Presented by Sandplay Therapists of America/ISST Teaching Member

Olivia Heathcote, Ed.D, MFT, STA/ISST TM

Mother and ChildIn this workshop the presenter elucidates the concept of primal touch, explaining why this dynamic, non-verbal interaction between mother and infant is critical for healthy psychological development and what happens when it is inadequate. The presenter will draw a parallel between non-verbal primal touch interaction between mother and infant with the attuned, silent witnessing that happens between therapist and client in Sandplay, explaining how re-working this stage can help to repair attachment. How to recognize when infantile states are evident in Sandplay, both in the client’s interaction with the therapist and interaction with the fundamental elements of sand and water will be explained and illustrated with case examples. The workshop will include presentation of a child’s Sandplay case where infantile states were repeatedly constellated and re-worked, leading to repaired attachment.

Olivia Heathcote, EdD, MFT, STA/ISST TM, is an analytically oriented psychotherapist, sandplay teacher and supervisor with a particular interest in how early life trauma affects psychological development. Olivia’s participation in infant observation for five years adds an important dimension to her sandplay practice. Dr. Heathcote lectures and teaches sandplay in the USA and internationally. She also serves on the STA board and is the current chair of STA’s Education Committee. She is a contributing author of Pearls: Defining Moments in Our Lives (2014) and of Living the Tides of Uncertainty, 2006.  Her work was published in the Journal of Sandplay Therapy in 2016 and 2009. Dr. Heathcote maintains a private practice in California where she works with children, adolescents and adults.


Date:            June 11th 2017

Time:           9:30 am - 5:30 pm

Venue:         Heythrop College, South Kensington, London

Cost:            £ 120

CPD:            6.5 hours

To Book:      Contact Hilary Vaughan at


The Spiritual Impulse in Sandplay: Archetypes of Healing and Compassion

Jill Kaplan, MA, MFT, TM STA/ISST

The therapist’s comfort with silence and unconscious process is critical in supporting the sandplayer’s exploration of Self and a true journey to wholeness. Dora Kalff referred to the spiritual impulse which is present even in young children, and her development of sandplay therapy relied on her practice of silent meditation and Buddhism as much as it did on Carl Jung and Margaret Lowenfeld. This workshop will trace this important root of sandplay therapy historically as well as its application to clinical work. 

The workshop will also be experiential, and include periods of silence as well as teaching several fundamental practices of mindfulness, drawn from Vipassana and Zen meditation traditions. These exercises will be explicitly related to the work of being a Sandplay therapist, from creating the therapeutic space for sandplay to awareness of co-transference as a body experience to putting away the figures in the tray afterwards.

Material will be presented on Buddhist archetypes of healing and compassion as these relate to Jung’s ideas of the transcendent function and to the practice of the sandplay therapist. Case material illuminating these archetypes will be shown and discussed.


Jill Kaplan is a certified Teaching Member of ISST/STA, and works in private practice in San Jose, CA with both children and adults. She discovered Zen practice around the time she began to be drawn to training in sandplay, over 20 years ago. She is especially interested in the ways the two practices parallel one another, both concerned with recognizing and alleviating suffering, both relying on the depth of silence. She has written several articles making connections between sandplay and Buddhism in the Journal of Sandplay. Jill has also taught several workshops on Sandplay and Silence in California and at the STA National Conference in Berkeley in 2012. She is a Zen priest with permission to teach Zen in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki.


Date:            17 April 2016

Venue:         Heythrop College, South Kensington, London

Cost:            £ 120

CPD:            6.5 hours

To Book:      Contact Hilary Vaughan at


Integrating Psyche & Soma

Sandplay Therapy & Embodied Consciousness

Judy Zappacosta

Integrating Psyche and Soma imageThe works of Dora Kalff and Jungian Analyst Marion Woodman share common ground when we explore how psyche heals and transforms.  Image represented as symbol and matter defined as body provides a temenos for psychic growth to occur.In Sandplay, we also provide containment offering a tray filled with sand meant to provide matter as feminine materia, also a potential place for growth and transformation to be mirrored and reciprocally held in the body.

A primary premise of Woodman’s teaching is Jung’s statement that “it is not only possible but fairly probable, even, that psyche and matter are two different aspects of one and the same thing.” (1960, para. 418). Woodman honors the idea that psyche and soma are inseparable and must be worked on together.

This workshop will explore how Dora Kalff developed a process that mirrors a similar, yet unique individuation process inviting a natural possibility for integration of body and psyche.  A sandplay scene created with sand alone can reflect a deep organic and visceral experience.  Fingers and hands moving the sand without symbols can offer deep regressive and preverbal experiences that are remembered and held within the body.  A new embodied consciousness can arrive through both the sandplay process as well as working directly through sensory exploration.  Integrating body/soul work with sandplay will be the emphasis of this day long workshop.

Judy Zappacosta is a well-known sandplay therapist, STA teacher and supervisor with 30 years’ experience from USA. Past president of STA, she worked with Dora Kalff, studied extensively with Marion Woodman and is very interested in integration of psyche and soma and embodiment of consciousness in sandplay. She offers a Sandplay training in Switzerland every 2 years where she works with Martin Kalff and other leading sandplay teachers. Her book Pearls: Defining Moments in our Lives has just been published.

Date:            26 June 2015

Venue:         Heythrop College, South Kensington, London

Cost:            £ 120

CPD:            6.5 hours

To Book:      Contact Hilary Vaughan at



The 23rd ISST Congress in Ottawa, Canada is now OPEN FOR REGISTRATION

Book directly on-line through the ISST WEBSITE

Don’t forget to book the HOTEL DIRECTLY
check the ISST website for ALL OF THE DETAILS  at

We look forward to seeing you at this exciting event.
The capital city of Canada in the summer is full of wonderful and surprising events. Come join in the summer festivities!



The Wizdom of Oz

An experiential workshop and seminar with Dr. Gita Morena Ph.D from San Diego, USA.

Download event flyer


Analytical Psychology in Exile: The Correspondence of C.G. Jung and Erich Neumann. Presented by Martin Liebscher
UCL Centre for the History of Psychological Disciplines

Friday, 22 May 2015 from 19:30 to 21:00 (BST)
London, United Kingdom
Event Details
On the occasion of the publication of the letters between C.G. Jung and Erich Neumann in the Philemon Series by Princeton University Press, the editor of the correspondence, Martin Liebscher, looks at the relationship between these two towering psychologists of the first half of the 20th Century. Beginning with Neumann’s visit to Jung on his way to Tel Aviv in 1933/34 the presentation follows Neumann’s attempts to involve Jung in a discussion on Jewish psychology. It further shows the development of Neumann’s independent thinking and his struggle for recognition in the Zurich Jungian circles in the late 40s and 50s.
Chair: Sonu Shamdasani.


BISS is hosting an open afternoon for BISS members, students or anybody interested in Jungian/Kalffian sandplay on October 19th from 2:00-5:00 at the Royal Foundation of St Katharine's, London, Limehouse, London E14.  Please contact Hilary at for more information. 


Working in the Silence

“The language of landscape is language.”

Charles Wright

Analysis is a place of creation. When the silences are held in a deep analytic relationship, the psyche speaks and is experienced through images from dreams, stories and in landscapes created with sand, water and miniatures.

In sandplay, the elements: earth, our body; air, our breath; fire, our spirit; and water, our lifeblood; gives an experience and expression of the landscape of the soul. At first, the earth and wetlands of the soul may be all cemented over, filled in with roads that run helter-skelter. From engagement with tormenting problems, experiences of grief and joy, anger and calm, longing and equanimity, anxiety and stillness unfold in the analytic relationship.  By listening together to what lays beneath the words, in the silence, shifting natural forms emerge and find expression in sandplays which tell a non-verbal story of a soul.

Inhabited landscapes evolve and transform over time. A dry and barren landscape with a two-foot high Godzilla, threatening a smaller monster appears. Then months later it transforms to a one-foot high dinosaur then to a smaller dragon. Finally, an alligator tending to her babies appears by a small pond. The rage and anger of this now apparent mother complex, which has been reverberating through the relational field, quiets as the maternal care and nurturance experienced in the transference relationship are revealed as hatching alligators protected by their mom.   

As these powerful affective states found in images from dreams and in the sand stories are contained, held and related to, inner landscapes change. New landscapes are discovered: landscapes of loss and devastation; landscapes of sadness, rage or joy; or natural landscapes of mystery and numinosity. In this presentation a few clinical stories and sandplays created by adults and children will illustrate the transformation of images and psyche in landscapes of the soul.    

Maria Ellen Chiaia, Ph.D. is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Berkeley and Marin and works with adults, children and adolescents. She is a on the teaching faculty of the C.G. Jung Institute in San Francisco, California.  She is a Teaching Member of Sandplay Therapists of America (STA) and the International Society for Sandplay Therapy (ISST) and has lectured and taught internationally and at many universities and institutes. She is co-author of Sandplay in Three Voices: Images, Relationship, the Numinous and has authored many articles and book chapters. The focus of her work revolves around the relational field, the experience of non-verbal states and imaginal knowing and finding meaning and spirit in and through our suffering. 



May 2014 BISS Weekend event Joel Ryce - Menuhin Memorial Weekend To be held in London the weekend of 24th and 25th of May



The BISS conference this year will be held 7, 8, &  9th June.
At the Kairos Centre in Roehampton
The title of the conference is