This paper uses structural analysis to examine the images produced by clients with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). A literature review revealed that PDD individuals create images consisting only of “surface” elements and are devoid of “meaning”. I presented a course of psychotherapy with a boy with mild PDD. It was clear that the surface images were two-dimensional and served to preserve the sense of oneness. I concluded that the addition of depth to such images would require that client have the experience of spatial isolation that accompanies three-dimensionality, as well as the sense of chronal isolation that accompanies four-dimensionality. Through this process, the therapist and client can develop the ability to share meaning and emotion as humans. Thus, structural analysis, which enables understanding of the depths that are otherwise hidden in images, can be used to reveal the humanity of clients with PDD, who appear to lack this very quality.
Archives of Sandplay Therapy 27 (2), 39-49, 2014
The Japan Association of Sandplay Therapy