The creative arts, like sand tray, appears to work by allowing conscious and unconscious aspects of the psyche to interact.
Usually we will begin with a short meditation which allows things to come forward from the unconscious level and onto the medium being used be it masks, paper, clay etc thereby raising awareness and bringing it into the here and now for discussion.
Working with collage to look at body image and eating disorders issues provides opportunity to discuss how printed/visual media impacts self-esteem and body acceptance. In addition, this therapeutic directive helps the client remember and or discover that the body has more value in the world than just looking a certain way. Believing and appreciating the body for its abilities rather than perceived liabilities is a vital step towards living a physically and emotionally healthy lifestyle.
Creating a Mandala (sanscrit word for circle) is a symbol, a reflection of who you were when you created it and ideally can result in some form or self-healing, self-expression and/or self exploration. The finished mandala will represent and reflect who you were at the time of creation.
Especially useful when working with PTSD is using art materials to create an image of the felt sense of “a place of contentment” or a “compassionate friend” to reinforce the connection to that space and sensation.