How to be a Sandplay Therapist under ISST requirements

A summary of requirements for Individual Membership of the International Society for Sandplay Therapy (ISST) is listed below.

(a) Qualifications for the Training

Applicants for training are expected to show evidence of having the following qualifications:

  1. A university education as a medical doctor, psychologist, pedagogue, theologian, clinical social worker or a specialized training in one of the humanities or social sciences.
    Persons not having this type of university education but who can demonstrate adequate educational background will also be considered.
  2. Knowledge of psychopathology, psychodiagnosis and psychotherapy which shall preferably have been achieved by formal study and applied clinical experience with patients/clients.
  3. Evidence of having had some in-depth inner development and insight such as may be achieved in the experience of personal analysis or other disciplines leading to such developments.
  4. Licensure to practice psychotherapy in countries and regions where licensure is required.Exceptions will be made under exceptional circumstances.

(b) Certification Process

  1. A personal process in Sandplay Therapy with an ISST member that precedes, if possible a regular course of training
  2. Theoretical training of a minimum of 100 hours of participation in training seminars in the tradition of Dora Kalff that is based on the principles of the psychology of C.G. Jung
  3. Two written seminar papers, at least 10 pages in length, but no more than 20 pages with 1 ½ spacing. At least one paper must include clinical Sandplay material.
  4. Supervision of practical work in individual and group sessions, with at least two different Supervisors. The total number of supervision hours is determined by each National Society, with a minimum of 80 hours of individual and group supervision with a Teaching Member. Of these a minimum of 30 hours must be individual supervision. 50 hours of group supervision will be acceptable provided the student presents their own material on at least 10 occasions within the group supervision hours. In the view of ISST, the supervisor should be different from the personal process therapist.
  5. One completed case study of at least 30 to a maximum of 50 pages of text with 1 ½ spacing. The case study must be read and evaluated by three ISST Teaching Members, one of whom should be of a National Society different to that of the applicant.. The applicant’s personal Sandplay therapist and the supervisor on the case cannot be one of the readers. The reader will provide an evaluation report of the case study to the advisor and to the candidate. The case reader’s fee is determined by the National Society.

For details, please refer to the ISST website at

Prepared by: Ma Yee Man, Ellen in September 2011

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