Date of Award

Winter 1-15-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Donna C Owens


This paper looks at a new way of using sand tray and play therapy, in family therapy to support a secure bond between parents and their children. The literature on adverse childhood experiences, benevolent childhood experiences, and the extensive body of literature on sand tray and play therapy suggest that this method could help the families at the shelter the author interned in this past year. Supported by Jungian and Adlerian therapists, sand tray and play therapy are safe, the sand and figurines and toys are easy to manipulate and accessible for those who are less verbal to play and process through that play experience. The study explored the use of sand tray play therapy with one middle aged White, blue-collar father and his 3-year-old daughter and became a case study due to the Coronavirus pandemic preventing more participation. From this experience much was learned about participation and appropriate psychoeducation as necessary for results. There was evidence to support the use of this method to support and/or facilitate a secure attachment in the primary caregiver relationship. Literature supports the use of sand trays with children and adults, but the obstacles to gathering the data in the time allotted, created much difficulty. Therefore, it is hoped this information will be used to try again with another group at another time when groups can meet, and people can be present often.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




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