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Short History

Active Sandplay

Sandplay is a therapeutic modality of the greatest power. It was created by Margaret Lowenstein and Dora Kalff over fifty years ago, and has been used by some Jungian analysts since then.


Stories on the Vanishing Twin Syndrome - Hugely Important, horribly neglected!
Click here to find out how we work with the huge issues it leaves.

Notes to Transformation

  During the 1980s Sandplay was introduced into the Personal Development movement, mainly by Patrick Jensen, who applied it in the (up to then) traditional manner by watching while a tray was prepared, taking notes, but saying nothing.

I became fascinated in actively participating in the Sandplay dialogue witha client, and after 1987 would use gestalt, inner searching, and other techniques to help the client understand the meaning of the play for themselves.

I naturally came to adopt this procedure as the other proceses were actively encouraged within the principles espoused by the Living Water Centre, where I was being trained. To create Active Sandplay was then the most natural synthesis of all these modalities.

The difference is that the Jungians would allow the unconscious as presented in thet tray to percolate into consciousness over time, while I found it more effective to take the moment while it was 'hot', as it were, and see if the issue could be resolved then and there.

The results have far exceeded all my dreams. People have come to understand themselves at a very profound depth, and to heal themselves in very short periods of time.

It seems that in order to successfully undertake Active Sandplay, one needs to have done considerable personal development. The power of the unconscious is so great that the issues of other people can easily be taken on by the therapist, and burnout ensures. We at the Crucible Centre have been using Active Sandplay without any problems of burnout for over 15 years.

For more complete description of how we use sandplay at the Crucible Centre Click here. The photograph is of Hilary and I with our partner at the Crucible Centre, Marg Garvan.

I have written an article on how it may be used as the finest Diagnostic tool. A short version will be placed here soon with photographs.

The Team: Marg Garvan, John James and Hilary James.

These are some of my writings on Transpersonal Psychotherapy

1994, Notes to Transformation, Leura.
1997. "Les signes du Zodiaque et le Portail Royal de la cathédrale de Chartres", Connaissance des Religions: Lumières du Moyen Age, 1997, 52-66.
1997, "La mystère du grand labyrinthe de la cathédrale de Chartres", Connaissance des Religions: Lumières du Moyen Age, 1997, 26-51.
2000 "Energetic Nodes are the Foundation of Personality (an introduction)", Counsellor, winter 2000, xxiii, 11
2000, "Training: Process before Content", Psychotherapy in Australia, May 2000, vi(3), 5
2000, "What is Transpersonal Psychotherapy?", The Heart of Practice: Programme, July 2000, 28
2002 "Response to an ethical dilemma", Counsellor, March 2002, 5
2003 "Soul Clear, Soul Mysterious", Living Now!, liv, 2003, 4.
2004 "Know Yourself Through Sandplay", Living Now, Sept 2005, 14-18.
2007 The Great Field; Soul at Play in a Conscious Universe, Distributed by West Grinstead, Fulton, 2007.
2008 "Did your sibling die alongside you in the womb? The Vanishing Twin DSyndrome';. Living Now, September 2008, 5-8.

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