BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - 9


life-threatened state. The child may show
signs of school refusal, separation anxiety,
depression, suicidal ideation, and selective
mutism. They have few words to express
their internal sense that the world is not
a safe place to be.
My first example is of five-year-old
Mathew who was non-verbal at school
with his teachers and friends. He was
encountering something at home that
triggered him. He was screaming and
punching in response to the trigger with
no words. This trigger would not normally
be scary for a child of his age.
He would not let his mum leave my
office during the first three sessions. I
asked him at the first session if he knew
why he had come to see me. He shrugged
his shoulders. I said it was because sometimes he got very upset at home and that
I was going to help him be less upset. This
was the last time I spoke of the identified
BC Counsellor | Winter 2018 | www.bcschoolcounsellor.com

The primary reason why children don't speak or
cannot articulate how they feel about themselves
is that they do not feel safe. We are wired to
seek safety, and when safety is not perceived
then the body moves into protection mode.

problem and for the rest of our sessions
I focused on creating safety in the sand
tray. For the first three sessions Mathew
created chaos in the sand tray by frenetically disassembling houses, fences, trees
and sometimes people without speaking
a word (Figure 1).
Figure 1.
Chaos in the
sand tray.

I knew that this was an indication of the
chaotic feelings he had inside that needed
to be expressed. There was no theme to
the play, no beginning, middle or end.
In the second session, I began to bring
order and a sense of safety to his chaos.
I suggested that we make a movie of his
"story." I told him when to begin then
switched on the camera, gave him about
one minute to play and then said stop.
While we stopped I asked how the people
were feeling. Mathew did not answer, so
I suggested that they were probably very
scared. I asked him how we could help

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BC Counsellor - Winter 2018

President’s Perspective
The Fine Print
Book Review
How the Use of Neuroscience and the Satir Model in the Sand Tray Facilitates Healing in Low-Verbal or Non-Verbal Children
BC School Counseling: Preserving One-on-One Support for Students
SuperConference Recap
Ask an Expert: Dianne Noort Talks about Play Therapy
Counsellor’s Corner
Index to Advertisers
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - intro
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - cover1
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - cover2
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - 3
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - President’s Perspective
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - 5
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - The Fine Print
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - Book Review
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - How the Use of Neuroscience and the Satir Model in the Sand Tray Facilitates Healing in Low-Verbal or Non-Verbal Children
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - 9
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - 10
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - 11
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - 12
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - BC School Counseling: Preserving One-on-One Support for Students
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - 14
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - SuperConference Recap
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - Ask an Expert: Dianne Noort Talks about Play Therapy
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - 17
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - Index to Advertisers
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - cover3
BC Counsellor - Winter 2018 - cover4