yellow streamYellow Stream: Certificate in Sandplay with Special Populations using Play Therapy Skills and Techniques

2 waysTwo possible routes!

yellow stream   Play Therapist: CAPT Certification Route

CAPTCAPT Route: For those seeking to become Certified by that Canadian Association for Play Therapy (CAPT), this is the recommended program to take in addition to the Green & Red Stream programs, to fulfill the requirement of 180 hour of play therapy training by CAPT.

Registrant’s en-route toward Certification by CAPT should first complete the Green Stream (or an equivalent), prior to taking this yellow stream program (Note: it may be taken prior to the Red Stream).

yellow stream   Special Interest & Advanced Practitioner

This certificate program can be taken as a stand-alone specialized training for those wishing to explore this play intervention/modality. Due to the focus on sandplay techniques, as applied to special population/referral issues, as well as a developmental approach (understanding developmental stages as represented in the sandtray), previous training in play therapy is necessary (such as completion of the Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills – Green Stream – or equivalent).

The Certificate in Sandplay with Special Populations using Play Therapy Skills and Techniques program offers 26.25 hours of approved/certified training. It consists of 3 days of face-to-face training (21 contact hours) PLUS a pre-course on-line component (with a Mastery Test – 5.25 non-contact hours). Students will have three months to complete the required written case assignment.

This certificate program is part of RMPTI’s fully integrated training program continuum, as it builds on the integrative approach to play therapy introduced in the Green Stream, with an emphasis on theory, techniques and applications to special populations.

Taking a developmental approach (understanding developmental stages as represented in the sandtray), the program focuses on sandplay techniques as applied to special population/referral issues (e.g., children of divorce, traumatized clients, giftedness, anxiety/phobias, depression, etc.). Participants will have the opportunity to engage in experiential sandplay activities that range from interactive to static use of the sandtray, and will be exposed to various theoretical orientations of sandplay.

Program Goals

The primary goals of this program are to deepen participants’ understanding and experience with using symbols and metaphors in sandplay, expand inquiry skills, and abilities to track the sandplay process. The program also strengthens participants’ substantive knowledge base of special population/referral issues, including:
• Trauma / Medical traumas/Complex grief & loass
• Anxiety/Phobias
• Bullying
• Eating disorders
• Giftedness
• Working with families
• Working with twins


For full details please refer to the application form. To access program dates see the training calendar.

Cancellation policy

Who Should Attend?

It is recommended that students enrolled in the CAPT Route of Certification take this program after completing the Green Stream. Like other Yellow Stream programs, this program is designed for mental health practitioners who wish to add to their play therapy training resume.

Entrance Requirements
Attending or completed graduate mental health degree program. Completion of the Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills (Green Stream) – or equivalent.

Required Readings
Carey, L. (1999). Sandplay Therapy with Children and Families. New Jersey: Book-mart Press.

Program Outline

On-Line Program:

Historical & theoretical constructs

  • Development of the Ego & Psyche
  • Symbolization process
  • Archetypes
  • Conscious processing
  • Transcedent function
  • Progression & regression
  • Stages of development (e.g., R. Bowyer)
  • Compensation & Adaptation
  • Cased study
  • Personal exercises

Day 1:

  • What is Sandplay?
  • Theoretical applications
  • Metaphors and Symbols – universality and uniqueness
  • Personal Exercises
  • Use of mapping
  • Non-directive sandplay
  • Personal process journals

Day 2:

  • Use of sandplay with children 4-7 year
  •  Typical interventions with younger children and reasons for us
  • Identifying re-enactments and trauma fragments
  • Experiential exercise: moving sandplay
  • Video examples and slides
  •  The directiveness continuum / Case conceptualization
  • Reflecting and intervening – roles of the sandplay therapist
  • Use of sandplay with children 8-11
  • Case examples and slide presentation
  • Practice using: sand stories and story stems
  • Tracking developmentally significant issues
  •  “Moving” and/or interactive sandplay with specific populations – i.e., children of divorce,
    traumatized children
  •  Consciousness dimension and use of interpretations

Day 3:

  • Warm-up exercise
  •  Case conceptualization and planning
  • Sandplay with adolescents
  • Special issues and considerations
  •  Case example
  • Experiential non-directive exercise
  • Enquiry and tracking with adolescents
  • Parent involvement – How to provide parent feedback
  • Special considerations when working with families or dyads
  •  Ethics and practice guidelines when using sandplay

Learning Objectives
• To provide an overview of the use of sandplay in various counselling settings, with special populations, and to provide participants with experiential learning opportunities.

Upon successful completion of the course each participant will have gained:

  • An introduction to the history and theoretical perspective guiding sandplay
  • An understanding of the sandplay process & stages of sandplay
  • An opportunity to work with sandplay with a variety of presenting problems/populations
  • A deeper understanding when working with symbols and metaphors
  • An introduction to working with various ages and stages of development when working in sand
  • An appreciation to ethics and guidelines related to sandplay
  • An introduction to working with sandplay and families
  • Ways to provide feedback to parents and third parties
  • An understanding of when to be directive or non-directive in sandplay
  • Increased skills in inquiry and tracking when using sandplay
  • An opportunity to practice using tracking/recording tools
  • An appreciation for use of self & the holding process in sandplay work


  • Experiential activities
  • Videos & case examples
  • Reading assignments
  • Written case conceptualization assignment

Participants will receive a Certificate in Sandplay with Special Populations from Rocky Mountain Play Therapy Institute. This certificate confirms the completion of 26.25 hours (21 direct contact hours) of specialized play therapy training approved by APT and CAPT.

Training hours can be used toward registration/certification as Play Therapist. APT and CAPT alone hold the right to accept or deny any continuing education training at their discretion.

The certificate will be awarded on the basis of:
• Satisfactory attendance (no whole module may be missed unless there are extenuating circumstances. A makeup assignment may be requested depending on time missed).
• Satisfactory completion of a written case conceptualization.