I typically begin the processing phase of the session by saying “Tell me about your scene.” However, if the client is feeling something during the creation phase, I try to start where she is. Excerpt from Sandtray Therapy: A Humanistic Approach (p. 68)
The humanistic approach to sandtray that is described in this book steers away from interpretation and focuses on exploration. As you will see in the next few chapters, this exploration is a deep experience. Most of what I do with clients during the processing phase is to facilitate a process of exploration and awareness. I agree with Rogers’ contention that the most powerful and therapeutic responses allow clients to move beyond their previous levels of awareness.
Even before the processing phase, the creation phase sets a tone for exploration and discovery as clients look at the miniatures and find connections to them. Some clients get lost in the process of arranging the miniatures just the way they want them. If the creation phase is a meaningful experience for clients, if they are seeing and thinking about aspects of their lives that they normally do not focus on, then the processing phase has begun internally. Moving to the verbal processing phase is much more natural when clients allow themselves to experience the creation phase.
If you are interested in learning more about sandtray, check out our 6-part sandtray training videos.