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Certificate In ​Trauma-Informed ​Sand & Symbol Therapy, Sunshine Coast, QLD

March 4

@ 10:00 am

May 29

@ 5:00 pm



Trauma Informed Sand & Symbol Therapy: An Accredited 9 Day Training Program over 3 months

Want to feel inspired, creative, connected and with a new tool for your counselling practice?

Want training that adds to your OPD points?

Whether you work with adults, youth or children, Sand & Symbol Therapy offers a gentle yet powerful, simple yet profound, creative and enjoyable way to work with trauma. With or Without Words. Sand & Symbol Therapy does not only support clients’ narrative, their imagination and creativity, but it also allows involvement of the body, mindfulness and the implicit memory. With Sand & Symbol Therapy you can literally see your feelings and touch your thoughts.

2022 Dates, Times, Venue & Costs

Friday:  10am – 5pm, Saturday & Sunday:  9am – 5pm

  1. 4 – 6 March, 2022
  2. 22 – 24 April, 2022
  3. 27 – 29 May, 2022


  • $850 per workshop = $2,550​ for full certificate + GST. Payment Plans are available.
  • Up-front Payment Discounted Rate – $2,200 + GST by 4 February, 2022.
  • Includes a comprehensive manual.
  • Lunch, accomodation and travel are not included in the fees.

Please note:  Certification is given to those attendees who have membership with a counselling association, ie. ACA, PACFA, AASW, APA, etc.  A Statement of Attendance will be given to those who do not have membership or are working towards membership.  This training is primarily post-graduate training designed to support qualified counsellors or psychotherapists in their role with their current case load.

Course Components

The three, 3-day workshops are described below. WORKSHOP ONE ​Foundation Skills & Frameworks

  • Introduction to Sand & Symbol Therapy
  • Introduction to a Trauma-Informed approach
  • What is Trauma?
  • How can Sand & Symbol Therapy support trauma resolution
  • Neuroscience and Sand Therapy
  • Overview of Sand Therapy literature
  • Techniques to support integration in Sand Therapy
  • Sand & Symbol Therapy equipment
  • Questioning in Sand Therapy
  • Contraindications
  • Personal Process and Reflective Journal

WORKSHOP TWO Advanced Skills & Frameworks

  • The Fertile Void
  • The Importance of Imagination, Play & Creativity
  • Spatial arrangements in the tray
  • Integrating sessions
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Trauma Informed Principles
  • The Role of Memory
  • Brain Hemispheres and Functions
  • Symbol Work Facilitation
  • How Sand & Symbol Work supports Trauma Resolution

WORKSHOP THREE Development of Practice

  • Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche
  • The Role of the Therapist
  • The Symbolic Process
  • The Significance of the First Tray
  • The Five Stages of Emotional Development
  • Coherence
  • Healing Developmental Trauma
  • Three Essential Elements of Trauma Therapy
  • Dreamwork
  • Principles of Polyvagal Theory
  • The Blended States of the Autonomic Hierarchy & Sand Therapy
  • Personal Qualities of the Sandplay Therapist
  • Skills Practice
  • Group Sandplay Therapy
  • Graduation

Course Structure & Requirements

The training consists of three, 3-day modules, across three months, so that you can get certification and start practicing with clients. The training provides a maximum of 9 days (72 hours) of classroom attendance.  Participants must attend all 9 days to receive certification. The training is highly experiential. There is some course work required and a reading list is provided. In order to help integrate these modalities each participant is advised to participate in one personal Sand or Symbol Therapy session, as well as one Case Consultation session with the trainer or other trained Sand Therapist. The cost of this is not included in the training fees. Whilst this is not a requirement of Certification, it is highly recommended.

Why train with me you may be asking? Great Question.

Not only do I have 11 years of experience in teaching and refining this certified training, I have been using Sand & Symbol Therapy as a counselling tool with highly traumatised populations for 18 years. I understand the nuances of how and why it works, what doesn’t work, what can go wrong and just how transformative it is when it goes right. I know this modality. I trust it and I use it in nearly every therapy session with my clients. I also offer Clinical Supervision to graduates, so that you can keep your Sand & Symbol Therapy journey going. You will not be left alone trying to implement this modality back into your practice. Do you work with children, or are you thinking of incorporating children into your clientele? Sand & Symbol Therapy is for everyone! It can be used with individuals of any age, couples, groups; clients who are culturally and linguistically diverse, and clients with developmental delays or disabilities. I have had particular success in training therapists in Alice Springs who work primarily with Aboriginal clients who report the ‘miraculous’ power of Sand & Symbol Therapy.

Do you want a more playful, enjoyable and safe way to work with trauma? Working with Trauma can take its toll on therapists, but not with Sand & Symbol Therapy. With this modality, we observe in silence, we hold space, we practice presence. We are the relational tool that is so important in working with clients with Complex Trauma. I guarantee you will love what you do. You will enjoy going to work.

Are you an experienced therapist, or just beginning your therapy journey? This training is suitable for therapists of all orientations and levels of experience. We will start with the basics and over the two months we will expand your experience and skills. The more you already know, the deeper you will go. Why wait? With growing climate anxiety, family relationship distress, increasing violence towards women and gender diverse people, suicide rates on the rise, a reluctant government to support refugees and asylum seekers, our sovereign land owners continuously being subjected to white policy, we need this work now more than ever. This training is experiential. You will walk away laden with ideas, tools and excitement. And so will your clients.

What does experiential mean? It means we learn by doing. Every day you will be involved in creating your own tray, observing, or facilitating another trainee with their Sand & Symbol process.

Why is this so important? Because, YOU are an integral part of the elements that help others heal. Your observations, your questioning, your instincts, your patience and your presence are vital to the success of each session. The more time you have creating your own trays, being facilitated, practicing the process with others, the more confident and capable you will feel when you offer this modality to your clients. But best of all, it means you have an opportunity to experience the healing power of Sand & Symbol Therapy for yourself. You will have time to process some of your own life events. And you will meet a tribe of like-minded therapists to practice and build strong bonds with. DOORS ARE OPEN NOW!!

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What Is Sand & Symbol Therapy?

Sand & Symbol Therapy is a hands-on, expressive counselling and psychotherapy modality that has been in use for over eighty years.

Sand & Symbol play form a bridge between verbal therapy and the expressive therapies, combining elements of each. Sand & Symbol play allows the deeper aspects of the psyche to be worked with naturally and in safety, and is highly effective in reducing the emotional causes behind difficult behaviours and moving clients toward greater internal security. With an extensive research and literature base, Sand & Symbol play is a powerful therapeutic method for use by established professionals. It has been used with children, adolescents and adults, in schools, hospitals, welfare agencies and private therapy practices.

About Sand & Symbol Therapy

This course provides a thorough training, with extensive practical experience and supervision in a Trauma Informed approach to Sand & Symbol Therapy. The method of Sand Therapy that will be introduced was developed by Dora Kalff in the late 1950s, from Dr Margaret Lowenfeld’s play therapy. Kalff, a colleague of the famous Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, created Sandplay based on Analytic Psychology. Sandplay is now taught and practiced around the world, supported by the International Society for Sandplay Therapy. The approach taught combines Jungian and Gestalt theory and applies this to working with small symbolic objects, either in a sandtray or on a drawing book. The play aspect of this approach makes it inviting and nonthreatening. Sandplay has an important role in helping clients move from emotional chaos to secure relating with self and others and can be incorporated into traditional counselling with children, adolescents and adults. It can offer ways to help clients resolve family issues, contact and deepen personal resourcefulness, and promote emotional resiliency. It is an effective support for transpersonal exploration, trauma healing and to increase ‘earned security’. ​Sand and Symbol Work exercises have been found to support insight into relational attachment dynamics, emotion regulation and internal resource building. They are also a great support for clients with limited access to verbal skills or language differences, ie. those effected by trauma and/or young people. Based on fifteen years of experience and development, this course provides advanced training in understanding clients’ sand creations. It provides clear guidelines and contraindications that support therapeutic confidence in using these interventions that can access deeper layers of emotion and support transformation of unconscious processes in the psyche. This is a highly experiential, interactive program that will provide many skills to support your clients’ move into resilience and emotional fluency. Participants will have the experience of following their own personal growth journey using the processes for personal experience at each workshop. There will be illustrated case studies. A manual will be provided for each workshop.

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Contact Monique




Monique Pangari
0439 456 335
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144 McKees Road





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