Sand Play Therapy and Art Therapy

Creative and expressive therapies for Children and Adults

Deanah McCormack Counselling Services in Tralee, Co. Kerry is now offering sand play and art therapy services.  

Sand Play Therapy is a unique form of therapy which originated through Margaret Lowendfeld's work as a psychiatrist in London with children.  She identified it as "The World Technique".  In later years, Dora Kalff while completing her studies with Carl Yung recognized the potential of Lowenfeld's "Word Technique" and further developed the method.

The process of Sand Play Therapy involves the use of sand trays, sand, water and miniatures.  By it's nature sand play therapy allows us to experience the spontaneous and compelling forces of creativity.  The miniatures used act as a form of energy, bridging the divide between our unconscious and conscious. The sand-tray provides the boundaries that contains the work unfolding providing; insight, clarity and an opportunity to reflect.

Sand play is symbolic, non-verbal and experiential.  As such, it can be of benefit to all persons.  However, it is particularly beneficial for children and adolescents.  This particular form of therapy provides an expressive outlet for children in their most natural state of curiosity, through play. Sand play therapy can be used to improve outcomes in family therapy.  Forming a scene in the sand can take us away from our heads and into a felt and more whole experience of ourselves.

 Art Therapy is an expressive form of therapy in which a variety of materials such as; paint, pastels, markers, charcoal, clay etc. may be used creatively. 

Mans need for self expression dates back to centuries ago, with evidence across the Continents, of ancient man describing his world through cave paintings.  Today's field of Art Therapy has emerged through the psychoanalytic tradition - rich in concepts of the unconcious, collective unconcious and symbolic imagery.  ((Wadeson 2010)

You can contact me through the website, or at (087) 175-6857 if you would like to avail of these services or require any further information. 


Both Sand Play Therapy and Art Therapy might be an effective form of therapy for:

  • Grief & loss
  • Trauma
  • Anxiety
  • Crisis
  • Abuse
  • Adjusting to Foster Care
  • Chronic illness
  • Behavioural difficulties
  • Adjusting to a new country and culture
  • loss of meaning
  • issues around self identity
  • Life Transitions

The process of Art Therapy allows us to tap into our own creative forces that move us in the direction of well being and wholeness. Similar to Sand Play Therapy, Art Therapy is non-verbal and is a non-threatening way of symbolically representing our inner world, when words are too difficult to find to describe the complexity of our experiences.  This particular rmodality is highly beneficial for;  children, those with limited communication or language skills, psychological distress or learning difficulties.  Art Therapy can be used, across a diverse range of community settings including; mental health, medical, rehabilitative or educational services. 


County Kerry

Deanah McCormack

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Mon - Friday: 9AM to 930PM
Sat - Sun:  Closed