Thesis Title

The Use of a Circular Sand Tray in Sandplay

Graduation Date

Spring 1989

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


Sandplay, by providing an opportunity for objectifying psychological content or material makes it possible for a person to see himself or herself from a new perspective. This non-verbal, non-rational form of therapy has traditionally utilized a rectangular tray of sand. The purpose of this paper was to explore the use of a circular tray. A control group was not employed because the subjects were not being compared to any other group. Rather I was looking for a particular experience evoked in the subject through this methodology. Research on the circle was followed by a look at seventeen sand trays done in the fall and winter of 1988/1989 in the sand circle studio of my home in Palo Alto, California. The hypothesis was that the use of a circular tray would help the individual to organize contents of the psyche around a central focus. My conclusion was that it did.