What types of change occur in adolescents using sandtray in counselling?

Kirsty Bilski is currently recruiting counsellors for the above research into using sandtray with adolescents. This is an exciting opportunity to be involved in furthering the development of a new approach to researching counselling and psychotherapy in Children and Young People.

 To be considered you would need to be:

A Qualified Counsellor.

Registered with the BACP.

Have training in counselling children and young people.

Working with this client group for at one year in either education, a voluntary agency or private practice.

Have some training in using sandtray in counselling.

Be able to identify possible participants for the study.


This is an overall mixed method research project which has 3 distinct stages. You and your client would be considered as participants for the first stage only. The first stage consists of a number of case studies, where young people are using sandtray in their counselling sessions.

The case study approach uses a developing methodology which, to date, has been rarely used with children and young people (CYP) but is becoming more widely used in adult case study research. Known as Hermeneutic Single Case Efficacy Design (HSCED) (Elliott 2002), this study aims to adjust emerging HSCED best practice in order to consider younger research participants. Central to this methodology is the ‘voice of the child’, understanding their felt experience of therapy and assessing whether the mode of therapy is responsible for any assessed evidence of change.


You would be working together, with the researcher, to complete a case study with a young person. This will be someone you identify as being suitable for this research study. There is a very clear ‘process consent’ approach, approved by the University of South Wales Research Ethics Committee which would be explained in further information.

You would use specific measures in order to collect ‘rich data’ from your client. You would be given lots of guidance on what needs to be completed and when. The young people in this study are aged 12 – 16 years and will be attending up to 8 counselling sessions. They would be using Sandtray in their sessions, they might also choose to use other creative ways to work.

 If you would like to know more, it would be fantastic to hear from you!

 For Further information please contact Kirsty Bilski or telephone 07971 264251

Lead Researcher and PhD Student