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Sand and Clay Workshop

Sand and Clay Workshop

Course duration: 3½ days (First day 19h00 until last day 12h00)
2020 Course cost: R R4290.00 (includes accommodation and three meals per day)
20 CPD Points

Sand tray and Clay Workshops are viewed by some people as the third level of the courses being offered by the Centre for Play Therapy and Training. It provides a deeper level of theoretical interaction and integration.

Please note that this process implies a unique theoretical application. For this reason it is important that course members need to complete Play Therapy Level 1 and Level 2 before commencing the Sand and Clay Workshop. No practitioner will have complete application knowledge of The Schoeman Gestalt Intervention Framework without completing Play Therapy Level 1 and 2.

This course only takes place at the Uylenvlei Retreat, near Gansbaai. See www.uylenvlei-retreat.co.za (GPS: S 34º34.062 and E 19º 27.807 (Monday afternoon till Friday 1200)

Firstly, the course member will learn more about a deeper way in applying advanced intervention with sand and clay and secondly will be guided in coming into awareness about their own being as a practitioner within the ability of personal awareness. In Gestalt sand work no assumptions or any symbolic connotation initiated by the practitioner will be of importance. The client will be invited to make in the sand whatever is on his foreground. To do that, natural material like shells, stones or bark can be used or if he likes miniature figures to represent the foreground need this can also be used. The process of creating a sand scene is part of the client’s new figure formation. The client will be in a position to bring about profound messages to him or her that was not previously in their awareness. In sand play the client always takes the lead with the support of the practitioner. Sand tray work implies a verbal as well as a non-verbal communication intervention.

• In this hands-on practical Gestalt Sand and Clay Workshop the course member will be brought into human consciousness and how it manifests on the foreground.
• The sand tray and clay work experience will be on a practical base, with exercises in pairs of two or three. After completion of the exercise participants will report back in the bigger group.
• The sand tray and clay work will be aimed at helping the participant to uncover the feelings and thoughts that will rise by the projection. Specific awareness techniques will be the helping aid whereby the course member will be assisted in bringing the client into awareness.

The main topics over the three and a half days will be:

• Exploring youself as a human being.
• Making peace with whom you are.
• Learn how to nurture yourself as a human being
• Selecting materials for making a sand/ clay scene.
• Applying the theoretical structure within the Gestalt philosophy.
• Making use of the Schoeman Working Structure to guide the Gestalt process.
• Different topics that will be covered will be resistance, non-verbal communication, integration of awareness, different scenarios in the sand and clay scene, the transformative power of group work and family therapy with the two mediums.


• The workshop contains awareness exercises and practical experimentation.
• Drumming experience as part of awareness.
• Beach exercise as part of awareness.
• Platbos Forest exercise in containing the achieved awareness.

Pre-requisites for doing the Sand and Clay workshop:

• Candidates on this course must already have done the Play Therapy Level 1 and Play Therapy Level 2 courses of the Centre for Play Therapy and Training.
• Be able to participate in the physical activities.
• Be prepared to do every hour of the course.

Workshop fees and what is included:

• The cost of the course is R4290 per person (2020).
• Shared accommodation and 12 light meals will be provided (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
• No special diets for example diabetic, halal, banting or glucose intolerance can be provided. Vegetarian and vegan meals can be requested. (If any other meals are requested these can be prepared by the course member in the communal kitchen).
• Transport from and to the airport can be arranged at an additional cost per person per trip.
• The shared accommodation implies that four people of choice sharing a bungalow with a tented roof, permanent flooring and its own bathroom. There are also ablution blocks for those who want to use them.
• If course members want to book their accommodation where they do not share with someone at the retreat, there will be an extra charge. Course members can also bring their partners and book a unit on their own. A Quotation will be provided on request.
• The workshop starts on a Monday night at 19h00 and closes on the Friday round 12h00.
• Booking to stay prior to the starting date or to stay on after the official closure of the course is possible if the course member books this extension of stay in advance.
• If candidates do not want to make use of the total package, or shared accommodation, the extra costs will be for their own account.

Outline of the programme:
Day 1Arrival (first evening)
Around the camp fire20h00
Drumming sessionUntil 21h30
Day 2Breakfast08h00 - 08h30
First session
Sand tray work
What or who shows up in the sand tray
Child's patterns
08h30 - 10h30
Tea break10h30 - 11h00
If weather allows, beach awareness11h00 - 12h30
Evaluation12h30 - 13h00
Lunch13h00 - 14h00
Afternoon session
Practical sand tray work
14h00 - 15h30
Second afternoon.
Deeper level of Gestalt sand tray work, empty chair, field theory, paradoxical theory of change session and evaluation.
15h30 - 16h00
Supper19h00 - 20h00
Free time
Day 3Breakfast08h00 - 08h30
First session.
Contact boundary disturbances / practical.
08h30 - 10h00
Evaluation10h00 - 10h30
Tea break10h30 - 11h00
Second session
11h00 - 12h30
Evaluation12h30 - 13h00
Lunch13h00 - 14h00
Third session.
Theory of clay work.
14h00 - 15h30
Evaluation15h30 - 16h00
Supper19h00 - 20h00
Free time
Day 4Sunrise awareness if weather allows.
Breakfast08h00 - 08h30
First session.
Integration of techniques and theory.
08h30 - 10h00
Evaluation10h00 - 10h30
Tea10h30 - 11h00
Second session.
Practical clay session.
11h00 - 12h30
Evaluation12h30 - 13h00
Lunch13h00 - 14h00
Third session.
Emotional release
Clay work.
14h00 - 15h30
Evaluation15h30 - 16h00
Free time
Day 5Breakfast08h00 - 08h30
First session.
08h30 - 09h00
Southern most forest in Africa
09h00 - 10h30
Course evaluation10h30 - 11h30

In this specialized course the course member gets hands on experiential opportunity to do several sand and clay sessions to practice and experience the many pitfalls and detailed skills of these mediums. In studying and integrating the theoretical grounding of the skills the course members comes to an awareness of their own inner self. This is one of the many reasons why various practitioners from different professions benefit from this training. Whether you are a social worker, a psychologist, a teacher, a counsellor or any professional working with children you need self-awareness to enable you to understand the child within yourself to eventually understand the child that you are working with.

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