Presenting this workshop at UCLA Expressive Arts Summit in LA.
Fire and Sand: Mobile Sandplay Therapy in Disaster Relief
Lorraine R. Freedle, PhD, ABPdN, CST-T
Natural disasters including wild fires, hurricanes and volcanic eruptions displace millions of people around the world and cause community-wide trauma. Sandplay is an expressive, culturally-sensitive, trauma-informed therapeutic method that helps children and adults to alleviate symptoms of distress following traumatic events and improve community resilience. Sandplay provides a tangible, active way to release and metabolize overwhelming emotions. Sandplay has been used effectively after 9/11 in New York City, mudslides in Thailand, earthquakes in China and Nepal, and the 2011 tsunami in Japan. Furthermore, group sandplay and storytelling also has been proven effective in improving children’s learning and social development when applied in school settings.
This workshop reviews the use of mobile sandplay therapy in disaster relief, including practical clinical applications, multi-cultural considerations and research findings. Participants will view a short, award-winning documentary film called Fire and Sand. The movie examines the firsthand experiences of local sandplay relief therapists and people affected by the 2018 volcanic eruption on Hawai`i Island, and the “living mythology” of Pele, Hawaiian Goddess of the Volcano. Art making and discussion will be used to integrate concepts, enhance our work as clinicians, and motivate a call to action.
- Apply key tenets of Kalffian sandplay therapy to mobile sandplay practice in disaster relief.
- Practice three strategies for setting up “a free and protected space” for sandplay in an emergency field setting (e.g., Red Cross Shelter, school, community center).
- Identify four research findings that support the use of sandplay in disaster relief, including results from relief efforts during the 2018 volcanic eruption.
- Describe two ways that myth and culture impact community resilience following a traumatic event.
- Identify three self-care strategies and develop a personal action plan for a potential natural disaster in your own community.
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