Introduction of the case
Zana, an 11½-year-old Caucasian female, was one of the ten research subjects chosen for a sandplay therapy outcome study that was sponsored by the Minnesota Sandplay Therapy Group. The selected site of this study was a small, parochial school located in the inner-city of the Twin Cities. This school had about one hundred children with 90 percent of them being students of color. The subjects were chosen by the school social worker, who had close contact with every student in the school and knew which children needed mental health services the most. In the referral form, this school’s social worker noted the following about Zana:
This is an 11-year-old Caucasian female. She lives with both parents (they are, however, divorced and previously separated) and her older brother, age 13. She was the victim of repeated sexual abuse by a neighbor during the summer when she was 8 years old. The abuse involved intercourse and penetration with many objects; it was an awful account. The perpetrator was never prosecuted; he still lives next door, and she sees him outside all the time. Her father is chronically ill with a multitude of problems and is not expected to live much longer.