There is a need in the South African context to train students to work in communities in order to address the psychological needs in the wider community. For students who work in the wider community, acquiring multicultural skills is imperative. Experiential learning has been identified as an effective training method in the training of multicultural counselling skills. Non-verbal strategies to supplement the training of counsellors in a multicultural context may be beneficial as an addition to the training. Expressive arts therapy and then significant to this study, sandplay as a form of expressive arts therapy, not only possesses possibilities of non-verbal intervention but has been noted by research as an effective intervention technique to work across cultural and socio-economic status.
The purpose of this study is to explore the experiences of counsellors who conducted a short term intervention in a resource constrained community. This study adhered to the meta-theoretical paradigm of interpretivism, while the methodological paradigm of qualitative research was adopted. An intrinsic case study design was conducted whereby a focus group discussion and reflective notes from the counsellors were used as a data collection strategy. Through a content analysis, the data was analysed by means of a thematic analysis. The findings of this study indicated that the counsellors experienced the sandplay intervention as a positive influence on their personal as well as their professional development. The students made various recommendations for future research and projects, but what stood out in this study was their need to have sandplay therapy included in their formal training as educational psychologists.