Sandplay therapy is a therapeutic modality that is a potentially valuable tool for guidance counsellors working in the context of challenging school environments. It is particularly suited to work with children and adolescents as it provides unique and developmentally appropriate opportunities for them to engage in the therapeutic process. In fact, as it is play-based and developmentally appropriate, sandplay may be a useful adjunct for the mainly cognitive and behavioural techniques most commonly used by school guidance counsellors. It provides a multiple intelligences perspective and may meet the specific needs of children with particular cognitive and socio-emotional difficulties more effectively than the traditional ‘talking’ therapies.
In Australia and internationally, the roles of school guidance counsellors and school psychologists are increasingly characterised by complexity and diversity as a result of individual differences and the unique contexts of particular school communities. In order to most effectively facilitate positive outcomes for students guidance counsellors require an extensive array of knowledge, skills and abilities to enable them to work therapeutically with children. Sandplay therapy is one therapeutic modality that presents as a potentially valuable tool for guidance counsellors working in the context of these challenging school environments. Considerable clinical evidence and theoretical support exists for the use of sandplay therapy in schools; however, the technique is currently lacking the empirical support provided by scientific validation.