Formal development of sandplay therapy in Hong Kong began in February 2003, when I started a Sandplay Therapy Study Group under The Progression Psychological Practice with Adelina Wong Wei Kwan, Magdalene Lau Kit Yee and Helen Ma Shuk Wah. Initially, we spent our time reading and digesting Edward Whitmont’s book The Symbolic Quest. Indeed, sandplay therapy is a symbolic quest into something which words do not suffice. The same year around Christmas time, we invited Harriet Friedman from the United States to give us a workshop on sandplay therapy and eight people attended. This became a small seed that germinated and blossomed later on.
Members of the Sandplay Therapy Study Group in 2004.
From left: Adelina Wong, Magdalene Lau, Helen Ma, Christine Chong (admin. staff) and Amy Leung.
In sandplay therapy training, personal process comes first. In all forms of Jungian oriented therapy, it is fundamental for the therapist to go through therapy himself or herself. Harriet introduced us to Sherry Shepard from the United States, who was teaching sandplay therapy in Kyoto, Japan at that time. In September 2004, Magdalene Lau and I went to Japan for a sandplay exploring trip. We started our personal process with Sherry and eventually, others followed. The group includes Adelina Wong, Helen Ma, Dorothy Lai Sau Kwan, Edmond Lam Tim Tak, Carol Chow Suk Yee, etc. These are the first generation of therapists in Hong Kong who went to Japan to train in sandplay therapy with incredible dedication. For a number of years, we went to Japan about twice a year. In between trips, many of us did dream work via phone or Skpye to keep the process going. It was demanding and costly, but certainly worthwhile.
The Sandplay Therapy Study Group gradually developed. In 2004, we invited Eva Pattis from Italy and Ruth Ammann from Switzerland as trainers. Ruth came back in 2006 and 2011. Alex Esterhuyzen from England offered training to us in May 2009. After his first visit, he decided to come to Hong Kong twice a year, extending more regular training for our benefit. Having sandplay therapy teachers coming to Hong Kong regularly made a big difference. More and more professionals are enabled to begin their sandplay journey through personal process and in using this treatment modality in their clinical work.
The development of sandplay therapy in Hong Kong was not just limited to our group. We learnt that prior to our program, a group of clinical psychologists from the Social Welfare Department (SWD) went to the United States in 1998 to attend sandplay therapy workshop. Afterwards they started using sandplay therapy in Hong Kong as a separate play therapy approach in their work with children and gradually extended to adult population. Other than private practitioners, SWD is one of the organizations which have been actively using sandplay therapy as a treatment method.
As the first Chair of the Association, I first encountered sandplay therapy in 1992 when I was a clinical psychology graduate student in the United States. I finally completed my training in sandplay therapy and received the Sandplay Therapy Certification from the International Society for Sandplay Therapy (ISST) in March 2010. At the same time, after a long incubation period, the Hong Kong Sandplay Therapy Association has finally come into being. The Initiation Ceremony took place in November 2009; application for registration started immediately thereafter. In August 2010, we received the Certificate of Registration as a Society and we had our first preparatory committee meeting in the same month. In November of the same year we launched the Founding Ceremony of the Association. The first committee included Ellen Ma Yee Man, Magdalene Lau, Adelina Wong, Carol Chow and myself with Dr. Alex Esterhuyzen as our mentor. Later George Kwok Kar Kin was co-opted to join the committee in July 2011. Other than training workshops, supervision groups and arrangement of personal process and individual supervision, we also have monthly study groups aimed to discover the fascinating world of sandplay therapy together.
As more people receive sandplay training, the group continues to grow. In November 2010, Adelina Wong received the Certification from ISST and we now have two Certified Sandplay Therapists in Hong Kong. We are looking forward to the time we have five certified members to apply to be an official group under the ISST. In 2011, the HKSTA has over seventy members, and we look forward to seeing more professionals who would be interested to learn more about themselves and to help their clients through the sandplay approach.
Apart from HKSTA, the Boys’ and Girls’ Club Association of Hong Kong has also offered regular accredited sandplay therapy training since 2009. The Department of Rehabilitation Sciences of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University occasionally offers accredited training in sandplay therapy as well.
Prepared by: Leung Wai Yin, Amy, Ph.D. in September 2011
香港沙遊治療的發展歷程 – 梁慧賢博士
香港的沙遊治療發展始於二零零三年二月。其時我跟黃慧筠、劉潔懿、馬淑華在「偕行坊心理中心」執業，一起成立學習小組，讀研Edward Whitmont的《The Symbolic Quest》。沙遊治療幫助人們探索一個言語無法表達的內心世界。同年聖誕，我們邀請從美國遠道而來的Harriet Friedman舉行沙遊工作坊，共有八人出席。於是，我們八人便成為日後沙遊治療發芽茁壯的一顆種子。
沙遊治療的訓練，跟任何形式的容格治療(Jungian oriented therapy)一樣，強調治療師的個人成長。二零零四年，Harriet向我們介紹在日本京都教授沙遊治療的美國人Sherry Shepard。是年九月，我和劉潔懿首先到日本跟她學習，隨後，黃慧筠、馬淑華、黎秀群、林添德、周淑儀等也加入。其後數載，我們每年往返日本，之間透過電話和Skpye繼續做夢的分析，為此奉上不少時間、金錢、熱情和心力，卻肯定獲益良多。
沙遊治療學習小組慢慢成長。二零零四年，我們邀請了意大利的Eva Pattis和瑞士的Ruth Ammann擔當導師。Ruth於二零零六年及二零一一年再臨香江提供訓練。二零零九年五月，來自英國的Alex Esterhuyzen也在香港舉辦訓練，他後來每年定期來港兩次，讓我們獲益匪淺。沙遊導師的定期造訪，令更多治療師在經歷個人成長後投入沙遊治療的行列，把這個治療模式應用於臨床工作中。
作為香港沙遊治療學會的第一位的主席，我於一九九二年在美國進修臨床心理學時開始接觸沙遊治療，並於二零一零年三月完成沙遊治療的訓練，獲授國際沙遊治療學會的沙遊治療證書。經過一段時間的蘊釀，香港沙遊治療學會終於誕生了，並於二零零九年十一月舉行創會禮，正式招收會員。二零一零年八月，我們獲批准成立香港沙遊治療學會，並於同月組成籌備委員會，成員包括馬綺文、劉潔懿、黃慧筠、周淑儀和我，Dr. Alex Esterhuyzen為本會顧問，郭嘉健於同年七月被推舉加入籌備委員會。我們一起朝著既定的目標和抱負，熱切推動會務發展。活動包括訓練課程、小組督導、個人督導、個人成長過程、每月的學習小組，我們期望透過活動，一起發掘沙遊治療的遼闊與繽紛