1st Edition

Sand Therapy for Out of Control Sexual Behavior, Shame, and Trauma Treatment Approaches Beyond Words

By Peg Hurley Dawson Copyright 2024
    238 Pages 53 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    238 Pages 53 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book is designed to educate sex therapists and mental health professionals on the power of using sand when treating sexual issues, providing guidance in accessing their clients’ unconscious to seek new ways of healing.

    Uniquely integrating sex therapy with sand therapy, Dawson describes how understanding and applying non-pathological theories and neuroscience to different modalities, such as Internal Family Systems and Polyvagal Theory, can help clients move forward from shame, sexual dysfunctions, and trauma. The book begins by introducing how therapists can use sand as a doorway into using metaphor and imagery in their practice, with information on how the nervous system keeps somatic experiences trapped in the body being explored. Written in an easy, accessible style, the book also includes handouts, belief cards, and case studies throughout to help therapists see the benefits of using sand with clients in practice.

    Including forewords by Dr. Lorraine Freedle and Doug Braun-Harvey, this book is geared toward mental health professionals, such as sex therapists and marriage and family therapists, who are working with individuals and couples seeking treatment from complex trauma and mental and sexual health issues. It will appeal to students as well as advanced mental health clinicians looking to expand their therapeutic tool kit.

    Forward by Dr. Lorraine Freedle; Forward by Doug Braun-Harvey; Preface; How to Use this Book; Part I: Mapping Out the Journey 1. Introduction: Amazing Things Happen When You Trust the Process 2. Cutting-Edge Psychotherapy: Using Sand in Treatment 3. What Path to Choose?: The Difference: Sandtray and Sandplay 4. Innate Abilities to Navigate Difficult Terrain: Introduction to the Polyvagal Theory 5. Multiplicity: Introduction to Parts in Therapy 6. Adaptive Defenses to Use on the Journey: Using Internal Family Systems Through the Polyvagal Theory Lens 7. What Goes in the Backpack? The Four Bs: Beliefs, Body, Brain, and Behavior 8. Accessing The Unconscious Mind: Using Metaphor, Sandplay, and IFSsandtray Part II: Courageous Souls Who Heal With In-Depth Therapy 9. Betty: Healing Early Childhood Trauma With The Pro-Symptom Belief Cards 10. Billy: Head Down, Holding Shameful Secrets 11. Billy: Healing From Grief, Loneliness, and Out of Control Sexual Behavior With Sandplay 12. Jane: Letting Go of Painful Sex Through IFSsandtray 13. Jane: Polarization of Shame and Being Sexually Free Part III: Clinical Exercises 14. Internal Family Systems Directives to Use with Clients 15. How to Use The Pro-Symptom Belief Cards With or Without Miniatures Part IV: Outcomes of Client’s Healing Expeditions 16. Soul Reflections: Discovery of Self-Acceptance 17. Client’s Reflections of Their Self-Acceptance With In-Depth Therapy 18. Conclusion


    Peg Hurley Dawson, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist who specializes in sexual health, problematic sexual behavior, sexual dissatisfactions, and complex trauma. She is a registered sandplay practitioner and creator of IFSsandtray technique. She is affiliated with The American Association of American Sex Educators, Counsellors and Therapists, Society of Sex Therapy and Research, and Sandplay Therapists of America.

    ‘A marvellous volume that served as a great introduction to sand therapy and working with out of control sexual behaviors. I do not use sand or miniatures in my work, and after reading I can see why this work is so important. Dr. Peg Hurley Dawson clearly lays out the theoretical underpinning that guides her practice. She invites you into the therapy space where you can see her facilitate powerful transformations of her clients, working as an attuned witness, and gives them space to deeply connect with their unconscious.’  

    Ethan Wattley, LPC 

    ‘Dr. Peg Hurley Dawson’s book shares her passion for her created process of IFSsandtray and integration of modalities (Kalffian Sandplay, et al.) and compels clinicians to explore further how to integrate these methods in practice. This book is easily digested with its personal case studies that provide guided insight into how this process works and its efficacy. This integrated process allows for clinicians from all backgrounds to have access to a method of healing that goes beyond talk-therapy and uses non-pathologizing ways of thinking about and interacting with clients. As an EMDR trained, Internationally Credentialed Sandtray Therapist, IFSsandtray has changed the way I do therapy as I have seen shifts in clients as soon as they complete the process that Dr. Dawson has laid out’  

    Chelsey Luke, LMHC, ICST