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Goodies and Baddies: A study of how children aged between five and eight years use sandplay to explore themes of good and bad from an attachment perspective. January 2016.

By January 1, 2016No Comments

This study was designed to ascertain if there are any links in regards to how children perceive good and bad and the effects, if any, with their primary attachment. The researcher had observed in previous play therapy sessions, that children appeared to be conflicted when determining who was the “goodie” and who was the “baddie” in their scenarios. The study was then devised to explore this dubiety through the use of sandplay within non-directive play therapy sessions.
The study was offered to six children between the ages of five and eight years, in a primary school over a ten week period. They had been identified as requiring individual therapeutic support due to displaying signs of low emotional well-being and insecure attachment behaviour.
The three methods used have been: · The Leuven scale (1994) · Pre and post sand tray assessment · Sessional narrative story stem using sand tray On completion of the study, overall results show that the sample children chose to use the archetypes of good and bad interchangeably in sandplay – as well as the remainder of the play therapy session – to explore their internal working model of attachment.
In addition to the sample child whose attachment dynamics remained unresolved by the end of the study, this study explores recommendations for further research and practice.