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Christine Gazulis PhD
Clinical Psychologist


711 D Street, Suite 207 

San Rafael, CA 94901




For Kids

What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy is a form of psychotherapy. Unlike adult therapy, the treatment of childhood emotional and behavioral problems is conducted in the natural language of children—PLAY.

Symbolic Play is the language through which children communicate their inner world and attempt to resolve inner conflicts. Under the guidance of a play therapist, children express their concerns symbolically and non-verbally as well as through talking. A well-equipped play therapy room contains the tools to help with this expression and often includes toys such as figurines, puppets, action figures and other objects, games, sand, playdough, clay, paint, and other art supplies.

Sandplay Therapy

Sandplay was developed by the late Jungian analyst Dora Kalff of Switzerland in the mid 1900’s. It is a psychotherapeutic tool used with both children and adults. The method consists of the client’s creation of a three-dimensional picture with miniature figures in a tray of sand in the protective presence of a trained practitioner.
The client is given the possibility, by means of figures and the arrangement of the sand in the area bounded by the sandbox, to set up a world corresponding to his or her inner state. In this manner, through free, creative play, unconscious processes are made visible in a three-dimensional form and a pictorial world comparable to the dream experience. Through a series of images that take shape in this way, the process of individuation described by C. G. Jung is stimulated and brought to fruition.

Dora Kalff, Jungian therapist, developed sandplay therapy in Switzerland in the 1950s and '60s based on her studies at the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich, in Tibetan Buddhism, and with Margaret Lowenfeld, in England.


Copyright 2008, Christine Gazulis, PhD, All Rights Reserved