Quotes: Sandplay

Chiaia, M. E. (2005). Sandplay in Three Voices: Images, Relationships, the Numinous (1 edition). Routledge.

  1. Sandplay is a nonverbal therapy using sandtrays, water and miniatures provided by an empathic therapist who encourages the making of anything one wants in the tray without interventions or interpretations. (Kindle Locations 214-216).

  2. The relationship of each to the sand; of each to their own unconscious and to the other’s unconscious; the relationship to the unlived side of the shadow of each; the relationship to the numinous, the spiritual, to something beyond each where the Self connection is made between the two. (Kindle Locations 220-222).

  3. This reminds me of Jung’s Psychology of the Transference [Jung, 1966d] where there is an alchemical image of the king and queen getting into the bath together. For Jung the king and queen were the symbolic therapeutic couple. Patient and therapist are in the soup together—the bath.(Kindle Locations 274-276).

  4. Yes, the Japanese word is hara. That’s where the real engagement is, and the head may be involved in that, but the hara, that is where the deep engagement is. But you don’t get that right away, although with some clients you may get it more quickly. (Kindle Locations 313-315).

  5. There is also the sibling relationship, but that’s different. The parent—the mother-child—is the first. And, in therapy, you do get an erotic relationship many times.(Kindle Locations 332-333).

  6. Of wholeness. Yes. So I would think that, on a non-ego level, there could be a profound spiritual union, or a potential or a sense of possibility within the relationship. (Kindle Locations 356-357).

  7. It’s a distant connection in that it is being played out in the sand but we are impacted by and with the sandplayer. We are feeling it deeply with them as they are experiencing it. And we are experiencing with them the feeling of connection, union, and love. (Kindle Locations 374-376).

  8. The sand is the deep, organic place of creation. That is where the old ego dies and then something new is created. A birthing takes place. (Kindle Locations 505-506).

  9. “Related” is defined as having close harmonic connection. “Relation” is a quality (as resemblance) predicated on two or more things or parts taken together; connection or a state of being mutually or reciprocally interested. “Relationship” is defined as the state or character of being related or interrelated. (Kindle Locations 541-543).

  10. “Connect” or “connection” are also interesting words. Definitions for “connect” include to establish relationship, to join or unite; those for “connection” include coherence, continuity, link; the last of these, interestingly, denotes a means of communication. (Kindle Locations 546-548).

  11. In sandplay we create a space for the archetypal experience to come through into the human realm through sand, water and miniatures and through the relationship to the therapist. (Kindle Locations 555-556).

  12. The field of experience is particular to the therapist and client, and all they bring into the room. Grand and Chiaia have written on this field phenomenon, and call it the “transindividual field” (Kindle Locations 558-560).

  13. “heartbeat of the psyche.” This statement arose during one of our conversations. The heartbeat of the psyche can be experienced by what Bradway calls “purposeful imaging” (Bradway, 2001), using the magic combination of sand, water and miniatures. (Kindle Locations 568-570).

  14. Sandplay makes the space for the creation of the experience of the Self. The mystery of the Self appears in all of its forms and over time it becomes the guiding archetype. (Kindle Locations 587-588).

  15. In sandplay the body and the psyche provide the material for the wisdom of the individual and the mystery of the Self to emerge. (Kindle Locations 590-591).

  16. Within the interpersonal matrix or co-transference holds open the possibility of the transcendent and sets in motion a process of healing which may also contain some aspects of initiation and/or transformation. Initiation involves rites, which are ordinary acts imbued with divine knowledge or wisdom. Initiatory acts receive and transmit spiritual values and the initiate undergoes rituals that help the individual relate to the social group and the collective unconscious while maintaining their individual identity. Initiation as described by Henderson (1967) allows for the transition from childhood to adulthood and to the eventual experience of the individuation process described by Jung (1967). (Kindle Locations 592-597).

  17. Everyone has a voice inside, sometimes very deep, that says, ‘You are very special.'” This is the voice that one needs to learn is there and to connect with, form a relationship with. (Kindle Locations 623-625).

  18. How does one learn, and experience, that there is a sacred, mysterious, magical connection between the ego “I” and another deep inner God-given, if you will, “I” with which one is born and which one retains through life? One way is through depth psychotherapy. (Kindle Locations 629-631).

  19. Analysis of the transference (and countertransference) plays a prominent role in much current Jungian analysis. (Kindle Location 648).

  20. In using Tarot cards or the I Ching, therapist and client work together in analyzing or understanding the ritualized material. They are looking at the material together and analyzing it together rather than the therapist’s dominating the interpretation. (Kindle Locations 649-651).

  21. “Cherishment” indicates the product or the state of being cherished.(Kindle Locations 670-671).

  22. But what we are looking for in individuation is to reach a wholeness. It would seem desirable for clients to develop wholeness in the way that is specifically right for each of them, since all individuals are unique, and finding their wholeness is a unique journey. The role of the therapist would seem to be to provide the circumstances for maximizing the twin urges toward self-healing and growth in each client’s journey toward wholeness. (Kindle Locations 675-678).

  23. What is required in sandplay is the courage to descend into the depths of the human psyche and open its mysteries. (Kindle Location 692).

  24. Touch the miracle of the living soul. Not theories but your own creative individuality alone must decide. (Kindle Locations 702-703).

  25. The realm of the symbolic is where the opposites can appear, where the inner relatedness can happen, and therefore is the only place where the transformative function can be activated. It is also where the ego is sacrificed. (Kindle Locations 727-728).

  26. The squared circle is an alchemical symbol representing the synthesis of two opposing realities: the circle of the mysterious and the square of concrete matter. (Kindle Locations 759-760).

  27. Well, I try to connect with the child around the things that matter to them. I find out what those things are that matter. (Kindle Locations 1373-1374).

  28. I recall a little girl who loved dogs. So she brought her dog to our sessions and I brought mine, and we played with the dogs in the yard. Slowly we began to make a connection through the dogs. (Kindle Locations 1380-1382).

  29. Something I have found useful, particularly with teenagers, is ritual. For instance, rocks and crystals really appeal to them. With a very angry young man, we talked about how the earth and the rocks absorb water, and how the earth and the rocks absorb whatever falls to the earth. I asked him, “What if you carried a rock in your pocket? And when you feel this anger, how about putting your hand on the rock and letting the anger go into the rock and stay in the rock?” (Kindle Locations 1383-1386).

  30. So as therapists now, we are realizing that children are being— KAY: Deprived. LUCIA: Deprived, banished, and damaged, and the natural creative aspect of the child’s Self is being shut down. (Kindle Locations 1416-1419).

  31. Little girl loved crystals, “’cause they’re pretty.” And then I read with her that rose quartz increases confidence and gives comfort. She loved that! And then we made a little piece of jewelry. We used a little ritual to lead the way back to the real Self. Sometimes in the beginning, if they don’t like the toys, they may still like the natural things: rocks and— KAY: Seeds and acorns. LUCIA: That’s right. All children love the little natural things or objects belonging to ancient cultures native to different regions of the world. (Kindle Locations 1455-1460).

  32. They experience something they may never have experienced before. MARIA: And then there is an inner and outer connection— KAY: That is healing and the basis of individuation. (Kindle Locations 1468-1470).

  33. It’s not complimenting or saying how you feel about it, but it’s validating their own good feelings about themselves that I think is important. And secondly, I would tell mothers, “Let them know when you feel joy in being with them.” (Kindle Locations 1477-1479).

  34. We are not judging the sandtray; we are appreciating the playing, the doing, the creating of the sandtray and how they may feel about it. (Kindle Locations 1497-1498).

  35. Playing is part of the human life at all stages. The ability to play and imagine and be creative is our birthright. (Kindle Location 1519).

  36. We have to love the child, seeing something good and appreciating them each time we see them. Over time, children respond to our empathic caring, begin to learn about themselves through our experience of them and eventually begin to open up. Slowly the child may risk sharing inner feelings, dreams and thoughts, allowing the therapist to engage with these parts of themselves. (Kindle Locations 1547-1549).

  37. The child archetype is an aspect of individuation. In individuation the symbol of the child represents the figure that synthesizes the conscious and unconscious elements of the personality; it unites the opposites and makes whole. (Kindle Locations 1560-1562).

  38. Jung takes this idea of beginning and expands it to include the end. He states that the symbol of the child is: both the beginning and end… Psychologically speaking, this means that the “child” symbolizes the pre-conscious and post-conscious essence of man. His pre-conscious essence is the unconscious state of earliest childhood; his post-conscious essence is an anticipation by analogy of life after death. In this idea the all-embracing nature of psychic wholeness is expressed… The “child” is all that is abandoned and exposed and at the same time divinely powerful; the insignificant, dubious beginning, and the triumphal end. The “eternal child” in man is an indescribable experience, an incongruity, a handicap, and a divine prerogative; an imponderable that determines the ultimate worth or worthlessness of a personality. (Kindle Locations 1572-1578).

  39. Given freedom to do what they wanted in a safe place provided by an empathic therapist, these children themselves directed the therapy.(Kindle Locations 1601-1602).

  40. Common aspects we found in the two therapies were as follows. 1 Both children initially avoided all verbal communication. 2 Both communicated through toys. 3 Both were in control of the play and the toys (dog; miniatures). 4 Both were concerned with “good” and “bad.” 5 Both used therapy to help with fear of uncontrolled anger. 6 Both showed negative feelings toward the therapist through the use of “toys.” Bobby said the dog wanted to kill Brian. Kathy had Kay and her shoot toy cannons at each other. 7 Both put therapist in a position in which the child could experience being the authority. (Brian: “He tried to control my every move.” Kay: “She had me put together items and mocked me when I had trouble.”) 8 Both therapists became aware of angry feelings in themselves. 9 Both children, on the day before a separation from therapist, provided for a passing of a concrete object between therapist and child that was appropriate for their own level of development: Bobby, a turtle puppet (Bobby asked therapist for it); Kathy, a pencil sharpener (child gave to therapist). Bobby’s turtle from the therapist at his level of development represented a transitional object; Kathy’s pencil sharpener to the therapist was related to the easing of her presenting problem of failure in school. 10 Both children showed growing feelings of love for therapist that were then reflected in relationships in external world, home and school.(Kindle Locations 1665-1682).

  41. To reclaim that special inner child, with its joyous promise of aliveness, we need to be able to say, “I don’t know” without shame. (Kindle Locations 1713-1714).

  42. The shadow usually presents a fundamental contrast to the conscious personality. (Kindle Locations 3124-3125).

  43. We look for the oppositions and the tensions from tray to tray. We also observe these oppositions within a tray. I pay attention to which figures are placed diagonally across from one another. (Kindle Locations 3135-3136).

  44. It requires a real solution and necessitates a third thing in which the opposites can unite. (Kindle Location 3156).

  45. In nature the resolution of opposites is always an energic process: she acts symbolically in the truest sense of the word, doing something that expresses both sides, just as a waterfall visibly mediates between above and below. The waterfall itself is then the incommensurable third.(Kindle Locations 3157-3159).

  46. “Experience with patients in psychotherapy teaches us that in the effort to restore integrity, facing the shadow is essential” (Kindle Locations 3209-3210).

  47. “Strangely enough, evil people are often destructive because they are trying to destroy evil. The problem is that they misplace the locus of evil. Instead of destroying others, they should be destroying the sickness within themselves” (1983, p. 74). (Kindle Locations 3291-3293).

  48. “We must beware of thinking of good and evil as absolute opposites” (Kindle Location 3294).

  49. Hesse says in his great book Demian that if you hate a person, you hate something in him that is a part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us (1976). An interesting facet of this phenomenon is that the rejected parts of ourselves might be the more positive aspects of our personality. The projection onto the “other” might be that of wisdom or gentleness or beauty or spirituality. We still are separating out a part of our Self, rejecting it and relegating it to the unknown. (Kindle Locations 3305-3308).

  50. Jung said that truthfully the shadow is 90 percent pure gold (Abrams and Zeig, 1991). Paradoxically, the ego becomes what is wrong and the shadow becomes what is right and what can provide the healing.(Kindle Locations 3312-3313).

  51. Swimming around in the darkness of the unconscious, there’s the light of consciousness in the eyes of the fish. The sun is the light of consciousness and the lumen naturae is light in nature in the unconscious. (Kindle Locations 3362-3363). –

  52. We have to know what it is like to be lost in the chaos and where everything is awful, and then to have to come up out of it. Then we will be able to acknowledge the value of the ugly, dark trays. We have to know that the dark is an essential part of the new thing that is going to come. It’s almost like a reverence. (Kindle Locations 3498-3500).

  53. Everything that the darkness thinks, grasps, and comprehends by itself is dark; therefore it is illuminated only by what, to it, is unexpected, unwanted, and incomprehensible. The psychotherapeutic method of active imagination offers excellent examples of this. (Kindle Locations 3508-3510).

  54. One must dismember to remember: one must de-structure to restructure.(Kindle Location 3524).

  55. Kali, the Hindu goddess of creation and destruction. She is fiery red and stands on corpses and drinks blood; sometimes in images of Kali all we see are her eyes, as symbols of consciousness in darkness. There is illumination that comes from fiery rage and anger. (Kindle Locations 3532-3534).

  56. Chaos and darkness have a light, a meaning, and a dark radiance that will shine if we create a space for their expression and experience. (Kindle Locations 3567-3568).

  57. Creation is as much destruction as construction. (Jung, 1969b, par. 245)(Kindle Locations 3614-3615).

  58. Scientists do tolerate uncertainty and frustration, because they must. The one thing they do not tolerate is disorder. The whole aim of theoretical science is to carry to the highest possible and conscious degree the perceptual reduction of chaos. (in Hillman, 1972, p. 99) (Kindle Locations 3621-3623).

  59. Chaos is portrayed in myth by the uncontrolled forces of nature, such as floods, fog, fire, hurricanes, raging ocean waters, or the “yawning”. (Kindle Locations 3627-3628).

  60. As the lotus rising from the mud represents the emergence of light from the primordial slime and the phoenix rises regenerated from the ashes of its fire, so too the human psyche must suffer the pain and terror of destruction in order to rise transformed to a higher level of development.(Kindle Locations 3638-3640).

  61. The whole experience of doing sand is a numinous experience, and this seems to have something to do with connecting with the silence, with the therapist and with the sand images. All of this comes as a powerful experience of one’s own psyche, an experience which is different from thinking, talking or knowing something about the psyche. It’s the experience of it—of the psyche. (Kindle Locations 3664-3666).

  62. Opening that door, going in—I called it my nonverbal room—the essence of the room carries with it—what do we use?—the word “spiritual.” The room takes on a numinosity in itself. LUCIA: It does. MARIA: That’s right. That’s it. And there’s a numinous transference to the room and the figures for us, as well as for the sandplayer. (Kindle Locations 3712-3715).

  63. Numen is the spirit or divine power and pneuma— KAY: That comes from breath. LUCIA: It’s life. Isn’t that the spirit of life? MARIA: Spirit, breath—the breath of life. LUCIA: Life. It’s what God blows into Adam’s nose. KAY: In the mud—the mud of Adam. MARIA: The material imbued with spirit or divine power. The figure has spirit! (Kindle Locations 3760-3767). –

  64. Now, what calls? But why do some people respond to sandplay and some don’t? So what happens when the spirit isn’t moving? KAY: We all have pain. We all have problems, but some of those things we can solve in some other way, a less expensive way. But if that doesn’t solve it and the pain gets worse, then something happens and the psyche comes out and says, “Look, you’ve got to do something about this.” (Kindle Locations 3827-3830).

  65. Change is more fearsome than the pain that I’m experiencing. So maybe that’s where that fear of the Self comes in because the Self demands change. It will give you change. (Kindle Locations 3836-3837).

  66. “Called or not called, God will be there.” (Kindle Locations 3850-3851).

  67. But in the face of possession or violent emotion, reason is abrogated; the numinous archetype proves on occasion to be the stronger because it can appeal to a vital necessity… We know that an archetype can break with shattering force into an individual human life and into the life of a nation. It is therefore not surprising that it is called “God.” (Jung, 1963, par. 787)(Kindle Locations 3855-3859).

  68. In sandplay we, the therapists, hold a space open in the co-transference, where there is the possibility of connecting to the phenomenon of the psyche, which includes the experience of the “numinous archetype.”(Kindle Locations 3860-3861).

  69. liminal space, which is a threshold between ordinary reality and spiritual reality. (Kindle Location 3870). –

  70. The sandplayer creating a sandplay enters into a realm of mystery and not knowing, and this may be felt as a living religious or holy experience.(Kindle Locations 3880-3881). –

  71. They may have a “holy dread” of the numinous, a term that Jung borrowed from Rudolf Otto (Jung, 1969a, par. 222). Jung states: The “holy dread” of civilized man differs but little from the awe of the primitive, and that God who is present and active in the mystery is a mystery to both.(Kindle Locations 3884-3887). –

  72. spontaneously…it must be remembered that the images…are psychic processes which are different from their transcendental object; they do not posit it, they merely point to it. (Kindle Locations 3904-3905). –

  73. David Feinstein offers the concept of “subtle energy” as a possible key in understanding what happens in numinous and spiritual experiences. He points to the universality of the recognition of such experiences by noting the many cultures that have a name or concept “to describe energies or fields that cannot be experienced directly through the senses yet are believed to influence people. (Kindle Locations 3920-3924). –

  74. “Depth psychology is thoroughly involved a priori with religion because it is a psychology of the soul…psychology does not take place without religion, because there is always a God in what we are doing” (1976, p. 228). (Kindle Locations 3996-3997).

  75. The imagination has dried up and life’s meaning has become shallow or nonexistent. (Kindle Locations 4022-4023).

  76. When we can acknowledge that the pain we are experiencing is not arbitrary, but is actually a call to move us toward a reality of greater dimension, we can diminish the tendency to identify with the suffering, and pathologize ourselves and be “sick.” (Kindle Locations 4027-4029).