The firesetter's search for a "place called home"
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Homes can become prisons, and prisons can become homes; both nurturing of the self, but also its violation. Houses in forensic sandplay imply issues of safety, security and containment, institutionalization and incarceration, reparation and resettlement, building, and hiding that is pertinent to man, the psychotherapeutic experience and a complex relationship between secure settings and the psyche. Firesetting, a symbolic attack against "home" and property is often a response to conflict or crisis, expresses a desire, wish or need, is influenced by learning disabilities, and can be a "cry for help" for those who have been neglected, traumatized or abused, and when verbal language has been impossible. Sandplay imagery of two men in a low secure unit, who underwent firesetting treatment, provide glimpses of an internal world that seeks to repair self and ego damage, and where ruins express psychological homelessness; offering a return to natural shelter and activating a descent into unconsciousness.