Learn practical ways to bring sandtray and symbol work into your counselling practice.Symbols and Sandtrays | Sydney Centre For Creative Change

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Symbols and Sandtrays 



One of the best training I have ever had


Professional, experiential, engaging, knowledgeable and lots of fun!


Value beyond anything I could anticipate!


Thank You - What a wonderful experience, I feel more confident to use Sandtrays!

Often the hands know how to solve a riddle with which the intellect has wrestled in vain.

C. G. Jung


Course overview:

Sandtray therapy allows for the projective expression of one's personal inner world. Learn how to respectfully invite the creation of miniature scenes and stories that help clients see, know and change. Course limited to 16 people.


This 3 x 3 hours of experiential, online training introduces you to approaches and applications of sandtray therapy. Work with a range of clients (aged 10 to 110) and therapeutic contexts will be considered. Sandtray therapy is a powerful therapeutic method that has been around for nearly 100 years. It is a form of therapy that gives both child and adult clients the opportunity to portray, rather than verbalise, feelings and experiences often inaccessible and/or difficult to express. Its origins were in the work of Jung and Kalff who were analytically orientated. Current research has demonstrated successful use in shorter term strengths-based approaches with traumatised refugees, reducing measures of anxiety and depression, and with autistic children, increasing verbal expression, social interaction and spontaneous novel play. In the free and protected space provided by the counsellor, a client creates a concrete manifestation of his or her inner world using sand, water, and miniature objects.


Learn the fundamental theoretical and methodological concepts in the practice of symbols and sandtrays. It will include an overview of the major theoretical influences in this field, the existing evidence base supporting it and a review of contemporary applications. The focus of the workshop will be an experiential and practical introduction to a range of directive and non-directive methods to engage and work with this media in counselling.


You will have the opportunity to:

  • Identify the theoretical basis of working with symbols (including Jungian, Narrative, Humanist, Gestalt perspectives)
  • Consider the evidence 
  • Practise person-centred counselling skills
  • Integrate the use of creative therapies into counselling
  • Consider appropriate developmental, practical and therapeutic benefits and limits 
  • Practically experience the therapeutic uses 
  • Consider practical ways to build an appropriate symbol collection
  • Learn in the safety and support of a small group

Please note, this is a LIVE and INTERACTIVE training event. We don't record this.

What ideas are explored:

  • How do I introduce symbol and sandtrays to clients?
  • How can using symbols be therapeutic?
  • Why do we use sandtrays?
  • What are the stages in sandtray therapy?
  • What do I do after clients have made something?
  • How do I make sense of what the client's symbol selection means?
  • How do we know if this is working?
  • Does it work for all ages and issues?
  • When might this form of therapy not be useful?
  • How can I start a symbol collection?
  • What are the basic sorts of symbols I need?

Training methods will include:

  • Interactive presentations
  • Large group discussions
  • Pair and small group discussions
  • Live demonstration of methods
  • Practical role play experience with symbol and sandtray methods in pairs
  • Reflection opportunities for application of methods

Who Should Attend?

Psychologists, social workers, counsellors, psychotherapists, school counsellors, mental health and pastoral workers, other allied health professionals and students of these disciplines. 


Workshop Facilitator

Jacki Short - Counselling Psychologist and Registered Play Therapist

Workshop Dates


17th-19th June 2024, 6pm - 9pm AEST Sydney Time


4th-6th September 2024, 1pm- 4pm AEST Sydney Time


11th-13th December 2024, 1pm - 4pm AEDT Sydney Time



Attending from interstate or internationally?

You can use this time converter to check the exact day and time of this training for your location.

Workshop Details

Included in the workshop price:

  • 9 CPD points/hours 
  • Access to slides and link to create Certificate of Attendance
  • GST
  • 3 x 3 hour training sessions

What You Will Need

In order to participate in this workshop you will need the following:

  • A private room from which to participate in this training
  • Use of a device other than phone with camera to be left on for the duration of the training
  • 5 sheets of A4 or other drawing paper
  • Textas(markers), coloured pencils or crayons
  • 10 - 15 miniature toys/ objects (3-15 cm tall)
  • Tray/box/ large plastic container half full with sand (or any of these if you don't have access to sand: soil, rice, barley, lentils)

Workshop Cost


Special Price        $540   

Work Paying?

Lucky you!

Send us an email requesting an invoice via the contact page with your name, the dates and name of course/courses you'd like to do and the name of your organisation who you want us to invoice and we will send you an organisational invoice and a registration form.


Approved ACA Event for 10 points

Participant Feedback 


Amazing training, Jacqui was warm, knowledgeable and inviting, this is the second training I have done through the centre and look forward to many more - thank you!!


 Symbols and sand tray training was incredible. Couldn't recommend it enough! Jackie is so knowledgeable and does a great job. Thank you and look forward to booking into more of your training courses in the future :)


√ Thank you so much!!! This workshop was such an amazing experience. It was organised, structured and so rich in content. I learnt so much in the 9 hours and the experiential component was so empowering and allowed me to really gain perspective on the process and the benefits of such work with clients.


√ I thoroughly enjoyed the training. It was a jam-packed course that has given me so much to think about and start using and I am looking forward to putting it into practice and learning more. 


√ Fantastic workshop which will no doubt enhance my future practice.


√ Jacki was really amazing and the information she provided during the three days training was informative!