Sandplay Therapists of America is grateful to be able to participate in this introductory offer from ARAS to Sandplay therapists worldwide. STA/ISST members, associates and students may explore what ARAS has to offer in terms of symbolic content. Sandplay therapy, with its use of miniatures, readily brings forth archetypal imagery. The Sandplay therapist is ever curious about what this material might mean for the person choosing the figures and using them in a tray, each in a unique way. That opens the door for further exploration.
This is where ARAS can be most useful to the Sandplay therapist. It contains a wealth of information about a broad variety of symbols. Consulting the archive can help the Sandplay therapist find links between the client’s clinical material and the symbolic realm.
Joseph Henderson, senior Jungian Analyst with the San Francisco Institute, always encouraged Sandplay therapists to use ARAS as a resource. He was a friend of Sandplay. He embraced its possibilities. He presented at several Sandplay symposiums and published articles in the Journal of Sandplay Therapy. At the time, ARAS was only available at a few Jungian Institutes across the country. After Joe Henderson’s 100th birthday, ARAS went from slides in these few locations to online services available to all who are interested in finding out more about what cultural and archetypal meanings a particular figure might have.
For Sandplay therapists, ARAS is an excellent resource for writing symbol papers and preparing case material for presentations or articles for the Journal of Sandplay Therapy. It is especially helpful for those who might not have ready access to Jungian material and want to utilize authentic sources. Once logged in, it is easy to look up a certain symbol. A search can lead to numerous representations from a variety of cultures where that particular image can be found. Browsing through this vast collection can become an absorbing meander through all that ARAS makes available for enriching our understanding of our clinical work. It is then that symbolic imagery can come alive.