Level 9 – Developmental Considerations with Adolescents & Adults


Using both didactic and hands-on experiences, participants in this workshop will explore the impact of play therapy on both the emotional and physical health of adolescents and adults. We will draw from the polyvagal theory of play and the template of the hero’s journey to explore themes that often arise during sandtray play therapy. Participants will have opportunities to look through a developmental lens at play as it emerges in the sandtray. We also will review issues of transference and co-transference that impact treatment outcomes with adolescents and adults. This training includes skill practice with workshop partners.  

Educational Goals

This training will help participants to:

  1. Identify skills in facilitating sandtray play therapy with adolescents and adults.
  2. Describe an overview of developmental stages as they appear throughout the lifespan (early childhood, latency, adolescent, adult) in sandtray play therapy.
  3. Explain the differences and similarities between adolescent and adult sandtray play therapy.
  4. Discuss the value of play in strengthening vagal tone and physical health in adolescents and adults.
  5. Discuss how play spans the 3 branches of the nervous system through positive emotions.
  6. Identify the elements of the hero’s journey in sandtray play therapy in both adolescents and adults.
  7. Explain why face-to-face engagement is crucial for play in terms of the polyvagal theory.


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


Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, & 8; 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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