How to Become a Certified Individual Member of the International Society of Sandplay Therapy (ISST)


An Individual Member (IM) is a Sandplay Therapist who is accepted into ISST and does not live in a country with an ISST National/Regional Society.

Please note that members of the International Association of Analytical Psychology (IAAP) have modified requirements for training as outlined below.


Step 1:

Become familiar with ISST requirements for membership (academic training in medicine, psychology, theology, social work, with previous knowledge of psychopathology and previous therapeutic process). After an intake interview with a Teaching Member ISST, you can be accepted into our training program. The Intake Application form can be found in the download area here.

A. Personal Process in Sandplay Therapy.  Must be with an ISST Member and precedes, if possible, a regular course of training in sandplay.

B. Theoretical training of a minimum of 100 hours in training seminars in the tradition of Dora Kalff and based on the principles of the psychology of C.G. Jung. Training in Sandplay Therapy must be with a certified ISST Sandplay Teaching Member.

C. Two written symbol papers, at least 10 pages in length, but no more than 20 pages with 1.5 spacing. At least one paper must include clinical sandplay material. Guidelines for symbol papers can be found in the download area here.

D. Supervision of practical work by at least two different Teaching Members for a minimum of 80 hours. Thirty (30) of the 80 hours must be individual supervision. Up to fifty (50) hours of group supervision is acceptable provided the student candidate presents his/her own clients’ material for at least 1 hour out of every five group supervision hours. All the supervision hours can be individual as group supervision is optional. Individual supervisors do not include the personal process therapist.

E. A written final case study of at least 30 to a maximum of 50 pages of text with 1.5 spacing. The case study must be read and evaluated by three ISST Teaching Members, who are recognized Case Readers. If the applicant lives in a country with a National Society at least one of the case readers should be from their National/Regional Society and at least one from a  National/Regional Society different to  that of the applicant. The applicants personal sandplay therapist and the supervisor on the case cannot be one of the readers. Each reader will provide an evaluation report of the case study to the Case Advisor. Once the Case advisor is satisfied that all three readers are in agreement, the outcome and readers reports are sent to the applicant. The case reader’s fee is determined by themselves unless it is set by their National Society. All requirements A-D above must be completed before submitting the ISST Final Case to readers. And a copy of the applicants Appendix D must accompany the case material sent to the readers. Guidelines for the case study can be found in the download area.


Step 2:

Keep a record of your training.  You may, if you wish, use the Appendix D form (also available in the download area) to keep track of your progress. Please be aware that several of the items require signatures verifying completed work. It is best to ask for a certificate of attendance to verify your work from the Teaching member at the time that you attend. Keep these certificates as part of your evidence of completed work towards certification.


Step 3:

Select a Training advisor.  Before writing the required symbol papers, ask a certified ISST Teaching Member to serve as your training advisor.  The Teaching member needs to have been certified as a Teaching member for at least two years. Their role will be to guide you through your professional development towards certification.


Step 4:

Once you have completed your training and supervision hours and two symbol papers you are ready to start working on writing up your final case study. You can take the advice of your supervisor(s) as to which case may be suitable.

After you have completed the ISST required training hours and two symbol papers, but before submitting your ISST Final Case to readers, your Record of Training (Appendix D Form, see download area) should be completed and copies submitted to your training advisor, who will review your Record of Training to verify that you have completed all ISST training requirements before you submit your final case study to your readers.

After your advisor reviews your Record of Training, send a copy of the Record of Training, a professional resume, and the final case study to your ISST Final Case readers.

Your Final Case readers will report the outcome of their evaluation of your paper to your advisor, who will then contact you. A written evaluation of your paper from each of your readers or a joint evaluation from all three will be available to you upon completion of the process.


Step 5:

If your paper was approved by your readers, complete the last part of Appendix D.


Step 6: 

Your advisor will submit your completed Appendix D form together with case comments to the ISST secretary who will log the date, check that all contents are completed and forward your application to the certification committee. You will be advised of the outcome.


What is Required for ISST Membership for Qualified Jungian Analysts (members of IAAP)

Sandplay was developed by Dora Kalff and is based on the psychological principles of C.G. Jung. Fully qualified Jungian Analysts may undergo an adapted training for ISST membership. This training should include, as a minimum:

  1. Personal Sandplay process with an ISST member.
  2. 60 hours specific Sandplay teaching seminars.
  3. Clinical case supervision: 40 hours of which a minimum of 15 must be individual supervision hours. A maximum of up to 25 group supervision hours are acceptable. The candidate should present their own clinical work in one of every five hours of group supervisions.
  4. One relevant seminar paper with Sandplay clinical material.
  5. Submission of written clinical case study as outlined in Appendix A b-f in the rules of procedure.
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