Sandtray Therapy Institute (STI) was created to provide state of the art training and materials for therapists who want to learn an effective method of using sandtray with clients. Sandtray therapy is a type of play therapy (Flahive & Ray, 2007; Homeyer & Sweeney, 1998) and an expressive art intervention that can be used with clients of all ages. Most theory-based play therapists are child-centered, the only play therapy approach with substantial research support, but most sandtray therapists are Jungian. STI extends the Rogerian philosophy used in child-centered play therapy to the world of sandtray therapy. The STI teaches and trains advanced graduate students and practitioners a humanistic method of sandtray processing. In addition, STI is committed to providing a supervisory experience for trainees that facilitates supervisee growth and awareness as well as advanced skill development.

STI focuses primarily on the processing part of sandtray and provides a therapeutic method of facilitating client awareness and growth. By processing, we mean the verbal and experiential exploration of the symbols and metaphors used by the client in the scene creation phase of sandtray.

Humanistic sandtray therapy emphasizes exploration rather than interpretation, feelings over thinking, and awareness over insight. Insight is viewed as a by-product of awareness and tends to be a result of reflection upon the sandtray therapy experience. Most therapists and many clients are analytical about their experiences. We all like to understand why we do things even if it may not help us change habits or patterns of behavior. Awareness on the other hand, allows us to notice our experience in the moment so that we can choose another option if we wish.

If you are interested in learning more about sandtray, we have created a 6-part sandtray therapy training video series found below: