Theory • Treatment • Self-Care


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Eliana Gil, PhD, LMFT, RPT-S, ATR Chairperson

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Thursday, April 9

7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Symbols in the Sand: An Interactive Exploration for Play Therapists and Others

Dee Preston-Dillon, PhD

Hypothetical and actual cases will serve as catalysts for learning how to understand deeper meaning from clients' sand therapy work. Explore the role of the clinician in sand therapy through recreating clients' sand therapy scenes. This 2.5 hour session, grounded in Narrative Therapy and Jungian perspectives, is open to clinicians in the expressive arts and play therapy.


THERAPLAY & FILIAL THERAPY for Treating Traumatized Children and their Families

Lunch & Learn Film

Introduction to Sandplay®: Bold & Kind

Rosalind L. Heiko, PhD, ISST, CST-T

This 30-minute film, produced by Dr. Roz, features four Sandplay sessions with adults and children, interviews with clients, and an interview with Dr. Roz. It demonstrates for mental health practitioners how Sandplay can be used effectively with both children and adults — a way of working that can transform lives. Dr. Roz will be present to discuss the film with attendees. Open to all day-long Friday Institute registrants.


Sand, Symbols, and Narrative: Self-Care for Play Therapists

9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Dee Preston-Dillon, PhD

Working with symbols and metaphors in sand therapy is healing and empowering for clients and clinicians. It is an especially restorative approach for clinician self-care, which is essential for maintaining well-being and professional integrity. During this day-long experiential master class, narrative approaches, symbols in sand, and silent journaling will ground the clinician’s journey toward balance. This "mini-retreat" offers participants an opportunity to recover from the negative stress and alienation of clinical practice that can leave one intuitively sapped, disengaged, and emotionally-hardened. There will be time to reflect; practice self-care; embrace one’s inventive, insightful self; deepen internal connections; and reclaim the creative healer within. Skills and insights from this session will have powerful implications for clients in the play and expressive therapies domain.

Integrating Storytelling & Sandplay into Play Therapy with Children

9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Rosalind L. Heiko, PhD, ISST, CST-T, NCSP

This workshop provides an in-depth examination of how to weave clinical storytelling into play therapy and Sandplay with children. Participants will learn to utilize innovative storytelling strategies with children to address more complex trauma, stress, and anxiety reactions. Therapists will practice effective ways of keeping children’s interest and attention, while polishing their storytelling skills. We will use discussion, case presentation, video material and an experiential format to enhance our storytelling abilities.


Sand Therapy Competencies: Core Principles & Practices for Clinicians

8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Dee Preston-Dillon, PhD

Sand therapy is a remarkable projective technique used in the expressive and play therapy fields. The use of sand and symbols can have a profound effect on clients and clinician. It is especially important to be prepared for the internal impact of the symbolic, address clinician projections, understand context and meaning in sand scenes, and grasp the essential integrity of the process. Clinical skills for safe, ethical, empowering use of sand includes eight core practices: a highly tuned presence, deep empathic witnessing, keen intuitive resonance, rich internal associations for amplification, a well-informed theory base, heightened self-awareness with boundaries, insights into culture-myth-metaphor, and creative flow. After an overview of the core practices, participants will create sand scenes and work with peers on core skills. Case examples, hands-on practice with sand scenes, feedback to participants, research using symbol books, practice with symbol amplification, and participant questions will anchor essential competencies with sand therapy.


Enhancing the “Ordinary Magic” of Resilience Using Play Therapy Interventions

Home-Based Play Therapy: A Practical Guide for Parents, Teachers and Therapists

Integrating Storytelling & Sandplay into Play Therapy with Children

Play Therapy & Relationship-Based Therapies for Children on the Autism Spectrum

Play Therapy Following Traumatic Events: Effective Interventions for Children & Families

Sand, Symbols, and Narrative: Self-Care for Play Therapists

Setting Up Play Therapy Programs in Schools

A Breath of Fresh Air: Promoting Attachment with Nature-Based Play Therapy

Combining Play Therapy & Practice Parameters to Advance Trauma-Informed Treatment

Engaging Boys in Treatment: Road-Tested Play Therapy Approaches

Integrative Group Play Therapy for Children

Keeping Compassion Alive: Avoiding Burnout in Play Therapy

Play Therapy with Hispanic Families: Challenges and Rewards

Playful CBT for Decreasing Children's Anxiety
Using Puppets in Assessment & Treatment with Children and Families
Grief Counseling for Children & Adolescents Using Art

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Sponsored by Gil Institute Starbright Training Expressive Media