Thesis Title

The Representative Use of Symbols Within the First Three Sessions of Cyber Sanplay Therapy

Graduation Date

Spring 1996

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


This study explores the repeated use of symbols within the first three sessions of cyber sandplay. Cyber sandplay draws on some of the theoretical premises of sandplay therapy, particularly the use and development of symbols. like sandplay, cyber sandplay is an activity in which miniature figures are placed into a container to play out thoughts, feelings, or fantasies. In cyber sandplay, clients choose figures and shapes to place into a blank or predesigned canvas on the computer. Five male and female, severely emotionally disturbed adolescent (SED) subjects with a diversity of ethnic backgrounds participated in the study. Printed copies of the pictures created in individual sessions were analyzed for repetition with a coding sheet. A case study is presented to provide detailed information about the use of this art therapy intervention in the enhancement of the use and transformation of symbols by SED adolescents. The findings suggests that clients may repeat the same symbols in the initial three sessions of therapy.