Sand and Solution-Focused Therapies

Claudia witnessed the mugging scene, and that experience resulted in fear and anxiety. This information means that social work services could be beneficial for the client. Firstly, Chiesa (2012) stipulates that sand play can be a linking tool between a child and an adult. Social workers can use this connection to help the child reveal their fears comfortably. Secondly, a study by van der Kolk (2003) indicates that play therapy is an effective intervention to help younger individuals regulate their stress.

Finally, using a sand tray can “facilitate clients’ healing and strengthen internal resources” (Taylor, 2009, p. 56). This information demonstrates that play therapy can provide Claudia with significant advantages. Therefore, it is reasonable to explain how I would have used play therapy if working with Claudia to address her anxiety and fears.

On the one hand, I would have invited Claudia to a sandplay, including narrative sessions. Chiesa (2012) stipulates that children tend to build certain scenes in the sand, and it is possible to use these creations to promote reflective processes in children. Social workers can use these sand scenes as a starting point to engage a young client in an active discussion (Chiesa, 2012). The case study under analysis demonstrates that Claudia used sand to build protective barriers for good figures. That is why I would have tried to engage the girl in the conversation about why she believed some figures were good or bad. It is possible to expect that this communication would have helped Claudia verbalize her threats and facilitate internal strengths, which are required to overcome anxiety and fear.

On the other hand, I would have also used a combination of sand and solution-focused therapies. According to Taylor (2009), solution-focused therapy is a verbal intervention that motivates individuals to develop their existing strengths and become resilient to external and internal issues. Even though this intervention seems essentially different from sand therapy, it is possible to benefit from applying the two. In particular, it refers to the findings by Taylor (2009), who admits that their combined use help clients visualize a problem and find possible solutions to the identified issue. In particular, solution-focused therapy help social workers get more insights from children by asking them specific questions during sand play. I would have applied such a binary approach to Claudia’s case because it can maximize therapy effectiveness.


Chiesa, C. (2012). Scripts in the sand: Sandplay in transactional analysis psychotherapy with children. Transactional Analysis Journal, 42(4), 285-293. Web.

Christogiorgos, S., & Giannakopoulos, G. (2015). Parental presence and countertransference phenomena in psychoanalytic psychotherapy of children and adolescents. Psychoanalytic Social Work, 22(1), 1-11. Web.

Malawista, K. L. (2004). Rescue fantasies in child therapy: Countertransference/transference enactments. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 21(4), 373-386. Web.

Taylor, E. R. (2009). Sandtray and solution-focused therapy. International Journal of Play Therapy, 18(1), 56-68. Web.

Van der Kolk, B. A. (2003). The neurobiology of childhood trauma and abuse. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics, 12, 293-317. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. "Sand and Solution-Focused Therapies." September 18, 2023.