Sand tray therapy is a type of expressive therapy that is often used with children, but can be successfully applied with adolescents, adults, families, and groups. Although there are many benefits of utilizing sand tray therapy with clients, its main focus is to enable clients to gain more insight about themselves by providing an understanding of their emotions at a deeper level. Some suggest that sand tray therapy brings forward the unconscious to present awareness.

Through the use of the sand tray and a vast array of miniature figurines, the client creates a symbolic world. The world the client has created then acts as a reflection of their own life and allows greater exploration of hidden or previously unexplored concerns. This form of self-expression is considered non-invasive in comparison to traditional “talk” therapy.

All though sand tray therapy can be used with all types of presenting concerns, it is thought to be most beneficial for clients with histories of child abuse, domestic violence, death of a loved one, anxiety, depression, and separation or divorce.