Perhaps the favorite and most addictive part of sandtray therapy is the acquisition of figures! Seriously, I am so excited for days after a good sandtray find and even though I have countless pieces, I frequently buy more.

On that. Even though my addiction is real, I am still very selective about the items I buy. In the beginning, I had little discretion because I needed literally EVERYTHING! After a few years, I realized how little space I had to display figures and had to practice discernment in my shopping process.

Identifying Which Sandtray Figures to Buy

Now, I follow an intentional process of identifying which figures I buy and ask myself the following questions:

a) what is the obvious and subtle metaphors of this piece?
b) how might clients use this piece? what story may unfold?
c) would this piece be helpful for my client base?
d) do I have anything like this piece? how is this piece unique to my collection?
e) how will this piece complement the rest of my pieces?

Evaluating Your Figures

I also evaluate the piece on its energy.

a) what feelings does the piece evoke?
b) how are the weight and physical feel of the piece?
c) how does the piece resonate in my body when I look at it or pick it up?

After evaluating the previous thoughts, I then evaluate the piece on pure logistics.

a) do I have room for this piece?
b) how is the size of this piece (i.g., is it too big or too small)?
c) is the price right?
d) can I get it home safely?
e) when I consider buying it does my body resonate with a strong yes?

Taking ALL these things into account, I identify: Is the piece WORTH it? Worth is more than a dollar value. Is the piece worth the valuable space it will occupy? Is it worth cluttering the space for MY particular clients? Is it worth owning? Finally, I answer in one of three categories. I have learned if I say, “Maybe” I do not need the piece and trust if I truly NEED it later, a suitable option will eventually appear.
Yes = Yes
No = No