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(NEW) Master Class: Sand Therapy and the Therapeutic Relationship

November 29 Breakfast 8:30am-8:45am   Training 8:45am-4:00pm $159, 6 CEUs Presenter: Dee Preston-Dillon, PhD Doubletree Hilton Hotel, 1726 Reisterstown Road Baltimore, MD 21208 United States + Google Map

We process our understanding of the therapeutic relationship during private reflections, case consultation, supervision, and in less formal conversations with colleagues. Clinicians who work with trauma are especially attuned to the emotional complexity during therapy. We may question the use of a therapeutic method, appropriateness of interventions, and client responses. Certainly, talking about countertransference issues is vital for feedback from an alternative perspective. To become aware of nuanced interpersonal dynamics and emotional engagement between client and clinician a reflective practitioner may use journaling, free-form drawing, or clay modeling.

During this master class we will examine the use of sand and symbol to process the therapeutic relationship, including ways to understand subtle non-verbal interactions, unpack layers of meaning, attend to missed projections, and explore energies not yet in awareness.

This master class will include photo examples from clinicians who used sand therapy as a way to explore their perception and experience of the therapeutic relationship. In addition, an experiential activity will help participants focus on the way a sand scene reflects interpersonal dynamics. A significant amount of time will involve the use of sand and symbols with volunteers to demonstrate clinician exploration of the therapeutic relationship.

Learning Objectives

  • Take away four (4) insights regarding boundaries, projection, countertransference, existential influences, and trauma through 4 examples of clinician exploration of therapist-client dynamics
  • Understand three (3) aspects of the role of intention when using sand therapy in consultation
  • Immerse in self-reflection using symbols and metaphor to explore two (2) new insights regarding therapeutic relationships
  • Understand three (3) perspectives of the therapeutic relationship through observation of, or participation in the demonstrations


9:00  to 10:15

  • Photo examples from clinician sand scenes
  • Participant questions

10:15  to  10:30  BREAK

10:30  to noon

  • Experiential activity
  • Participant questions, comments, insights


1:00  to  1:30

  • Creating sand scenes mirroring therapeutic relationship issues, and use of reflective practices

1:30  to  3:00

  • Begin demonstration of symbol exploration to explore therapeutic relationships with participants

3:00  to  3:15  BREAK

3:15 to 4:15

  • Continue symbol exploration for therapeutic relationship with participants

4:15 to 4:30

  • Closure, questions, comments, evaluation
Sand Therapy