Online sandtray training by Kirsty Bilski

01792 720 477 01792 720 477 / 07971 264 251 07971 264 251
Counsellors and trainees
£180 per course (2 Days 10 hours CPD)

The Foundation and Intermediate level sandtray training has been successfully delivered by Kirsty for a number of years. This training is now also available online via ZOOM. When the COVID-19 situation allows, we will return to offering these courses at the Way Forward Centre again. We will also continue offering online access to this training going forward, too.

Both of these courses are now endorsed by the CPCAB - for online and face to face delivery.  Attendees typically leave with the confidence to apply their knowledge in practice, a good theoretical understanding, with a clear knowledge of safety and the importance of ethical awareness for the potency of this very special psychotherapeutic tool.

Foundation training

This course will provide you with a background understanding of the theory behind the approach as well as the practical skills to get started. You will be taught from an integrative perspective, learning how different counselling theories can be applied to this work.

Margaret Lowenfeld (1979) suggests that sandtray is a 'tool' that can be used from multiple theoretical stances; throughout, Kirsty will highlight and demonstrate how a variety of models can be successfully applied.

You will learn how to use sand on its own, as well as with miniatures. You will also explore symbols, projection and interpretation, as well as learning an integrative framework which can be applied to your professional practice with sand moving forward.

You will build experience through experiential practice with other members of the group. Sandtray is a powerful tool and there is a requirement that attendees recognise they may be emotionally stimulated by the content in sandtrays, by aspects shared by others and by their own process.

You will also learn by watching demonstrations and taking part in learning activities to enhance your understanding and developing skills. You will grow from the experience of the group and there is a strong emphasis on working safely and ethically with this powerful creative tool.

It is recommended to complete this training before undertaking the Intermediate course, as the content forms the theoretical foundation for all the other courses on offer. On completion, you will receive a CPD certificate of attendance for 10 hours.

Intermediate training

This course is designed to build from the Foundation stage, layering theory and experiential practice on top of existing learning. Attendees will learn more complex theoretical concepts including change theories, transference, countertransference and cotransference along with projective identification and the relevance of interpretation explored from different perspectives.

The theories referred to at this level include Humanistic approaches (Person-centred, Existential, Gestalt) along with Cognitive Behavioural, Solution Focused perspectives as well as aspects of Transactional Analysis. There are also references to spiritual and transpersonal perspectives too. Psychodynamic theory and techniques are applied to the sandtray throughout, with an awareness of Social Constructivism and Narrative, Creative Therapy approaches as well.

Also included is an awareness of working with the whole self in relationship with the other. There is a lot of focus on the relational holding of the space, what Jung called ‘the temenos’ or sacred space, with deep attunement and attention to safety. Reference is made to sandtray and sandplay approaches throughout. Mindfulness is used consistently and attendees will experience the depth of connection which can be achieved through the use of sand. 

How to book

More information and a booking form can be downloaded at

How to attend

The training takes place in small groups over ZOOM. Full joining instructions will be sent to you along with the meeting link for the training days about one week prior to the course.

You will need a sandtray and a range of miniature objects. The tray does not have to be a professional sandtray, it could be a plastic tray but make sure it is large enough for you to work in and has sides that will contain the sand. An ideal substitute is a plastic under bed storage tray with a lid. These make excellent travelling trays. They are also very close to the traditional sand tray size. The official size of a sandtray is 19.5 x 28.5 x 2.75 inches.


For the purposes of the training, see what small items you can find around the house. These can be natural items such as shells, stones, or wood for instance. You might like to collect up some small ornaments or small children's toys, figurines etc. You don't need loads, just a selection of things which 'speak to you'.

If you choose to build a collection of miniatures, this will take time. For the moment, just concentrate on what connects with you as you will be using these items for your own process in the sand.

The Foundation and Intermediate courses are a useful introduction to the more in-depth Level 5 Diploma in Sandtray Therapy Practice.

If you would like to attend one of the sandtray courses, please download the booking form at or email or call 07971 264251.

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Hosted by Dr Kirsty Bilski

Kirsty Bilski is a BACP Accredited Psychotherapist who, through academic study and research for two MA qualifications and PhD studies, has delivered this sandtray training for many years. Kirsty has extensive teaching experience and gained a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (2016).

Hosted by Dr Kirsty Bilski