Association of Integrative Sandplay Therapy 

South Devon Courses

We have such fantastic feedback about these courses – please enquire or feel free to pass the information on to a friend. Thank you

Contact Ruth Baker:

Sandplay therapy is great therapy for all ages and versatile in many different settings. It enables our clients to create a story or revisit an experience or simply express how they are feeling in a tray of sand in the context of a holding environment.

The symbol or miniature collection consists of a wide selection of objects from nature, real life, fantasy, mysticism and spiritual realms. The sand can be used wet or dry, moved or left almost untouched. There are no rights, wrongs or judgements in this way of working.

It is a creative way of exploring our inner worlds: our relationship with self, others and our life experiences. It offers people of all ages the psychological safety to communicate what it is they need or what they are feeling. Blocked energies can be transformed, situations can be seen in a new and often expansive light. It creates greater understanding.  It operates at depth yet can also feel fun and creative. You do not need to be a ‘creative type’ to enjoy and benefit from this way of working. Any one of us young or old, whether you are working with individuals, couples or groups can benefit from the power of working in the sand. My youngest client was three and my oldest in their 80’s.

Introduction to Integrative Sandplay Therapy

This is a foundation course in sandplay therapy which is experiential and interactive. This gives the participants an opportunity to play in the sand, experience the power of it and gain a brief overview of the underlying theory.

The course consists of:

•                 A series of experiential sand trays.

•                 The therapeutic and clinical value in using sandplay therapy.

•                 An introduction to the theory of sandplay therapy

•                 Practical discussion as to how to set up sandplay therapy in the setting in where you work including safe and ethical practice.

•                 An introduction to the world of symbols.

•                  Discussions link the theory and practice.

•                  The importance of creative imagination in connecting the conscious and unconscious aspects of the psyche.

•                  Creative visualisation and mindfulness practices.

•                  Accredited by the Association of Integrative Sandplay Therapists

Participants from a range of backgrounds are welcome including: counsellors, psychotherapists, students, psychologists, youth workers, social workers, teachers etc. If you are unsure of your eligibility, please ask.

About Ruth Baker

Ruth has nearly 25 years’ experience as a counsellor, psychotherapist, supervisor, teacher and consultant with a private practice in South Devon. Ruth has taught in a variety of settings including counselling courses, university, charities, mental health and drugs and alcohol services.  She has extensive knowledge of working with people of all ages both at ‘the coal face’ and as a manager in and brings this expertise to her training.

She currently teaches sandplay, counselling and mindfulness with an emphasis on using theory to support the practical. Ruth uses sandplay and art therapeutically in her practice with individuals, couples, groups and in supervision. She is creative in her approach and brings this to her teaching and work. Ruth is interested in the field of ecotherapy and engaging our hearts and minds in our connection with nature. She has lifelong interest in her spiritual development and is currently a student of the Ridhwan School. Ruth lives on a smallholding and in her free time, loves to walk, to play, to dance, to garden to canoe and wild swim.

This course has attracted some fantastic feedback:

"I just wanted to say thank you so much for a wonderful course last weekend ... I feel passionately about sand tray work and am very keen to do the diploma starting in the new year"

 "the weekend was very inspiring and I am considering doing the training ……(ie diploma)"

 "I’m already up and running this morning with two young people burying and fighting characters in my sand box.  Fab."

 "I just wanted to say thank you for this weekend.  It is the best bit of CPD I’ve done in a whole."

 "Just wanted to thank you so much for such a brilliant weekend. I walked away feeling inspired and felt privileged to train with so many interesting women.   I've taken away so much from the course and I really needed that boost!"

"Just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you. " 

Diploma in Integrative Sandplay Studies

 Diploma in Integrative Sandplay Therapy 


Course Overview:

 This course will cover child development from Freud to the Transpersonal. Considering the work of Freud, Klein, Mahler, Winnicott, Jung and Neumann in sandplay. With emphasis on Jung, Neumann, Archetypal and Transpersonal perspectives.

 We will explore presenting and underlying issues, transference and countertransference through many dimensions. Look at case presentations and evaluate neuroscience through to archetypal concepts relationally through personal, experiential sandplay work.

 You will gain understanding of developmental stages, regression and issues of stuckness, transitions and initiations, systemic presentations and their context and how they are identifiable through symbolic representations in sandplay.

 Each weekend consists of a series of teachings and experiential exercises to support your understanding. All participants will be encouraged to discuss their sandtrays and relate them to their world view, family, social dynamics, spiritual growth and development.

 Course Content:

 Psychological Development: From Freud to the Transpersonal.

The work of Freud, Klein, Mahler, Winnicott, Jung and Neumann. An introduction to the post Jungians – Hillman and Moore and the transpersonal theorists – Wilber, Washburn, Grof and Almaas.

Emphasis is placed on the work of Jung, Neumann and the archetypal and transpersonal perspectives.

 Working with different ages and stages of development in the sand:

Guidelines for Sandplay with children, adolescents and adults.

Developmental stages in children’s sandplay.

Age, gender and cultural differences in sandplay.

Creating Presence: a safe and empathic space.

Looking at family systems and how they present in the sand.


Evaluating Sandplay

An introduction to the work of Dora Kalff.

Overview of the work of Margaret Lowenfeld.

 Sandplay as a means of symbolic expression and communication.

Case presentations will be used to facilitate learning.

Understanding the presenting and underlying issues.

Transference and counter-transference

 Introduction to Jungian and post Jungian Transpersonal theory including archetypes and complexes:

Mythology, dreams, symbolism and archetypes.

Experiencing life’s journey through the archetypes.

Discovering the Anima and Animus.

The archetype of the Anima and Animus and Earth Mother.

The archetype of the shadow.

The twelve elements archetypes, their symbolic representations and psychological qualities and shadows.

The work of Marie-Louise Von Franz:  archetypes in fairy tales.

The work of Gareth Hill: Archetypes of the Masculine and Feminine in our life cycle.

Erich Neumann

 Creative Imagination:

The importance of creative imagination (through visualisation) in connecting the conscious and unconscious aspects of the psyche.

Using creative visualisations and mindfulness practices.

 The world of symbols

 This work is integrated through a model of the multidimensional nature of through a Map of the Psyche.

 Course Leader: Ruth Baker BSc Hons(Psych), MA,

 Who should attend:

The programme is suitable for qualified counsellors, psychotherapists or play therapists and/or trainees who have completed or are in the process of completing a Diploma level course in Counselling, Psychotherapy, Play Therapy or hold an equivalent qualification or experience of working a relevant client group.

If you are unsure of your eligibility, please contact Ruth Baker to discuss.

Please note: This qualification does not qualify you as a counsellor it should be seen as advanced CPD for those in relevant roles.

Being in personal therapy is an advantage and the Course Tutor may require a student to undertake some counselling before or during the course.

 Timing & Logistics:

The course consists of 4 three-day weekends in Totnes, South Devon (on the main Paddington – Penzance train line)

The course costs £140/day and includes breakfast, lunch teas and coffee (full course cost £1,680), this can be paid in advance or by instalments prior to each weekend.

 3 Day Weekends runs as follows (subject to slight variation):

 Day 1:    9.30am - 6pm teaching and practice.

Day 2:    8am - 9am meditation practice.

               9.45am - 6pm teaching and practice.

Day 3:    8am - 9am meditation practice.

               9.45am - 4pm teaching and practice.


 The Venue

The Nautilus Rooms are based in the heart of Totnes a thriving market town in South Devon. The Nautilus Rooms was set up with the needs of talking therapists in mind, a comfortable and tranquil space with fully equipped kitchen and break out space. The collection of sandplay symbols is extensive – almost certainly the largest in the South West. Having undertaken extensive sandplay training Ruth Baker co-owner of the Nautilus Rooms has understood the need for a large symbol collection particularly in the training environment. Totnes itself has a market and numerous charity shops all of which are great hunting grounds for symbols.

Further CPD Opportunities (please contact Ruth for more info):

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