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Competencies in Sand

Level 1: Principles, Practice, Presence

A Live Virtual Course with Dr. Dee Preston-Dillon

Purchase Now

“The core principles for all competencies include a clear vision of expertise, well-defined skills and aptitudes, awareness of problems and ways to correct them, and established steps for learning.” – Dr. Dee Preston-Dillon

A Comprehensive Guide Toward the Safe, Effective and Ethical Use of Sand Therapy

Problems in Sand Therapy occur when we fail to establish a firm foundation in clinical competency. As in any profession we make errors, we rush, we sabotage ourselves and our clients trying to meet professional and social expectations; inflated ego may substitute for rigor while unconscious misuse of power can mislead and manipulate clients and colleagues. Blind determination, financial concerns, ignorance and lack of interest (it’s not my problem) set up ethical problems which block client healing or lead even to reinjury.

What you will learn

This course presents an overview of the core principles and practices for safe, ethical, and empowering Sand Therapy. Each workshop includes relevant research, case examples, core concepts, and suggestions for practice. This course is designed to introduce and demonstrate specific aptitudes for proficiency with Sand Therapy. Course content has emerged from decades of Dr. Preston-Dillon’s research, training and case consultations with therapists, interns and clinical supervisors (in social work, counseling, psychology, marriage & family therapy).  

Every session presents theory, the relevance of culture, case material, suggestions for practice and ethics.

You will learn essential practical skills such as:

How to respond
Potential Problems

Join us for the following LIVE courses!

SESSION 1                     Sat, Jan 22, 2:30-5:00 pm (EST)

Guiding Principles for Sand Therapy

Defining clinical competency for use of symbols in sand, theory-as-a-lens*, relevance of culture, ethics, sand scene analysis, suggested activity to build knowledge and skills

*Examples: Roger’s Child-Centered, Jungian Archetypal, May/Yalom Existential, Developmental, Family Systems, Social Constructionist, Milton Erickson, Eric Bern, Neo-Freudians

Session 1

Session 2

SESSION 2                       Sat, Feb 5, 2:30-5:00 pm (EST)

Culture & Theory: Conceptualization of Sand Scenes

Focus on specific competencies to conceptualize a sand scene, Jungian archetypal theory, relevance of culture, sand scene analysis, activity

SESSION 3                      Sat, Mar 5, 2:30-5:00 pm (EST)

Clients & Sand Scenes: Ethical Concerns 

Specific competencies to understand and engage, use of therapeutic metaphor, relevance of theory and culture for engagement, sand scene analysis, activity

Session 3

Session 4

SESSION 4                    Sat, Mar 19, 2:30-5:00 pm (EST)

Facilitating Process: Projection & Countertransference

Understanding projection and countertransference, existential theory, ethics, culture, sand scene analysis, activity

SESSION 5                            

The Literature: Narrative Theory & Social Construction

Published psychology literature as well as mythology, global fairy tales, science. Relevance of cultural stories, memes, themes, sand scene analysis, activity

Session 5

Session 6

SESSION 6                      

Groups, Family, Schools & Supervision

Sand Therapy with unique or marginalized populations and in specialized settings (e.g. couples, parent-child, refugees, LGBTQ+, clinical training and supervision), sand scene analysis, course wrap-up

In Sand Therapy . . .

Symbols, neurological experience & story merge to bridge images and meaning for healing

Sand Therapy engages our capacity to imagine, to represent, to give voice & connect, 

We are witnessed, validated, empowered

As others resonate with our experience . .  .

We Exist

Dee Preston-Dillon, M.A., Ph.D.

What You Get

  • Competencies in Sand Therapy Level 1 Course in six sessions

  • 9 hours of powerful teaching 

  • Dr. Dee’s handouts, teaching exam, selected articles and bibliography

  • Streamable video of each session for unlimited viewing/reviewing of course material

  • 9 Association for Play Therapy Instruction credit hours (APT Approved Provider Number: 05-161)

Course Price:Discount Price Cross Out.png 

Limited Time Online Offer: $199*

Purchase Now


Dr. Dee Preston-Dillon is the founder and director of The Sand Therapy Training Institute and the Center for Culture and Sandplay. 

A researcher and clinician educator for over 40 years, she is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland, Global Campus, and has been an affiliate faculty for Johns Hopkins master’s counseling program, Loyola’s pastoral counseling, George Washington University’s Art Therapy program, and Argosy’s PsyD program.

In addition to her extensive graduate-level teaching, Dr. Dee has presented at over 40 national and international conferences on the use of Sand Therapy. For two decades her focus has been on case consultation for clinics and individual clinicians who use symbols in sand.