The Australian Counselling Association (ACA) is a National progressive professional peak association of counsellors and psychotherapists with over 5,000 individual members

Professional Development

Event Details - Symbols and Sandplay

Title: Symbols and Sandplay
Type of Activity: Workshops & Seminars
Objective of Course / Workshop:

Learn how to use sandplay in counselling for children and adults. Practice methods for introducing symbol work, knowing when to talk and not and how to make meaning from this work. Learn how to respectfully invite the creation of miniature scenes and stories that help clients see, know and change.

You will have the opportunity to:

  • Identify the theoretical basis of working with symbols (including Jungian, Narrative, Humanist, Gestalt perspectives)
  • Consider the evidence 
  • Practise person-centred counselling skills
  • Integrate the use of creative therapies into counselling
  • Consider appropriate developmental, practical and therapeutic benefits and limits 
  • Practically experience the therapeutic uses 
  • Consider practical ways to build an appropriate symbol collection
  • Learn in the safety and support of a small group
Course / Workshop Outline:

Day One

  • History, method and evidence review
  • Warming up to symbol use
  • Exploring backgrounds for stories
  • Symbol use role plays

Day Two

  • Review sandplay method
  • Demonstration of sandplay
  • Role play practices with sandplay
  • Structured interventions during sandplay
  • Case studies
  • Applications
OPD points: 10
Course / Workshop content:

This two day experiential workshop introduces you to approaches and applications of sandplay. Sandplay allows for the projective expression of one's personal inner world. Work with a range of clients and therapeutic contexts will be considered. Sandplay is a powerful therapeutic method that has been around for nearly 100 years. It is a form of therapy that gives both child and adult clients the opportunity to portray, rather than verbalise, feelings and experiences often inaccessible and/or difficult to express. Its origins were in the work of Jung and Kalff who were analytically orientated. Current research has demonstrated successful use in shorter term strengths-based approaches with traumatised refugees, reducing measures of anxiety and depression, and with autistic children, increasing verbal expression, social interaction and spontaneous novel play. In the free and protected space provided by the counsellor, a client creates a concrete manifestation of his or her inner world using sand, water, and miniature objects.

The focus of the workshop will be an experiential and practical introduction to a range of directive and non-directive methods to engage and work with this media in counselling.

What ideas are explored:

  • How do I introduce symbol and sandplay work to clients?
  • How can using symbols be therapeutic?
  • Why do we use sandtrays?
  • What are the stages in sandplay therapy?
  • What do I do after clients have made something?
  • How do I make sense of what the client's symbol selection means?
  • How do we know if this is working?
  • Does it work for all ages and issues?
  • When might this form of therapy not be useful?
  • How can I start a symbol collection?
  • What are the basic sorts of symbols I need?

Training methods will include:

  • Interactive presentations
  • Large group discussions
  • Pair and small group discussions
  • Live demonstration of methods
  • Practical role play experience with symbol and sandplay methods in pairs
  • Reflection opportunities for application of methods

Who Should Attend?

Counsellors, psychologists, social workers, psychotherapists, school counsellors, mental health and pastoral workers, other allied health professionals and students of these disciplines. No artistic experience or skill is necessary. 

What people are saying about this course...

 This was a fantastic hands-on workshop.

 One of the best workshops we ever attended! Loved it both professionally and personally.  Presenter was well spoken, very intelligent, yet down-to-earth and friendly, very genuine and compassionate.

 Well structured, informative and very practical.

√ Very clear, concise and logical training which made it easy to learn. The experience, knowledge and insight of the presenter was apparent and appreciated.

 Excellent integration of theory and practice - really appreciated the experiential tasks - so helpful and gives me confidence.

 Experiential work is a great forum for learning with a great symbol collection!

 Best workshop I have been to in the last 5 years!

 I love using the tray and feel comfortable in continuing to use it now.

Start/End Date: 16/09/2019 to 17/09/2019
Time: 09:00:00 - 16:00:00
Presenter / Provider: Jacki Short
Contact Name: Jacki Short
Contact Phone: 0411209802
Contact Email:
Qualifications: Counselling Psychologist and Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor

Jacki Short is the Owner and Director of Sydney Centre for Creative Change. She has over twenty five years of clinical experience with children, young people and adults. 

As an experienced and Masters qualified adult educator, Jacki has trained thousands of students and course participants in Australia and internationally and remains committed to the safe and expressive growth of all those with whom she works. She gives you practical, evidence-based techniques to help the young people you work with talk about their lives more easily, feel better understood and find solutions that are right for them.

Address: Burwood RSL
Address 2: 96 Shaftesbury Road
Suburb: Burwood
State: NSW
Parking: Free
Is there disability parking and entry? Yes
Are meals included with this event? Yes
If yes, what meals? Morning / Afternoon Tea & Lunch
Registration URL:
Cost ($): $660 includes comprehensive work booklet and certificate of attendance
Registration Instruction (if applicable):

Regular Price $660

Regular Early Bird $530 (paid 2 months prior)

Student Price $560

Student Early Bird $530 (paid 2 months prior)


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