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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Sandplay Therapy for Children with Trauma Living in a Residential Facility in Nepal: A Multiple Case Study
by Maharjan, Chhori Laxmi, Psy.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2019, 247; 27669449
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study is to examine the outcome of the use of sandplay therapy (SPT) with traumatized Nepalese children living in Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF) residential facility. The NYF is an NGO, and is the only Nepalese treatment center using SPT. This study reports the results of a qualitative case study of 10 Nepalese children’s trauma healing process through SPT. Two counselors, informally trained in SPT and working at NYF, submitted records of 100 SPT sessions from 10 children.

Data included interviews with counselors in Kathmandu, counselors’ SPT progress notes, pictures of sand trays, and client progress reported by counselors. Study results revealed in what ways SPT helped to heal the children’s trauma. Data inquiry included content and thematic analysis of the sand tray structures, sand tray pictures, sand tray stories and descriptions, and the miniatures or symbols used in the trays, their relationships, and their symbolic meaning. Turner’s (2017) V pattern method of SPT analysis was used to track the children’s healing process. A traffic light metaphor was employed to present the trauma healing process in graphic form.

All 10 children’s sand trays transformed from chaotic to organized, and from red light to green light zones as a symbolic representation of the trauma healing process. Six major therapeutic themes were identified: (a) the nonverbal aspects of SPT; (b) the movement within the psyche undergone in sand trays; (c) evidence of resiliency in the children’s sand trays; (d) cultural aspects in children’s sand trays; (e) kinesthetic aspects of SPT; and (f) the nondirective presence of the therapist. Although further research is recommended, the findings confirm that SPT is effective in trauma healing for Nepalese children living in the NYF shelter homes.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wilkinson, Tanya
Commitee: Van Eenwyk, John R.
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 81/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Therapy, South Asian Studies
Keywords: Sandplay, Thematic analysis, Traffic Light Metaphor, Trauma, Trauma healing, V pattern
Publication Number: 27669449
ISBN: 9781392509722
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