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Interpreting Dreams Through Humanistic Sandtray Therapy

  • Aaron Glogowski

Dr. Michael E. Dunn

Swan, K. L. , Schottelkorb, A. A. (2013). Interpreting Children's Dreams Through Humanistic Sandtray Therapy. International Journal of Play Therapy, 22 (3), 119-128. doi: 10. 1037/a0033389

Swan and Schottelkorb open up this informative article with a statement on dreams and adolescence. They first not that studies have shown that children as young as 3 years old are able to recall their dreams. Some studies have even hypothesized that children's dreams can reveal what they think about themselves. Afterward, they check out show a good example of how children's dreams change as they develop. Children have a tendency to take on a far more energetic part in their dreams as they grow older, and their dreams from age groups 4-12 become scarier, predicated on happenings in their lives. In this manner, traumatic experiences could find yourself playing a sizable part in children's dreams. In their analysis, Swan and Schottelkorb motivated that they wished to find a procedure for help children in evaluating their dreams for various thoughts and feelings that may be concealed within them. But to do that, they had a need to develop a approach to experimentation first, plus they wound up choosing the sandtray method.

According to their research, Margaret Lowenfeld is the person responsible for creating the World Technique, which gave the base for the introduction of sandtray therapy. The sandtray method is meant to allow children to recreate moments from their dreams over a sandtray, that they are then able to explore.

Through their experiment, Swan and Schottelkorb hoped to find out if the children's dreams could be based on history or present occasions, in addition to providing them with an outlet to explore their dreams. To handle their test, they began by creating four unique phases through which the analysis would occur. These included the precreation period, the creation stage, the dream control stage, and the postprocessing stage. Each phase acquired a very specific goal mounted on it.

In the first phase, the precreation phase, the aim was to help the kids recreate the dreams in their brain, and bring them to a state of relaxation. The phase began by putting the child through a feeling of meditation. The therapist took them through a series of steps to relax them and help them focus their head. They started by giving them simple assertions about themselves or their environment, before moving their attention to the dream aspect of the treatment. The therapist would inquire further a series of questions about the dreams to have the child's thought process focused on the dream's details. After they were done asking questions about the wish, they proceeded to another step.

In period two, the creation stage, the target shifted to the child's creation with their dream. At the start of phase two, the child was presented with a sandtray to recreate their goal to the best of their potential. They were told to use as much or less than necessary to properly create the aspiration. Swan and Schottelkorb note that it is critical that the therapist remains engaged and centered on the child, enjoying their process silently, to be able to maintain the correct healing environment for the kid to continue to set-up their dreams in the sand. It was offered that the therapist may please note their thoughts and thoughts as they make an effort to track the span of the aspiration. Once that stage concluded, they shifted to the genuine dream processing.

Phase three, the phase of the handling of the fantasy, was divided up into several steps. This period was designed to help better understand the wish and the thoughts associated with it. The aspiration processing phase began with the therapist requesting the kid to clarify the landscape that they had created. Swan and Schottelkorb remember that using this method, the focus could shift from the kid to the creation in the sand, thus rendering it easier for them to discuss the dream, and any issues or problems that may go with it.

In the first step of the process, the therapist's goal was to obtain a firm notion of the world of the wish, asking the child very specific questions about the objects that that they had created within the sandtray. At that time, the therapist would ask questions in what happened between certain things. Within the next step, the therapist would ask the child about how exactly certain things made them feel. The therapist would make an effort to follow along in a manner that mimicked the child's thoughts, for example, revealing the kid about things that they saw with them when they were discussing a certain subject. The purpose of this portion of the period was to take notice of how the child sensed toward certain sets off. Step three entails the therapist and child trying to figure out what the child considers or imagines when he is presented with a particular subject from the collection. The hoped to utilize this step to discover concealed meanings with things, and how they might be associated with other experiences that the kid may experienced. Step four is approximately examining any possible occasions that might be for some reason from the formulation of the desire. Swan and Schottelkorb say that the therapist might need to ask questions in a more solid way to get the precise responses required predicated on the issue of identifying specific triggers for past or present memories. The final step is about reflection, or aiming to piece all of the information alongside one another. The therapist may ask the kid some questions about how exactly they feel about what the desire means, allowing the kid to come quickly to terms with the desire as well.

The final phase of the analysis was the postprocessing period, in which the main goal was to determine the ultimate meaning behind the goal. The therapist asked the kid to make a title for the sandtray creation. They expect that this name would help to create an individual idea for this is of the dream. The kid was then asked to make a phrase last but not least how they uncovered this is of the fantasy. They inform you a picture should be taken out of all the dream views to keep an eye on the restorative process. They also caution against resetting the aspiration landscape in the sandtray before child leaves, as it may provide as an extension of the unconscious.

Swan and Schottelkorb be aware one particular circumstance when a ten calendar year old patient by the name of Mary was put through this form of remedy. Mary's mother possessed brought her in to therapy because she was worried about Mary being abnormally stressed and unfortunate. The therapist used the sandtray process to uncover the meanings behind a goal that Mary acquired including an attacking clock, a fighting with each other wolf, and a defensive dog. Through the procedure, Mary and the therapist could actually determine that she was having these feelings of sadness and stress and anxiety because of her parent's recent divorce. After the program was over, Mary discovered that she was now sensing more relaxed with everything. Swan and Schottelkorb remember that the sandtray method found in this instance seemed to activate a healing up process for the patient.

They end their review by saying that dream centered therapy may demonstrate helpful for children experiencing mental issues, but where there is absolutely no official data on the specific type of remedy, counselors should make sure that they obtain full consent before using the technique.

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