The following was submitted by reader Rebecca Moise. It’s an insightful look at the symbolism of bridges used by children in sand tray therapy. I thought I’d share with everyone else.
“In your most recent entry it was mentioned many play therapists have found bridges to be one of the most frequently used sand-tray miniatures. This has also been my experience. Bridges, or moving across a bridge, are also found in dreams. There are times in the sand tray, or in dreams, when one meaning of this is strongly indicated. This can represent the experience of moving from one state to another. The child’s inner world is changing as she grows and develops. She is much aware of moving from one arrangement of instinctual energy to others that may impose a quite different set of interests and abilities: infant to toddler, toddler to child, younger child to older child, older child to teen, teen to adult. These are monumentally important processes the child actively works on mastering as he plays. Very young children I see in my practice often reach automatically for one of the several bridge miniatures I have available to place these in the sand. They may run cars over these or have people or animal miniatures moving across these. Older children may use bridges to connect two parts of sand tray scenes they are creating. Teens or adults may find more elaborate, symbolic uses for bridge miniatures, as they create worlds that more clearly represent their life journey. Bridges are an important part of my collection of miniatures. Other frequently used miniatures include treasure, jewels or shiny objects of all sorts, strands of beads, weapons and fighting, including both war scenes and fighting dangerous animals, babies, witches, Disney figures. . . well the list goes on and on, but bridges are certainly high on the list.”
Thanks, Rebecca. If anyone else would like to share their knowledge or experiences, please post a comment or send us an email.