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Hakoniwa Sandplay

Dr. Jennifer Fendya

Sandplay ( is an expressive arts therapy developed originally by Dora Kalff for use with children, based on C.G. Jung’s theory about the self-healing nature of psyche and the transformative power(s) of symbols. Sandplay also is used by adults as a practice of quieting the overly-programmed “logical” mind through its hands-on use of sand, water and hundreds of miniature figures, giving opportunity previously hidden energies and possibilities to emerge spontaneously. Hakoniwa, a form of group Sandplay developed in Japan, is being used globally with adults in various non-clinical settings, allowing participants to gain greater awareness of their unique individuality and also their interconnectedness through the group’s collective core.

I’m Jennifer Fendya, PhD, a Jungian-oriented psychologist and registered Sandplay therapist in Western NY, in private practice for almost 25 years. In 2018 I received certification as a ShinrinYoku/Forest Therapy Guide to formalize my longstanding engagement in reverie with trees and waterways and now invite others to come out with me to rekindle their innermost connections to the other-than-human world. For several years, I was curator/host of art exhibitions at Jung Center Buffalo’s prior incarnation on Franklin Street, and I'm a longtime student/teacher of Nalanda Miksang (“Good Eye”) contemplative photography and consistent exchanger of undisciplined art and writing with artists and writers. The escalating activation of our planetary alarm system and need for everyone to wake up to it motivated me to co-chair the WNY Chapter of Climate Reality Project where we encourage taking generative action on behalf of our as-yet-unimagined future Earthlings as well as for those we personally love/find hard to love currently. For anyone hunkered down, burned out or suffering on the spectrum of climate emotions, you and your polyvagal dysregulation are welcome at a Climate Cafe or Healing Circle, which I co-facilitate with excellent partners from Climate Psychology Alliance and Commonweal Omega Project, respectively. As we say, if you’re not feeling it, you’re not paying attention. To artists and creatives everywhere (and those who don’t identify openly as such), you have so much "skin in the game" to help our next equitable and more joyous, playful world to emerge. 

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