(continued from The Number Two: In the Larger World and the World of Sandplay Part 1)
Two items or pairs, such as a bride and groom, may represent two coming together to indicate the emergence of something new. Symbolically, the number two is woman and man and out of that union emerges a child; something new.
The relationship with the therapist may be represented by the relationship between figures or objects in the tray. According to Kay Bradshaw in her article Transference and Countertransference in Sandplay Therapy the placement of miniatures or items may “express the simultaneous character of actions and reactions in the client-therapist relationship involving both conscious and unconscious as well as positive and negative feelings by both people.” Ruth Ammann in The Sandtray as Garden of the Soul, discusses the concept of countertransference in sandplay. She states “…the therapist enters the therapeutic process of his analysand or client by resonance.” This resonance comes from training, life experience, and an ability to work with nonverbal methods such as sandplay.
Two may represent the duality of good and evil. In the tray, this duality may appear as two figures such as a white knight and a black knight, a wizard and a warlock, or a princess and a witch. Animals such as a dragon and a unicorn, a hawk and a dove, or a white horse and a black horse may be used to symbolize good and evil.
The tension of the opposites might appear in a tray as items placed at far corners of the tray. Items used in this way may represent opposing qualities that may need to be realized.
This is but a brief discussion of the possibilities regarding the number two and what it may symbolize both universally and specifically to the sandplay process. I am grateful for other sandplay therapists and their ability to record and present their thoughts and experiences regarding sandplay as it has enhanced my understanding of “two”.
Ammann, Ruth, The Sandtray as Garden of the Soul, Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Sandplay Therapists of America, San Francisco, October 1995
Bradway, Kay and McCoard, Barbara, Sandplay - Silent Workshop of the Psyche, Routledge, New York, 1997
Bradway, Kay, Transference and Countertransference in Sandplay Therapy, Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Vol. I, Num. I, Sandplay Therapists of America, San Francisco, 1991
Fontana, David, The Secret Language of Symbols, A Visual Key To Symbols and Their Meanings, Chronical Books, San Francisco, 1994