Training with the International Society for Sandplay Therapy (ISST)

Application requirements and Training criteria


Application Requirements


In order to apply to train for membership of BISS/ISST the following are required:

  1. A university education as a medical doctor, teacher, psychologist, theologian, clinical social worker or a specialised training in one of the humanities or social sciences. Persons not having a university education but who can demonstrate adequate educational background will also be considered.
  2. 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.
  3. Some evidence of having applied the above practically in relation to others.
  4. The applicant is required to have undergone Sandplay therapy themselves, with a member of the International organisation. (Minimum of twenty sand trays.)
  5. Application is by submission of a CV indicating how the above criteria have been satisfied together with appropriate evidence.
  6. Licensure to practise psychotherapy in countries and regions where licensure is required.
  7. Exceptions will be made for exceptional persons.

Training criteria


The Training Programme for the British and Irish Sandplay Society is generally based in London. Course work takes place in the form of twelve weekend modules over a two year cycle. This structure is designed in part to facilitate participants from Ireland and distant parts of Britain to attend, and in addition welcomes participants from other parts of Europe. 


The training programme currently requires completion of 150 hours of theoretical teaching applied to sandplay practice. The course itself offers 100 hours of training and the remaining 50 many be gained through attendance at national and international conferences and any additional training days. All training hours must meet ISST criteria.  


Two written symbol papers are required, one from reference material and one from case material. In addition, there is a requirement for a minimum of eighty Supervision hours of work with clients in Sandplay.  Supervison may be part group and part individual. Working with clients in Sandplay may only commence after forty theoretical hours of training and the first written symbol paper is completed. Supervision must be by a Teaching Member of ISST.


Finally the preparation of a written and illustrated Case Study, under guidance of an Advisor. This will also be submitted to three International Readers, at least one of whom must be a BISS Teaching Member.  If accepted this will complete the requirements for membership of both BISS and ISST.


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