PLAYING with sand can help address emotional and behavioural issues in children, claims a practitioner in therapeutic sandplay.

Jane Fay, from Thelwall, has set up The Sandworlds Room, which aims to help children deal with a wealth of issues from hyperactivity and temper tantrums to anxiety and phobias.

The certified play therapist said: “It can be quite powerful for a number of reasons. I have worked with children with autism as it can be soothing as it allows them to relax.”

Sandplay therapy was developed by Dora Kalff in Switzerland in the 1950s as a non-intrusive and non-verbal form of psychotherapy.

While research has proven that sandplay has a positive effect on children, it has also been used to aid adults in a number of issues as well.

Through creative working with sand, unconscious processes, which are embedded deep inside your body, are made visible in a 3D form.

Working with sand can become an emotional experience and the images created in the sand can aid a person’s conscious realisation of inner problems and emotional issues.

The 49-year-old, who also holds sessions in music and other types of play therapy, said: “It can help issues that have become repressed to come up to the surface.

“As the sessions take place, the issues that are on a child’s mind can often come to the forefront of their play.

“The therapeutic process can enable emotional processing and adjustment from within.”

Statistics by Play Therapy UK indicate that up to 83 per cent of children undertaking a therapeutic play experience a positive change.

Sandplay therapy has previously helped a nine-year-old boy to overcome anxiety neurosis and aided a five-year-old with triumphing over a speech block.

For more information on sandplay therapy visit