The theoretical training in sandplay therapy begins after acceptance into the program and after personal process has begun. All theoretical hours must be taught by Teaching Members of ISST. The intake application for our training can be found in the download area here.

ISST requires 100 hours of theoretical training in sandplay therapy. Our basic training is steeped in Jungian thinking, and consists of 6 three day seminars over 3 years which build on one another. This makes it most meaningful to begin with the Introduction. Throughout training, 2 symbol papers and a final case study are written. A record of training must be kept with the document named Appendix D, also found in the download area.

We furthermore offer advanced seminars with national and international teachers.


Our training course consists of the following curriculum:



  • Roots, history and way of working of sandplay
  • Materials 
  • Documentation and photography
  • Dry and wet sand
  • Attitude of the therapist: holding the free and protected space
  • Healing factors
  • Reading scenes: association, amplification, space symbolism
  • Silence and speech


Jung´s Map of the Psyche

  • The conscious and the unconscious
  • The self and the ego 
  • Ego functions and attitudes
  • Persona and shadow
  • Complexes and archetypes
  • Anima/Animus concept
  • Symptoms, neurosis and libido


Symbols and the Symbolic Attitude

  • What is a symbol and how does it work
  • Symbols in fairy tale, myth, nature, culture and everyday life
  • Personal and archetypal symbols
  • The A-H method of approaching symbols
  • Symbol paper presentations


Methods of Sandplay Therapy

  • Invitation to sandplay
  • Initial trays
  • Recognizing disorders and resources
  • Transference and countertransference
  • Progression and regression
  • Models of interpretation of sandplay process in adults


Sandplay with Children

  • Basics of sandplay with children
  • Basics of developmental psychology and play
  • Models of interpretation of sandplay process in children
  • Age-appropriate scenes  


Sandplay Applications and Trauma

  • The neuropsychology of trauma
  • Kalsched´s theory of trauma
  • Sandplay therapy with trauma in children and adults
  • Sandplay in differing contexts
  • The Self in sandplay



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