Symbol Work uses the same equipment as Sandplay, however it is more directed, allowing the client and the counsellor to focus on specific areas for gathering information and dealing with one area of concern.

Symbol Work exercises - created by Mark Pearson and Helen Wilson - are used throughout the ET courses. Symbol Work combines activities newly developed by the trainers with Gestalt theory and applies this to working with small symbolic objects. The play aspect of this approach makes it inviting and non-threatening. With training, Symbol Work can easily be incorporated into traditional counselling.

Symbol Work is used with adults, children and adolescents and can help resolve personal problems, reclaim forgotten qualities and provide a framework for the individual to reconnect with positivity and direction within themselves. Sometimes referred to in the literature as 'directed sandplay', the processes used in Institute courses have been created in Australia since 1994 and are suitable for contemporary counselling, where information gathering and clear communication are necessary.

"What we call a symbol is a term, a name, or even a picture that may be familiar in daily life, yet that possesses specific connotations in addition to its conventional and obvious meaning. It implies something vague, unknown, or hidden from us.

As the mind explores the symbol, it is led to ideas that lie beyond the grasp of reason".
- Jung, C., G. (ed) (1964). Man and His Symbols. Penguin: England.

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