A valid process in Sandplay therapy is one of remembering and healing. When we look back to our origins in Jung and Kalff we acknowledge that some of our founders were known to have held views which in today’s society would be unacceptable. We realise that these were views of Eurocentric origin. They lacked racial sensitivity and were reflective of the climate of the times. AST does not support these views. At AST we want to learn from these mistakes, while at the same time, acknowledging the wonderful legacy of their teachings and writings that have contributed so richly to the work we undertake today.
When Dr. Barbara Turner formed the Association for Sandplay Therapy, she did so on three basic principles that govern and inform all that we seek to undertake in our interactions with others.
The first of these is clarity. We seek to be clear and unambiguous in everything that we say and do, so we can say with confidence that we do not and can never support any form of racial or ethnic discrimination. As an international organisation we welcome with open arms all those who seek to be affiliated with us and work in the sacred practice of Sandplay. We believe that differences of race, creed, colour, religion, physical ability, gender and sexual orientation enrich us. Our aim is always one of unity and never of division.
We acknowledge that sometimes we fail in our aspirations and make mistakes, thus our second principle is humility. On occasion we do get things wrong, however unintentionally. When this happens, we are willing to humbly offer our apologies and seek to have open and positive discussion about how we might make things right or need how we need to change.
Our third principle is one of striving for loving kindness with both ourselves and everyone with whom we have contact. To belong to the Association for Sandplay Therapy, each member must attest to understanding that practicing Sandplay is a sacred responsibility that demands reverence and humility. To maintain these values each agrees to practice loving kindness and compassion with clients, colleagues and with his or her self.
Loving others is never an easy option, but it is fundamental to how we operate as an organisation. If we love others as we say we do, then we offer that love to the whole person, seeking to be sensitive to racial and cultural difference, with the realisation that it is these very differences which actually unite us in our common aim to be the best we can be as practitioners, consultants, teachers of Sandplay, and human beings.
We welcome dialogue with all members and are open to any discussions or comments you would like to make on this matter or anything else that may concern you. I end with a quote from Jung:
“Where love rules there is no will to power, where power dominates, there love is lacking”