Effectiveness of Sand Tray Therapy on Emotional- Behavioral Problems in Preschool Children

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

Department of Psychology, Roudehen Branch, Islamic Azad University, Iran

Abstract

Emotional-behavioral problems are common in preschool-children and might have some destructive effects on them as well as others. Sand tray therapy is an effective technique that encourages children to express their thoughts, feelings, and conflicts through symbolic expression and story. In this technique a person has an opportunity to resolve conflicts, remove obstacles, and gain acceptance of self. The purpose of this research was to determine the effect of sand tray therapy on reducing emotional-behavioural problems among preschool children. A randomized controlled trial method was applied in this research. The statistical population consisted of preschool children who suffered from behavioural-emotional problems in Tehran in 2016. Three centers were randomly selected from preschool centers in Tehran. The scale of Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL) was completed by parents. 24 children whose scores placed between the boundary range of 65<T<69 and clinical condition of T>69 were identified and they were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups (12 in per group). The experimental group was individually treated using the sand tray, but the control group did not receive any treatment. ANCOVA test was used for data analysis by SPSS 22.  The results showed that sand tray therapy could reduce anxiety/depression and social problems (in the area of emotional problems) and aggression (in the area of the behavioral problem) in preschool children significantly. According to the results, it is recommended that child psychologists apply the sand tray therapy for reduction some of emotional-behavioural problems such as anxiety, depression, and social problems in preschool children.

Keywords


  1. Achenbach, T. M., & Rescorla, L. (2001). Manual for the ASEBA school-age forms & profiles: An integrated system of multi-informant assessment / Thomas M. Achenbach & Leslie A. Rescorla. Burlington, Vt.: ASEBA.
  2. Armstrong, S. A., Brown, T., & Foster, R. D. (2015). Humanistic Sandtray Therapy with Preadolescents. Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling, 1(1), 17–26. https://doi.org/10.1080/
    23727810.2015.1023167
  3. Bertenthal-Smith, J. (2015). A Brief introduction to sandtray therapy. AMHCA Annual Conference. Philadelphia. 2015. Www.Trinity-Hart.Com/uploads
    /5/9/1/4/…/sandtray_presentation
    .
  4. Blom, R. (2006). The handbook of gestalt play therapy: Practical guidelines for child therapists / Rinda Blom; foreword by Hannie Schoeman. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  5. Drewes, A. A., & Schaefer, C. E. (2010). School-based play therapy (2nd ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley; Chichester:  John Wiley [distributor].
  6. Ghasemi, O., & Khaki A. (2015). Psychometric properties of the semiotics scale of behavioral-emotional problems in elementary school students, preschool and primary school studies. The Study of Elementary and Pre-Elementary, 1(3), 51–56. Retrieved from soece.atu.ac.ir/article_7277.html. (In Persian).
  7. Homeyer, L., & Sweeney, D. S. (2016). Sandtray therapy: A practical manual / Linda Homeyer, Daniel Sweeney (Third edition). London: Routledge.
  8. Ivanova, M. Y., Achenbach, T. M., Rescorla, L. A., Turner, L. V., Árnadóttir, H. A., Au, A., & Zasępa, E. (2015). Syndromes of collateral-reported psychopathology for ages 18-59 in 18 Societies. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology: IJCHP, 15(1), 18–28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijchp.2014.07.001.
  9. Kahrizi, S. A., Moradi, A., & Momeni, Kh. (2015). The effectiveness of sand play therapy on aggression/hyperactivity preschoolers. Journal of Culture Counselling and Psychotherapy, 18, 127–150. (In Persian).
  10. Kristoffersen, J. H.G., Obel, C., & Smith, N. (2015). Gender differences in behavioral problems and school outcomes. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 115, 75–93. https://doi.
    org/10.1016/j.jebo.2014.10.006.
  11. Landreth, G. L. (1982). Play therapy: Dynamics of the process of counseling with children / edited by Garry L. Landreth. Springfield, Ill.: Thomas.
  12. Landreth, G. L., Ray, D. C., & Bratton, S. C. (2009). Play therapy in elementary schools. Psychology in the Schools, 46(3), 281–289. https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.20374
  13. Linzmayer, C., & Halpenny, E. A. (2013). It was fun": An evaluation of sand tray pictures, an innovative visually expressive method for researching children's experiences with nature. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 12, 310–337. Retrieved from http://ejournals.library.
    ualberta.ca/index.php/IJQM/article/view/17085/15435.
  14. Linzmayer, C. D., & Halpenny, E. A. (2013). It was Fun: An Evaluation of Sand Tray Pictures, an Innovative Visually Expressive Method for Researching Children's Experiences with Nature. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 12(1), 310–337. https://doi.org/10.1177/16094069
    1301200115.
  15. Mattila, C. A. (2015). Cross-Cultural Sand Tray Therapy for Somali Refugees. Masters Project. The Faculty of the Adler Graduate School.
  16. Mitchell, D. (2013). Exploring the Benefits of Sand Tray Therapy for Adults. Retrieved from http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/sand-tray-therapy-adults-benefits-0414134
  17. Mohammad Ismail, A. (2005). Play therapy theories, methods and clinical applications. Tehran: Danzheh. (In Persian).
  18. Ogden, T., & Hagen, K. A. (2008). Treatment effectiveness of Parent Management Training in Norway: A randomized controlled trial of children with conduct problems. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(4), 607–621. https://
    doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.76.4.607.
  19. Ramsey, L. C. (2014). Windows and Bridges of Sand: Cross-cultural Counseling Using Sand Tray Methods. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 159, 541–545. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.
    sbspro.2014.12.421.
  20. Rescorla, L. A., Achenbach, T. M., Ivanova, M. Y., Harder, V. S., Otten, L., Bilenberg, N., & Verhulst, F. C. (2011). International comparisons of behavioral and emotional problems in preschool children: Parents' reports from 24 societies. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology: the Official Journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53, 40(3), 456–467. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.
    2011.563472.
  21. Rutter, M., Bishop, D. V. M., Pine, D. S., Scott, S., Stevenson, J., Taylor, E., & Thapar, A. (2008). Rutter's Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
  22. Tornero, M. D. L. A., & Capella, C. (2017). Change during Psychotherapy through Sand Play Tray in Children That Have Been Sexually Abused. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 617. https://
    doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00617.
  23. Webber, J. M., & Mascari, J. B. (2008). Sand tray therapy and the healing process in trauma and grief counseling. Based on a Program Presented at the ACA Annual Conference & Exhibition, Honolulu, HI. Retrieved June 27, 2008, from Http://counselingoutfitters.Com/vistas/vistas08/Webber.htm.
  24. Yang, Y.S. (2014). The Effects of Sandplay Therapy on the Behavioral Problems, Self-esteem, and Emotional Intelligence of Children in Grandparents-grandchildren Families in Rural Korean Areas. Journal of Symbols & Sandplay Therapy, 5(1), 7–13. https://doi.org/10.12964/jsst.
    130012.
  25. Yoo, S.Y. (2015). The effects of sandplay therapy on the anxiety, attachment relations, and interpersonal stress of children of alcoholic fathers. Journal of Symbols & Sandplay Therapy, 6(1), 25–42. https://doi.org/10.12964/jsst.150002.
  26. Zarei, A. (2012). The impact of sand play therapy in reducing the anxiety of students with mental retardation. Master's Thesis, School of Psychology and Social Sciences, Islamic Azad University of Tehran. Retrieved from ganj.irandoc.ac.ir/articles/
    585647 (In Persian).