frequently asked questions
frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about our Sandplay, Trauma & Expressive Arts courses

What is Integrative Sandplay Therapy?

It’s a person-centred way of using sandplay with clients of all ages. It’s built on the work of Jungian Sandplay Therapy, developed by Dora Kalff as a way of doing therapy with children. Our integrative model also includes interventions from the trauma world such as Internal Family Systems and Polyvagal Theory. Also, we teach techniques from gestalt, object relations’ theory and transpersonal ways of working. This makes it a very flexible and adaptable model to use with children, adolescents, adults, couples and family groups.


What’s unique about your trauma courses?

The Working Creatively with Trauma courses were developed by Jill Carter in 2017 after doing many trauma trainings without any creativity in them. Our model is a way of bringing together the world of creative imagination and evidence-based research. We use art, movement, sandplay, storytelling, sound healing, mindfulness and dramatherapy to illustrate trauma models such as IFS and Polyvagal Theory.


What is Expressive Arts – how is it different to Art Therapy?

Integrative expressive art, sometimes called creative arts is an expression of emotion. It also helps us to process memories and calm our minds. It is therefore an effective therapeutic tool for counsellors and psychotherapists. On our creative arts therapy training courses, you will learn research-based expressive art skills to use in your work. You can start with a weekend introduction course here. 

Then progress to our new Certificate in Integrative Creative and Expressive Art Therapy – you can read details of this here.

Other creative arts therapies are also effective in counselling which includes art. So, these expressive therapy courses will also use music, meditation, music drama, dance, breath work and sandplay. It’s more intuitive and our training is less formal than trainings for art therapy.


What will I gain by doing your courses?

Our courses are a mixture of support, learning and nourishment. Sometimes client work can feel very heavy and working creatively can lift a lot of that stress off your shoulders. Using play in your work benefits both your clients and yourself. We will teach you practical, research-based ways of using sand, art and other creative ways of working with children, adolescents and adults. You will also feel nourished by the support of the tutor and the small group, all of whom are working in similar jobs to yourself.


How do you do sandplay and creative trainings online?

It has been easier than we anticipated to transfer our courses onto Zoom! Each student has their own sand tray, sand and a few objects (shells, stones, acorns and other natural things are a good way to start). We will help you with art equipment and share our list of suggested symbols or figures to start your own collection. You don’t have to have a full set of figures before you start our trainings.


Are you going to stay online with your courses?

We plan to offer both face-to-face and online training courses. Some students really like the flexibility of doing trainings online, others miss the face-to-face interaction. We will be sensitive to your needs and offer a training that suits you best. Our expressive arts training will be face-to-face in Lancaster, Lancashire, England.


Are your courses accredited by a training body?

We certify our own Integrative Sandplay courses and have trained hundreds of therapists in what is a recognised professional qualification. There isn’t a body (yet!) in the UK that regulates integrative sandplay therapy, expressive arts or creative counselling courses.

All our trainings are suitable for CPD hours by BACP/UKCP or equivalent organisations.


How big are the groups of students?

We never have more than 10 people on a course. This gives space for individual guidance from the tutor and support from the other people in the group. Often, students on a certificate will go on together to do the diploma. Small groups also provide a safe, nurturing place to look after yourself.


Should I start with an introductory weekend?

The Introduction to SandplayWorking Creatively with Trauma and Introduction to Expressive Arts Therapy UK  weekends are designed for anyone who works in the mental health or education field. This includes students on counselling courses, wellbeing practitioners, teaching assistants or other professionals/volunteers.

Registered therapists who do an introductory weekend will get priority booking on the certificate. You can book the introduction to sandplay course here the introduction to working creatively with trauma course here

You can find our new introduction to expressive arts course here.


I have some experience of sandplay or creative working, do I need to do the Certificate before the Diploma?

It’s great that you had some sandplay or creative arts experience before, but our teaching model is unique to us. The Certificate will train you in our integrative model and allow you to become a Certified Sandplay Therapist or achieve a Certificate in Working Creatively with Trauma. You can then go on to do the Diploma the following year.


What qualifications do I need to do the sandplay, trauma or expressive arts certificate course?

You must be a registered counsellor/play therapist/psychotherapist/psychologist/social worker or similar to do the certificate course. All our certificate students need to have completed a counselling training (or similar) as well as suitable insurance and DBS (if applicable). You should also have experience of working with clients. The certificate courses are suitable for those of us working with children, adolescents and adults in a wide range of school, counselling and clinical environments.

If you are not a registered therapist, you are very welcome on the introductory weekends which will give you skills to start using sandplay and creativity in your work and for your own self-care.


What’s the difference between the certificate and the diploma courses?

The certificate course gives you key skills and teaches our model. You will use sandplay and creativity confidently in your work after the certificate. The diploma course explores self-care, spirituality and meaning in your life and work. The diploma also adds more advanced skills you can use in with clients of any ages.


Can I pay in instalments for the Certificate or Diploma course?

Yes, absolutely. To guarantee your place, return the booking form with a deposit of £350 inc. VAT. The cheapest way to come on our courses is to pay upfront before the course starts. You can also pay in monthly instalments.

If you want to discuss other payment options, email Lindsey.

We will be sympathetic to any requests to defer training because of bereavement, losing your job or illness.


There’s one of the weekends I can’t do because of another commitment – can I make up the time?

Yes, you will be able to book a catch-up with the course tutor at a time that suits you both for a small additional payment. Contact us and we will arrange that. You can only miss one of the five weekends.


What are the hours requirements for the courses – do I have to finish them during the course itself?

We need you to complete 50 hours with clients to get the certificate. And another 50 for the diploma courses. You can use your existing clients to complete these hours if you are able to do sandplay or work creatively with them. You don’t have to complete all these hours during the taught part of the course, we will be as flexible as possible. Certificates for Continuing Professional Development (CPD hours) will be given out at the end of the course.


Can I use my existing supervisor for these hours?

You are welcome to continue using your usual clinical supervisor in line with BACP guidelines. However, you will also need to have 8 hours supervision with one of our creative Registered Training Supervisors to support you during the course. Their job is to help you relate the teaching material to your client work and your life. We will give you a list on the first weekend. Please note, the cost of these training supervision sessions is in addition to the course fees.


Is there any written work during these courses?

You are assessed during the training weekends by the course tutor and by your supervisor. You will present client material on the weekends. The course tutor and the supervisor will write a short report at the end of the course, which will be sent to you first, and then to Jill Carter for certification. So no, there are no essays!


I’m not in the UK, can I take part in your training course?

Many of our students come from the Republic of Ireland or mainland Europe so you are welcome to join us. You are also welcome if you are further afield but be aware the courses are done live 10am – 4pm UK time.


If you have other questions, please contact Lindsey on or 07311 389613 and we will be happy to help.