tray is complete, you will be invited to notice and interpret the scene in front of us. It is often surprising to people to see what the images and patterns reveal about unhelpful patterns of behaviour and beliefs, as well as insights and solutions for development, recovery and growth.

There are times when sand tray therapy is integrated with other techniques, therefore enriching the overall effect of therapy.

What Can Sand Tray Therapy Treat?

Sand Tray therapy is an effective treatment for shock or trauma caused by witnessing or experiencing distressing experiences such as:
bulletActive service
bulletBullying and aggression
bulletCrime, robbery, physical and verbal attacks
bulletMotor vehicle incidents
bulletSexual, physical or emotional abuse
bulletSudden death of a person close you
bulletTerrifying accidents and incidents

How Will You Help Me?

By delivering a friendly, ethical and safe service where you can talk in confidence, explore your issues and discover new ways of living.

As well as adding Sand Tray therapy to my list of skills I have an MSc in Therapeutic Practice for Psychological Trauma, I am an EMDR Accredited Practitioner and registered with the UKCP as a Psychotherapist. All this experience and learning means, every working day I help people overcome a wide range of issues and triumph over some of the most difficult times of their lives. I am committed to delivering a quality service and work within the EMDR Europe and UKCP Codes of Ethics and Professional Occupational Standards.

Remember, you can begin your therapeutic journey by calling me, Dawn Haworth, on 07818 840841 or sending an email to