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J Sym & San Therapy > Volume 4(1); 2013 > Article
JSST. 2013;4(1): 21-34.         doi: https://doi.org/10.12964/jsst.130004
A Study of the Sandplay Therapy Case of a 9-Year-Old Girl Seen from Mahler’s Ego Developmental Viewpoint
Young-Joo Lee
Baekseok Psychological Clinic for Children & Families, Cheonan, Korea
Corresponding Author: Young-Joo Lee ,Tel: +82-10-9415-7871, Fax: +82-41-622-7483, Email: yklisa@hanmail.net
Received: March 12, 2013;  Accepted: May 30, 2013.  Published online: December 31, 2013.
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This case is a study in which the possibilities inherent in sandplay therapy were applied to a nine-year-old girl who had not developed independence typically and showed difficulties in her peer relations and was unable to adapt to school life. Observations were analyzed from the viewpoint of Mahler’s separation-individuation developmental theory. To this end, from the viewpoint of the theory of object relations, the contents of play themes and the process of changes in the contents were examined together with the development of patterns to establish relations with the outside world. As well, I have considered that the child’s inner world had been constrained so that an initial diagnosis of autism was made. I have tried to show that there was a block in development proceeding from the autistic phase in terms of her capacity to communicate with the world and that many changes were made during the process of therapy. Ultimately, I have noted how the child’s development of object constancy and individuation were represented.
Keywords: Sandplay therapy | Mahler | Separation-individuation | Object constancy | Autism
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