1/25/13 - Sandtray Therapy for the Treatment of Trauma

Jan 11, 2013 by Sheila McCabe, MS

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Title: “Sandtray Therapy for the Treatment of Trauma”
Date:January 25, 2013
Presenter: Sheila McCabe, MS

Description: Sandtray therapy is a highly effective treatment modality for adults who have been traumatized and are unable to express their emotional turmoil verbally or through other cognitively oriented forms of therapy. This unique environment presents an atmosphere free from threats in which the clients are capable of acting out any scenarios that present themselves.

Attendees will learn how a therapist facilitates the sandtray process, with the client positioning and manipulating miniature objects as representations of actual people and events. The clients’ work with the sandtray is guided by their imagination and their subconscious. Ms. McCabe will present cases that powerfully illustrate how the world within the sandtray is expressed through symbolism and metaphor and may be interpreted as a microcosm of a client’s inner world.

By initially facilitating change on a fictive or imaginary level, a client gains the courage and ability to begin to make the same changes in their lives. The sandtray is merely a tool for healing; it is the client that ultimately finds the solutions to his/her problems.

Bio: Sheila McCabe holds two master’s degrees from California State University, Fullerton, one in counseling (marriage and family therapy) and the other in gerontology. She has dedicated much of her clinical focus to enriching the lives of military members and their families; in 2007, she established a nonprofit organization dedicated to this purpose. She has extensive training in expressive arts therapies, particularity as they apply to the treatment of trauma, and she has researched and worked with communities, families and individuals suffering from historical, intergenerational, complex and post- traumatic trauma syndromes.

Ms. McCabe’s introduction to sandtray therapy came as a graduate student, and she has studied extensively under Dr. Theresa Kestley at the Sandtray Training Institute of New Mexico. She also has conducted research on sandtray therapy as a mental health intervention for Native Americans and has produced a documentary with Dr. Kristi Kanel of California State University, Fullerton on the use of sandtray therapy with veterans and their families.

Ms. McCabe currently works as a multicultural counseling intern at a nonprofit counseling center in Irvine, California. There she has established her own sandtray therapy office where she continues her work with veterans and their families, as well as others who suffer from emotional adjustment and trauma-based disorders.




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