School-Based Sandtray Counseling on a Shoestring




Blalock, Sarah

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Taylor & Francis


The purpose of this article is to provide research evidence and a rationale for use of sandtray counseling in schools, as well as serve as a practical “how to” guide on conducting sandtray sessions inexpensively in a school setting, using case examples to illustrate. Especially now, in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic and increased awareness of racial inequity, students (and teachers) will need interventions appropriate for trauma and grief. For school-based counselors, sandtray counseling is a developmentally appropriate intervention, particularly for preadolescents, who are old enough to feel uncomfortable with playroom toys and yet are not developmentally ready to use a primarily verbal intervention. Sandtray counseling can provide a culturally sensitive, safe, and soothing bridge between experience and expression, to facilitate integration and healing. With proper training, sandtray counseling can be a valuable addition to any practitioners’ toolbox and is effectively conducted by practitioners working from various theoretical orientations.



school counseling, sandtray, trauma, grief, school-based counseling, creativity in counseling


Blalock, S. M. (2021). School-based sandtray counseling on a shoe string. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, pp. 1-12.


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