Program Overview

Jungian sandplay therapy is a non-verbal therapeutic process originated by Dora Kalff based on the psychology of C. G. Jung. It is a direct method to experience the Self, which Jung encouraged as an essential step for healthy psychological development.

This is a comprehensive, two-year training program, taught by Jungian analysts and designed to promote the study and practice of sandplay therapy. It includes an introduction, history, and practical guidelines for sandplay therapy, as well as the application of Jungian theory, the study of archetypal and symbolic material found in dreams, mythology, and fairytales, and the movement of libido as it appears in sandplay scenes to express the individuation process. Seminars incorporate case material of children and adults to amplify and highlight theoretical underpinnings. Completion of the program meets all coursework requirements for Sandplay Therapists of America (STA) and International Society for Sandplay Therapy (ISST).

The training curriculum is organized into six areas of study that are designed to sequentially deepen the participant’s understanding and use of Jungian sandplay. Each unit contains three 6-hour seminars taught by Jungian analysts who are also certified sandplay therapist-teachers.

Seminars will be on Zoom only, once a month on a Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm with half-hour break for lunch.

Units 4-6 are offered to licensed clinicians and students in the process of training for licensure in the mental health professions.

Unit 4: The Psyche-Body Connection in Jungian Sandplay

Unit 4 / Seminar 1: Saturday, September 30, 2023; 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Jungian Sandplay and the Body: Theory and Practice 

Presented by Denise Ramos, PhD, CST-T

Primitive regions of the brain record trauma and generate somatic symptoms that need to be addressed non-verbally. The challenge in treating severe trauma is to connect with these organic, unconscious levels of the psyche where words have no effect. In this seminar, we will see how Sandplay enhances psychosomatic integration by transducing the symptoms from the somatic to the conscious level of the psyche and moving traumatic states toward healthy ones.

Learning Objectives:  

  • Describe what is meant by a psychosomatic approach to psychotherapy from a Jungian perspective;
  • Give an example of when it would be appropriate to introduce psychosomatics in clinical work;
  • Describe how a psychosomatic approach can be utilized for patients dealing with trauma;
  • Describe the modality of Sandplay therapy;
  • Give an example of  Sandplay therapy when working with a client with somatic symptoms;
  • Describe what is meant by a psychosomatic hypothesis;
  • Give an example of how to establish a psychosomatic hypothesis in a clinical setting.

Denise G. Ramos, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, Jungian analyst of the Brazilian Society of Analytical Psychology (IAAP), and teacher member of the International Society for Sandplay Therapy (ISST). She has been vice president of the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP) and the ISST and is an elected member of the Academia of Psychology of São Paulo. A Fulbright recipient at the New School University in New York City, she is a full professor in the Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology at the Catholic University of São Paulo. She is the chair of the Centre of Jungian Studies, where she also directs post‐graduate thesis work and coordinates research groups on psychosomatics and cultural complexes from a Jungian point of view. Her main fields of interest are psychosomatic phenomena and cultural complexes as the basis for social pathologies, emphasizing corruption and racial prejudice. She has lectured internationally and published several books and articles, including The Psyche of the Body, which has been translated into several languages.

Unit 4 / Seminar 2: Saturday, November 4, 2023; 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Images of Preverbal Experiences in Children’s Sandplay

Presented by Ignez Carvalho Hartmann (DGST/ ISST, DGAP/IAAP)    

Preverbal experiences manifest unconsciously in relationships, and are an important aspect to consider in the therapeutic process. Early body-related experiences often include preverbal trauma, and become visible as pre-symbolic impressions in the sand. In this seminar, the essential characteristics of intrauterine and post-natal development are presented, along with an exploration of how this early phase of development manifests in the therapeutic relationship. A discussion of symbolic representations of the mother-child unit will demonstrate how these dynamics appear in Sandplay and children’s drawings.  The seminar will include how these images open new pathways for understanding the psychic contents of this early phase of development, and explore how the expression of early pre-natal, birth and post-natal experiences can stimulate the possibility of deep healing.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the relationship between transference and countertransference in terms of the pre-verbal phase.
  • Describe what is meant by pre-verbal engrams and their application to clinical practice.
  • Describe what is meant by the affective nucleus and how to recognize it in sand images.

Ignez Carvalho Hartmann is a Jungian Child and Adult Psychoanalyst ,musician and musical therapist. She is a Teaching Member of Sandplay (DGST,ISST) and member of DGAP and IAAP.  She has a clinical practice in Germany  and lectures and supervises at the Institute of Analytical Psychotherapy for Children and Adolescents in Heidelberg. She collaborates with the C.G. Jung Institute Stuttgart (Germany) and several Institutes in Brazil. The focus of her research is based on non-verbal creative expressions in Sandplay, drawings, music and body language. Her articles have been published in Germany, Switzerland, USA, England (JAP) and Brazil.

Unit 4 / Seminar 2: Saturday, November 4, 2023; 1 pm – 4 pm

A Sandplay Tribute to Ruth Ammann

Presented by Marion Anderson PhD (STA/ISST, CGJLA/IAAP)

It is with great sorrow that we communicate that our speaker Ruth Ammann passed away on August 3rd 2023. This afternoon will be dedicated to a tribute containing a short overview of life and work of this influential Jungian analyst and first generation Sandplay therapist from Zurich.  The afternoon will also include the Sandplay case of a woman with progressive muscular dystrophy that was  Ruth’s original presentation for this unit on psyche and body. As the case was published in a German book in 2019, we will have an opportunity to hear and discuss this relevant contribution to Sandplay and soma written in her own words, translated and presented by Marion Anderson Ph.D.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the somatic therapeutic aspects of Sandplay;
  • Describe what is meant by somatic transference;
  • Give an example of the clinical use of Sandplay for a case of trauma with somatic symptoms;

Marion Anderson, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, certified Jungian analyst (CGJLA/IAAP), and certified sandplay therapist and teacher (STA/ISST). She teaches sandplay and Jungian theory at the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles where she also regularly offers workshops on painting inner images. A native German she is a founding member of the sandplay society in Brazil where she lived and practiced as a clinical psychologist for 13 years before her move to the USA. She teaches and lectures nationally and internationally and published several articles in The Journal of Sandplay Therapy and elsewhere. She practices as a clinical psychologist in private practice in Santa Monica.

Unit 4 / Seminar 3: Saturday, December 2, 2023; 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Revealing Complexes and Somatic Symptoms in the Sand

Presented by Marion Anderson, PhD, CST-T  

This last seminar of Unit 4 will illustrate what Jung meant by the famous quote: “Often the hands know how to solve a riddle with which the intellect has wrestled in vain… by shaping it, one goes on dreaming the dream in greater detail in the waking state… even though it remains at first unconscious to the subject.” We will begin by examining several vignettes to illustrate how deeper layers of the psyche, such as the shadow, complexes, and archetypal motifs come to life by exploring the sand with the hands. Finally we will focus on a case description which illustrates the revelation of an unknown physical diagnosis through symbols and images in the sand.

Learning Objectives:  

  • Demonstrate the validity of Jung’s theory on the autonomy of hands;
  • Describe how the exploration of sand by the hands can bring images to the psyche;
  • Describe the therapeutic importance of working only with sand;
  • Give a clinical example of the translation of somatic symptoms into words;
  • Explain the relationship between dreams and sand images as seen in a clinical case;
  • Describe the research about somatic symptoms in Sandplay.

Marion Anderson, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, certified Jungian analyst (CGJLA/IAAP), and certified sandplay therapist and teacher (STA/ISST). She teaches sandplay and Jungian theory at the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles where she also regularly offers workshops on painting inner images. A native German she is a founding member of the sandplay society in Brazil where she lived and practiced as a clinical psychologist for 13 years before her move to the USA. She teaches and lectures nationally and internationally and published several articles in The Journal of Sandplay Therapy and elsewhere. She practices as a clinical psychologist in private practice in Santa Monica.

Unit 5: Alchemical Processes, As Seen in Jungian Sandplay

Unit 5 / Seminar 1: Saturday, January 27, 2024; 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

The Great Work of Alchemy: A Journey of Transformation

Presented by Gita Morena, PhD, LMFT, CST-T 

This seminar introduces the concept of Alchemy, what it is, and how it relates to Jungian sandplay. The day includes an overview of how alchemical processes develop, an exploration of how the prima materia transforms, Jung’s insight into how alchemy relates to the individuation process and the collective unconscious, and the presence of alchemical imagery in sandplay case material.

Learning Objective:  

  • Describe the key concepts of alchemy;
  • Describe the nature of alchemical operations;
  • Identify the psychological aspects of alchemical processes;
  • Describe the personal and therapeutic components of an alchemical process;
  • Explain how alchemy relates to the individuation process;
  • Describe the meaning of alchemical images in sandplay case material.

Gita Morena, Ph.D., LMFT, CST-T, is a certified Jungian analyst, an STA/ISST sandplay therapist-teacher, and a research editor for the Journal of Sandplay Therapy. She has led trainings and seminars worldwide and published numerous articles about sandplay therapy. Her book, The Wisdom of Oz: Reflections of a Jungian Sandplay Psychotherapist, explores her great grandfather’s story, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, as a tale of psychological individuation and spiritual awak­ening. She is particularly inter­ested in the mind-body-spirit connection and incorporates a Buddhist perspective to address core psycho­logical and emotional healing issues. Dr. Morena works in Santa Monica, California, and offers in-person and remote sessions for Jungian analysis, sandplay process, and case consultation.

Unit 5 / Seminar 2: Saturday, February 24, 2024; 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Alchemical Symbolism and its Relevance to Sandplay

Presented by Dyane Sherwood, PhD, CST-T  

This class will explore how symbols emerge from experience, and can develop different meanings, depending on context. Like the alchemists who conducted experiments with matter, in sandplay we engage with matter: with sand and objects from which symbolic meanings emerge. These images sometimes express an attitude that is compensatory to consciously held beliefs. This was apparently true also for the alchemists. We will delve into the imagery of an illuminated alchemical manuscript, the Splendor Solis (1582), and describe how studying its symbolism can enrich our response to the sandplay trays created in our consulting rooms.

Learning Objectives:  

  • Explain the difference between a metaphor and a symbol;
  • Explain why an entry in a symbol dictionary may not apply to its meaning in a particular context;
  • Describe the alchemical sequence of colors that mark a series of transformations from a base to a valuable substance;
  • Explain the symbolism of the alchemical sequence of colors;
  • Explain how that alchemical sequence of colors applies to sandplay;
  • Describe what is meant by “Redemption of the Feminine Principle” and how it applies to sandplay.

Dyane Sherwood, PhD, is a Teaching member of STA/ISST, a psychologist, and a Jungian Psychoanalyst Certified in Adult and Child and Adolescent Analysis in private practice in Oberlin, Ohio. She has published articles on various topics, including the Native American vision quest, the neurobiology of affective and implicit experience, the art of Wassily Kandinsky, and the myth of Athena and Arachne. She co-authored with the late Joseph L. Henderson, Transformation of the Psyche: The Symbolic Alchemy of the Splendor Solis (Routledge, 2003). She was the Editor of the San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal for ten years, and, under her editorship, this journal was redesigned and renamed Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche. More recently, she founded Analytical Psychology Press (, which published a new English edition of Dora Kalff’s Sandplay, as well as other sandplay books, including Into the Heart of Sandplay, co-edited by Betty C. Jackson. She is currently serving as President of the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. Website:

Unit 5 / Seminar 3: Saturday, March 16, 2024; 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

“Lead Makes the Diamond Suffer”: An Exploration of Alchemical Elements in Jungian Sandplay

Presented by Shannon Yockey, LCSW, CST-T  

According to Jung, alchemy is a symbolic representation of the individuation process. It illustrates how the psyche transforms and/or develops through the ego’s relationship with the contents of the unconscious. Alchemical images are valuable as they give us an objective basis for interpreting unconscious material. This seminar will provide an overview of  the alchemical elements of  leadsulfursalt, and mercury and illustrate their clinical implications with dreams, nature encounters, and sandplay case material.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the positive and negative qualities of lead, sulfur, salt, and mercury alchemical elements;
  • Describe the psychological aspects of the four alchemical elements;
  • Explain the clinical application of these four alchemical elements and their potential to increase reflective consciousness.
  • Explain how to identify the alchemical elements in sandplay scenes;
  • Describe what is meant by alchemical active imagination experience;
  • Describe how the alchemical elements relate to the individuation process.

Shannon Yockey, LCSW, is a Jungian analyst with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and a teaching member with ISST/STA. She has been in private practice for over twenty-five years working with children, teens, and adults. She specializes in early attachment, relational trauma, and anxiety. Her current area of exploration and writing is healing and transformation through relationship in nature through direct experiences, sandplay, dreams, and active imagination.

Unit 6: The Emergence of the Self in Sandplay

Unit 6 / Seminar 1: Saturday, April 6, 2024; 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Crossing Thresholds

Presented by Janet Tatum, MSW, LICSW, CST-T

In this workshop, the theoretical orientations of Jung and the early analysts will be explored to better understand the concept of individuation. Participants will be given handouts summarizing how these analysts thought about individuation. Joseph Henderson calls this the “individuating factor” in his book, Thresholds of Initiation. This individuating factor can sometimes be glimpsed in Sandplay. The sand trays of a child will be shown to illustrate how symbolic imagery can instigate new stages in development. A case of an adult woman will also demonstrate how the concept of individuation can be seen in Sandplay. Images from the Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii will show how the individuation process was expressed in antiquity, as explored by Kay Bradway. These archetypal images show how understanding the connection between ego consciousness and the collective unconscious can activate experiences of the numinous. This deepening connection between the ego and the deeper Self can then become an important part of the on-going process of individuation.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Describe the concept of individuation as defined by Jung and selected analysts
  • Compare the developmental stages of childhood with the Jungian view of the individuating factor and the phases of individuation
  • Describe how developing a connection to the symbolic expression of unconscious material through Sandplay can instigate psychological development within the child’s psyche and enhance the individuation process in the adult.
  • Describe what is meant by the collective unconscious and some of the ways in which archetypal imagery can represent the contents of the collective unconscious in Sandplay
  • Describe some of the differences between the personal vs the collective unconscious
  • Give an example of how symbolic imagery as expressed through Sandplay can bring ego consciousness and the collective unconscious into relationship on behalf of the process of individuation
Janet Tatum, MSW, LICSW, CST-T is a Jungian Analyst and Sandplay therapist in private practice in Redmond, WA  where she works with adults, children, and adolescents, and currently serves as Vice President of the Pacific Northwest Society of Jungian Analysts.  She trained with Dora Kalff in 1979, later becoming an assistant for her in the 1980s through UCSC Extension programs. She is a founder and assistant editor for the Journal of Sandplay Therapy, and is a STA Past President.  She is on the Board of Directors for the Philemon Foundation. In practice for over 40 years, she has presented  both nationally and internationally.

Unit 6 / Seminar 2: Saturday, May 18, 2024; 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Tolerating Chaos and Glimpsing the Self

Presented by Laura Soble, MFT, REAT, CST-T

This presentation will focus on the Sandplay process of a child struggling with self regulation and confidence. The development of ego strength and personality are part of a child’s individuation process. Children often have closer access to the unconscious and archetypal world, expressed through Sandplay. Emotions, body sensations and images emerging through Sandplay also infuse and impact the therapist. The mainly non-verbal interplay between therapist and client in this case created an often messy field, filled with regressions and progressions, chaos and creativity, which pushed both through difficult passages to more internal scaffolding and connection to the Self.  (Participants are asked to have art and writing materials available to respond aesthetically to the material presented.)

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe some of the key differences between Jung and Fordham about the process of individuation and the relationship to the Self in children
  • Give an example from clinical practice how themes of differentiation and individuation unfold in the Sandplay process of a child.
  • Give an example of how Sandplay therapy can be utilized to help a child with issues of self regulation
  • Give an example of  how a mainly non-verbal Sandplay process can be held relationally and symbolically in the context of the therapeutic relationship
  • Describe what is meant by the term co-transference and its impact on both client and therapist
  •  Describe how ongoing development and individuation of the therapist might impact the Sandplay therapy process with a child. 

Laura Soble, MFT, REAT, CST-T is a Jungian Analyst in private practice in San Anselmo, CA where she works with children, teens, and adults. Affiliated with the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, she teaches in their Analytic Training Program. She is a Teaching Member of the Sandplay Therapists of America (STA) and the International Society for Sandplay Therapy (ISST), and a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist. Laura enjoys editing and writing, and served many years as an Associate Editor of Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche, and is currently Assistant to the Editor of the Journal of Sandplay Therapy. She has published in the Arts in Psychotherapy Journal, the Journal of Sandplay Therapy, and Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche. Laura presents nationally and internationally on the integration of Jungian concepts, sandplay therapy and the arts in therapy

Unit 6 / Seminar 2: Saturday, May 18, 2024; 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Discovering Gold in the Chaos

Presented by Robin B. Zeiger, Ph.D., CST-T

… you have to seek out the dark. You have to go to a place that is very, very dark before you can see those stars.  Lucia Chambers (Bradway, Chambers, and Chiaia, 2005). 

Lucia Chambers reminds us of the importance of chaos and darkness in our work.    In the words of Jungian analyst James Hillman, “Soul-making entails soul-destroying.” This seminar will highlight the vicissitudes of chaos, destruction, and rebirth in Jungian Sandplay work.  We will begin with an experiential exercise and brief discussion to identify and meet our own personal reactions to chaos. We will then discuss theory (e.g., Bradway, Chambers, and Chiaia, James Hillman, Erich Neumann) and identify symbols of chaos and hints of Self via a few examples of early and late trays. We will also learn about and critique the usefulness of a Jewish creation myth of Shattered Vessels which speaks about the creation of the world via brokenness and diffusion of sparks of holiness. Using theory and case examples enhanced by personal reflections on our own co-transference, we will develop an understanding for the process of mining gold from amid the chaos.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Drawing from the theoretical contributions of Bradway, Chambers, and Chiaia, describe the necessity of chaos and destruction that occurs in a Sandplay process
  • Give a brief outline of the Jewish creation myth of the ‘Shattered Vessels” and critique its potential for enhancing Jungian Sandplay work.
  • Describe the role of the therapist in containing the chaos via “free and protected space.  Describe what is meant by a Self symbol in the context of Jungian Sandplay work.
  • Give an example of Self symbols in early and later Sandplay scenes drawing from Erich Neumann’s theory of child development.

Robin B. Zeiger, PhD, CS-T is a certified Jungian analyst, an ISTA/ISST Sandplay therapist-teacher, current President of the Israel Sandplay Therapists Association and on the Editorial Board of the ISST journal. She teaches Jungian psychotherapy at Bar Ilan University and is involved in training analytic candidates for the Israel Institute of Jungian Psychotherapy in honor of Erich Neumann. On an international level, she has published and presented numerous articles on Jungian psychoanalysis and Sandplay therapy.  Robin is passionate about dream work and the importance of the symbolic and the numinous in everyday life.  She has co-led international dream groups. She practices in Israel, face-to-face in a quiet agricultural village she calls home, as well as internationally on-line.

Unit 6 / Seminar 3: Saturday, June 22, 2024; 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

The Emergence of the Self through the Process of Transference-Countertransference

Presented by Carlo Ruffino, MD

The seminar aims to provide the basic concepts of the transference-countertransference relationship from a Jungian perspective and to explain how it manifest itself in Sandplay Therapy. The day initially sets a theoretical focus on the Jungian view of the transference-countertransference dynamics, followed by the discussion of a short Sandplay process that will demonstrate the importance of these dynamics in the clinical practice. In the last part of the seminar we will focus our attention on the many different manifestations of the transference and resistance as seen in the Sandplay pictures and in the setting of Sandplay and on the countertransference reactions from the therapist. Different vignettes will illustrate the theory and stimulate the discussion.

Learning objectives

  • Describe the transference-countertransference dynamics in Sandplay therapy from a Jungian perspective.
  • Give an example of the importance of the transference-countertransference relationship in the context of Sandplay work
  • Give an example of a Sandplay process which illustrates the unfolding of the individuation process and the manifestation of the Self.
  • Illustrate the clinical relevance of these dynamics through the presentation and discussion of a short complete Sandplay process.
  • Give an example of how the transference manifests itself in the Sandplay images and in the Sandplay setting.
  • Describe how a resistance can appear in the sand tray and in the Sandplay setting.
  • Give an example of expressions of the countertransference and their clinical relevance. in the context of Sandplay work.
Carlo P. Ruffino, MD, is a Jungian analyst and Sandplay therapist in private practice in Torino, Italy, as well as serving as a training analyst and supervisor at the C.G. Jung Institute-Zurich.  He is a Teaching Member of the Italian Society for Sandplay Therapy (AISPT) and ISST, and teaches analytical psychology and Sandplay therapy at the Zurich institute as well as throughout the world. A member of IAAP, he has served as a board member of the ISST, as well as ISST Vice President for Europe, Africa and Middle East. Currently he is a member of the ISST Developing Groups Committee.