Why Sand Story?

Why Sand Story?

Stories or narratives are the threads that weave our experiences, thoughts, and, dreams together. But most of all stories are how we make sense of the relationships in our lives both past and present. Stories become the fabric of how we see the world and how we experience it.

The importance of the stories of people’s lives has always been pivotal to me. In my Master’s thesis, I looked at the narratives of children who lived with aggression and compared them to those who did not. In my PhD dissertation I explored the stories of mothers and children who had survived family violence. Through these many stories one thing stood out–the importance of relationship, and the hurt that stems from being caught in relationships that do not nurture or support. As I continued my journey through my training in play therapy with traumatized children, this lesson came through again and again. It is the wounds of the heart that run deepest and if we can make changes in the connections in our lives, the greatest healing happens.

Many of the children who come to counselling may tell their story in the sand tray, incorporating the symbols or figures that are meaningful to them. The child will tell their story this way many times, having control of how the story develops and how it ends, until they reach a place of growth, understanding, and/or acceptance. The beautiful thing about stories in the sand is, with a shake of the sand tray, the sand becomes smooth again to be built just the way the child needs it to be. For adults, the sand is metaphorical, whether they seek to improve the connections with their child or spouse, or need understanding or acceptance of the connections in their past, they can rework their story until they achieve the change they hoped for, or a sense of peace.

Even the name of the former practice, To the Moon and Back Psychological Services, came from the story Guess How Much I Love You? It is a wonderful children’s book all about loving connections. The practice name was coined by my then two-year-old daughter while out for a walk as a family under a full moon talking about what to name the office. The name had a story, which is so dear to me. Although I loved my time operating To the Moon and Back Psychological Services Vancouver, and it remains close to my heart, as I continued to build my practice, the goals and the direction continued to take shape. With the growth, it became time for a change. With the new name, Sand Story Psychology Services, I wanted to be able to honour the connections and stories of all of children and adults who have and will come through my office. Whether it is a story of loss in counselling or a story of one’s abilities and struggles in an assessment, my clients’ bravery, heart, and tears continue to inspire me. Their need for nurturing connections, or attachments, continue to drive me.

I look forward to connecting with you.

Deborah