Sand Therapy Training

Sand Therapy Competencies: Principles, Practice, Presence Level I

Now on Video — Learn at your own pace!

Instructor(s): Dee Preston-Dillon, M.A., Ph.D.

Competency evolves to keep pace with research, literature and practice. Problems in Sand Therapy occur when we ignore this foundation for achieving competency. As in any profession we make errors, we rush, we sabotage ourselves trying to meet professional and social expectations; inflated ego may substitute for rigor, while unconscious misuse of power can mislead and manipulate clients and colleagues. Blind determination, financial concerns, ignorance, and disinterest (it’s not my problem) set up ethical problems. Universities and accrediting agencies fall prey to these disruptions to competency, resulting in courses and certification of diluted direction and inaccurate information on the therapeutic process.

Sand Therapy: Understanding the Existential

Coming Soon

Existential understanding and engagement with sand scenes reveals essential concerns such as the meaning of life, identity, mortality, meaningful connection, and freedom. Clinician competency includes a grasp of existential core ideas following Rollo May, Irving Yalom, and Viktor Frankl, and clinical skills to engage with depth phenomena in sand scenes.

Sand Therapy Competencies

Coming Soon

This course presents an overview of the core principles and practices for safe, ethical, and empowering sand therapy. Each presentation will include relevant research, case examples, core concepts, and suggestions for practice. Course content emerged from decades of case consultations with therapists, interns (social work, counseling, psychology, marriage & family therapy), and clinical supervisors.

Sand Therapy: A Narrative Approach

Coming Soon

Narrative process with symbols in sand rests on metaphor, patiently paced, never judged, always tentatively explored. The clinician is aware of social, cultural and political (power) dynamics that are oppressive, remaining alert and protective, mindful of subtle ways alienation seeps into therapy. Narrative Sand Therapy is meant to reclaim and empower one’s authentic self.

Clinical Sand Therapy Certificate Program

Taught by:  Dee Preston-Dillon, M.A., Ph.D.
Continuing Education credits through the City of College Park, MD
Advanced Clinical Training Institute

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Sand therapy is a three-dimensional projective process appropriate for clients across the lifespan, often practiced by expressive arts and play therapists. This is a strengths-based approach wherein the client uses figurines and metaphors to tell their story.  In Sand Therapy work, it is especially important to be attuned to the psychic impact of the use of symbols. Training involves three core contexts:

  1. understanding theory – what lens do we use to view and understand the process?
  2. How do we facilitate client connection to his/her sand scene and collaboratively witness and honor the emerging meaning?
  3. How do we respond to clients and to their sand scenes to keep the process safe and anchor validation.