Level 2 – Symbolic Integration & Theory


In this workshop, participants discuss and work with symbolic meaning and basic theoretical ideas related to healing trauma and other clinical issues with sandtray therapy. The purpose of the didactic information in conjunction with hands-on experiences is to demonstrate why it is important to help clients experience the sandtray materials in a way that allows them to collaborate with their embodied brains, not just their cognitive processes. A focus for this training is on trauma as it is embedded throughout the body rather than in the cognitive layers of the brain only. In Level 2, participants continue to build on the concepts of “play as a neural exercise” for developing a nervous system that is flexible and resilient. There will be opportunities to explore core issues in play therapy. Participants also will have opportunities to practice skills using symbolic language with a workshop partner.  

Educational Goals

This training will help participants to:

  1. Identify skills for facilitating sandtray play therapy for trauma.
  2. Describe culturally responsive sandtray play therapy techniques for clinical applications.
  3. Compare universal and idiosyncratic symbolic material that emerges during sandtray play therapy.
  4. Recite language that helps client experience their sandtray creations.
  5. Describe the evolving meaning of symbolic material during sandtray play therapy (from unconscious to the conscious).
  6. Identify the risks associated with interpretation in sandtray play therapy.
  7. Describe the importance of Panksepp’s play circuitry in the brain for developing a science-informed explanation for sandtray play therapy.
  8. Demonstrate the facilitation of sandtray play therapy with peers.


In-person training does not have any equipment requirement. For online course equipment requirements, please refer to the linked document below:


Level 1; graduate degree in mental health or enrolled in a graduate degree program.

Continuing Education

This course is 12 contact hours.

Downloadable Agenda


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