1st Edition

Sandplay Wisdom Understanding Sandplay Therapy

    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    Sandplay Wisdom provides key concepts for understanding and using sandplay therapy effectively, distilling insight from more than four decades of experience. Rie Rogers Mitchell and Harriet S. Friedman provide both core principles and hard-won practical tips to deepen understanding of sandplay therapy for both experienced and novice practitioners.

    The principles presented provide key insight into many important therapeutic dimensions, including childhood trauma, archetypal life stages, age and gender issues, transference and countertransference, as well as sandplay with both adults and children. The book is illustrated with case material and images from real sessions throughout and provides invaluable guidance on working with clients in a vast range of contexts.

    This important book will be essential reading for all sandplay therapists in practice and in training. It will also be of great interest to practitioners, academics and scholars of play and arts therapies.


    1 What is sandplay

    2 How does sandplay heal?

    3 Archetypal life stages

    4 Childhood loss

    5 Recovering from childhood trauma

    6 Stages along the sandplay journey

    7 Tracking themes in sandplay therapy

    8 Age and gender issues

    9 Transference and countertransference in sandplay

    10 Sandplay and alchemy

    11 Combining play therapy and sandplay therapy

    12 Sandplay with adults

    13 Final thoughts


    Rie Rogers Mitchell, PhD, ABPP, LMFT, is Professor Emeritus in educational psychology and counseling at California State University, Northridge. She studied with Dora Kalff, the founder of sandplay, and has served as president of the International Society of Sandplay Therapy and president of Sandplay Therapists of America. She received the 2015 Kalff-Bradway Award for recognition in Sandplay Therapy.

    Harriet S. Friedman, MA, LMFT, is a Jungian analyst and certified sandplay therapist practicing in Los Angeles, California. Inspired by studying with Dora Kalff, Harriet became a founding member of Sandplay Therapists of America. She is a member of the International Society of Sandplay Therapy, and received the 2016 Kalff-Bradway Award for recognition in Sandplay Therapy.

    "Sandplay Wisdom is a gift to sandplay therapists and Jungian analysts, as well as to all of us who care about psyche and life. Sandplay needs wisdom, so as for our daily life. This book embodies the nature of the Kalffian-Jungian sandplay method: the way of life." – Heyong Shen, City University of Macau; President, Chinese Society of Analytical Psychology

    "Sandplay Wisdom represents an extraordinary legacy of two leading sandplay therapists based on four decades of personal clinical experience. It contains a wealth of theoretical considerations incorporating Jungian psychology, attachment theory, and neuroscience, among others, touching on how this therapy works, how it came into existence, evolved and in particular how it can be used to benefit both children and adults in distress, including those who suffer from trauma. A variety of case studies illustrate the theory and bring it alive. The book will not only be a fundamental companion for students and practitioners of sandplay but reaches out to anyone who wants to understand more deeply the self-healing potential inherent in an approach which integrates body, mind and relationship." – Martin Kalff, PhD; sandplay therapist, ISST

    "Sandplay Wisdom documents four decades of collaboration between Friedman and Rogers Mitchell, pioneers in sandplay therapy. This volume encompasses the foundations of sandplay, how it heals, ego development, childhood issues of loss and trauma, working with adults, transference and countertransference; it is rich with case examples. This book is a rich resource of their creative and original work which has influenced sandplay therapists over the years and will continue to have a significant impact for the future of sandplay therapy." – Audrey Punnett, PhD, RPT-S, CST-T/ISST; Jungian analyst; Vice President of the Americas, International Association of Sandplay Therapy; past President, Sandplay Therapists of America

    "With great admiration and respect, I enthusiastically recommend Harriet and Rie’s new book. This book covers important aspects of sandplay therapy, and, most impressively, many sandplay cases are given to illustrate the main points. This is a valuable book for professionals who teach sandplay and for those who are interested in advancing themselves in sandplay work." – Grace Hong, PsyD, LP, ISST-TM