Minutes of the 20th General Assembly, 27th August 2011

at the Kartause Ittingen, Switzerland

Present total 46 voting ISST members:
STA: 16
ISTA: not present
BIST (after their election as a National Society): 2
IM (before election of BIST): 4 votes, then after 2 votes

Simple majority  = 24 voting members.
Many ISST members, observers and other participants were present.

Actuary: Tsering Bamert, ISST secretary


  1. Welcoming
  2. In memoriam of Brigitte Gratzl, SGSST and Ursula Selzam, DGST
  3. Approval of the minutes of the General Assembly in Kyoto 2009
  4. Report of the President
  5. Reports of the National Societies and the Board Members’ Activities
  6. Approval of the Financial Statement 2010

Provisional Financial Statement Jan.-June. 2011 (follows)
Presentation of the Budget 2011/12 (follows)

  1. Discharge of the Board
  2. Admission of the new ISST National Society BIST

The Brazilian Institute for Sandplay Therapy

  1. Election of the new Board member of BIST
  2. Presentation of Rie Rogers Mitchell and Alexander Esterhuyzen as ISST Co-Presidents

Manifesto (enclosed), Operative Reflections follow and will be discussed

  1. Election of the Co-Presidents Rie Rogers Mitchell and Alexander Esterhuyzen
  2. Election of Treasurer
  3. Election of new Board Member of BISS
  4. Election of new Board Member of STA
  5. Information about the Board’s decisions regarding training issues
  6. Information about new ISST Committees
  7. ISST Congress 2013
  8. Varia

1.  Welcoming and presenting the Board Members
The President Ruth Ammann opened the meeting and welcomed all those present. Especially Mr. Yasunobu Okada was welcomed as the substitute of Mr. Kazuhiko Higuchi, the Vice-President of JAST.
The President states that the Agenda for the General Assembly and Financial Statement 2010 had been sent to all ISST members four weeks ago according to the Statutes.
2.  In memoriam
Brigitte Gratzl, member of SGSST and Ursula Selzam, member of DGST. Both were very engaged ISST members, and their passing away in 2010 was an immense loss for ISST. In commemoration a minute of silence was held.
Then the President honored Kay Bradway of STA, who celebrated her hundred's birthday on November 17th 2010. Ruth Ammann visited Kay in her home in Sausalito and brought her a wonderful bouquet of a 100 flowers.
3.  Approval of the minutes of the General Assembly in Kyoto, 13th November 2009
The minutes of the General Assembly in Kyoto were approved with 45 yes votes and 1 abstention.
4.  Report of the President
At the end of July 2010 the ISST Board met in Pampovoro, Bulgaria.
The hotel Murgavets in Pamporovo is mainly a ski resort. In July it was a quiet place, no tourism at all. We were surrounded by large forests, the air was fresh, many thunderstorms with lightning and thunders gave us a presentiment of the “Devil’s Throat cave” that we visited together after a long wild drive through the Rhodopes mountains.
Following the Board Meeting, another Intensive Training Program took place, also in Pamporovo.
We had a “full house”, that is 30 participants, mainly from Bulgaria and Romania.
As far as we heard, the course was a full success. Maybe there were some complains about the food, but considering that ISST succeeded to organize a 6 days high quality training course in a good hotel for 500 Euros, we think that little defects were negligible. The atmosphere was very good, also dancing and singing was great.
It was after Holland and Brazil, the third ITW organized by ISST.
Thank you again Andreina for the great idea of the ITWs!!
In August I attended the IAAP Congress in Montreal and met there for the first time the president of CAST, Barbara Dalziel. A very enjoyable meeting!
During the IAAP Congress a meeting of analysts using Sandplay Therapy was successfully organized. We had interesting and intense discussions about Sandplay and analytical psychology. Later in the week Harriet Friedman and I shared the time for a presentation. Harriet talked mainly about the success of Sandplay world wide, I spoke about “Why are ISST and IAAP allied societies?” Just one point of the talk I want to mention: As ISST developing groups are mainly gathering in the same countries or cities as IAAP developing groups do, the cooperation of both groupings is not only necessary, but also most helpful for both sides.
At the GA of IAAP, Hester Solomon, the president of IAAP, also mentioned the alliance between IAAP and ISST. But she said that unfortunately no common activities happened during the last years. I was a bit ashamed and would like this to change for the future.
In October the Swiss society started to organize the now upcoming ISST Congress.
I said it already, Brigitte Gratzl unexpectedly passed away and left us with an enormous sadness and loss. Tsering Bamert and I took over Brigitte’s part, Tsering for the registration and much of the secretarial work, I helped Maria Kendler.
The winter was quiet, that is no traveling but lots of mails and work for the congress.
In March I was in South America. Most of the time I spent with the, now, new Brazilian ISST members doing supervision.
I had intense discussions with the members of the new Brazilian ISST Society BIST. And the result is now demonstrating the effort of the Brazilians to form a Brazilian National ISST Society.
After Sao Paulo, I went to Montevideo, Uruguay. I met a very promising Sandplay developing group of partly analysts, partly IAAP routers and some psychotherapists. Up to now they do their personal process and supervision with Ana Colicchio and Sylvia Portella, both long standing Analysts from SBPA, Brazil and now ISST members. Montevideo was very beautiful and the people very sympathetic. Uruguay is a small country, only 3 Mio inhabitants, it was a bit like at home.
In May I was in Hong Kong. I found some very well prepared candidates. I also met Heyong Shen and GaoLan from main land China.They are organizing a big conference in coming June 2012 in Macao. The conference is mainly on Analytical Psychology, but also on Sandplay.
The Polish candidates are going on very well. Unfortunately I could not go to Warschau in June, because of health problems.
Now my term as a president of ISST is over and I want to thank you all from my heart for your friendship, your help and your enriching contributions to my personal life. I also want to thank very much Tsering, she did a lot of work for ISST, also on Sundays and also besides her own work as a psychotherapist.
5.  Reports of the National Societies and the Board Members’ Activities
British & Irish Sandplay Society (
Presented by Dr. Alexander Esterhuyzen, BISS chair
This will be my last report as BISS representative and as Chair of BISS.
BISS is, and has remained over many years a small society of ISST members (10 ISST members by August 2011). Manpower and capacity to develop a thriving organisation has been extremely limited. As a result the same group of people have done as much as is possible to keep a presence and link for sandplay as we know it in ISST. Many of these members, including myself, are now getting older and have extensive commitments elsewhere.
Sandplay Training: My own particular focus has been sustaining our primary goal of providing training in sandplay so as to produce new members for the future.
Our current two year cycle of training comes to and end in November. We have had a delightful group of 14 trainees who are enthusiastic and committed. All have completed their first symbol papers and are working on their second.
Students who completed the two year cycle in previous years are actively involved with completing supervision requirements and completing written papers. There is a particularly keen group in Ireland who may well produce our next ISST members in the coming year.
All teaching members continue to be actively involved in teaching events at home and abroad.
Executive committee update: We continue to have serious difficulties with having executive members who have the time, energy and health to participate actively. The BISS executive has historically consisted of full ISST members. Several of our ISST members have now retired or considerably cut down their practices. As a result three people: Alex Esterhuyzen, Maggie Baron, Sue Chapman (ISST members) and Kate Loiseau (Student and Associate member representative) have had to bare the weight of administering the Society. A large proportion of the day to day operational administration has been carried by Sue Chapman who has also been our paid administrator. She has now left the executive to concentrate on her private practise. We wish her well and express our thanks for her dedicated work. I also thank other members of the committee who have done as much as they are able to within the constraints of their personal lives, health and other commitments. We are thrilled that David Clemens a Jungian analyst and ISST member of some years has accepted a nomination as possible Chair from September 2011.
BISS Conferences: Following on from our very successful conference in Ireland last year we have plans to continue with our bi-annual conferences. In 2012 this will be be later in the year to minimise the impact of the 2012 Olympics in London.
Canadian Association for Sandplay Therapy/Association Canadienne pour la Thérapie par le Jeu de Sable – CAST/ACTJS (
Presented by Sylvia Simonyi-Elmer
Our membership has grown enormously we have 16 ISST members and 14 of theme are teaching members, thanks to the work of our french teaching members, and particularly Denise Tanguay, who has administrated all the trainings, provided a venue, managed the finances and guided the new trainees through the new levels process. We now have 26 new francophone members! We have an additional 6 new members outside of Quebec and our 2011 membership is now 93, or an increase of 32 members. Our source of new members has always been training, and this increase represents the tremendous effort that has been made to establish and maintain CAST’s high standards of training. Our entire faculty is very dedicated to teaching Sandplay Therapy throughout Canada. With the advent of regulatory legislation affecting the practice of psychotherapy in a growing number of Canadian provinces, and the CAST Board’s decision to apply for CAPT (Canadian Association for Psychodynamic Therapy) membership, it was decided to introduce training levels that needed to be passed throughout the CAST training. These levels will help to ensure the quality of training and competency of our certified members, as well as demonstrate to outside agencies, such as new regulatory boards, government organizations, that our training is in keeping with new standards as well as the ISST policies and procedures. It is hoped that the levels will additionally create awareness in trainees of the competencies and expectations which will be required of them as they move through the complete program. Our goal is not to make the process of certification more difficult, rather to make the journey clearer, provide more deliberate tracking of the trainees’ progress and, through these, to make the process smoother for both teaching members and trainees. Each level requires an application, evidence of licensure to practice psychotherapy, and a reflective piece based on what they have learned throughout their training in sandplay therapy and what they continue to learn about themselves and various issues that we encounter as a sandplay therapist, etc.
Our new website is up and running thanks to the untiring efforts of Maria Iosue. The new logo was designed and adapted for the website as well as being used on our new certificates and official stationary. The website is crucial to our ongoing presence to the public, as well as providing all the detailed information our trainees require as they progress through certification. As Maria develops the archives it will also be a consistent and reliable source for all our documents.
The board supported the attendance of two members to the IAAP in Montreal last August. This provided an opportunity to meet with IAAP members, and to be responsive to the warm welcome offered to CAST by the IAAP. CAST additionally provided the refreshments at the ISST gathering which happened on the first day of the Congress. This offer of hospitality was very appreciated by the guests and by Ruth Ammann, the president of ISST.
In May 2011, the Board also supported Sylvia and Barbara Dalziel (president of CAST) going to the National Conference of the CCPA (Canadian Counsel and Psychotherapy Association) to present a 2 ½ hour introductory on Sandplay. We had 40 people in attendance from across Canada. The reception was very enthusiastic, with many lining up with training and certification questions at the end. The CAST Board members agreed that this was a very worthwhile project, and one which should be repeated with some financial support as well.
The renewal process for 2011 was greatly improved by the hiring of a membership secretary. AS our membership grows beyond 100, this continued secretarial support will be critical to successful membership management.
Plans for the 2011 conference “Emergence” are well underway, with many thanks to Marlo Gillis, our conference chair. In addition to the nine Sandplay presentations, Friday evening will be a round table discussion with seven of our founding members about the emergence of Sandplay Therapy in Canada, and in their lives personally, and the Saturday banquet will be in honour of our retiring members Nehama Baum and Joan Nemeth.
With so many great things accomplished, there are great challenges that lie ahead. Our board has too few hands so we are attempting to recruit new Board Members. Barbara Dalziel will commit to another term as president, Frances Lacombe, Johanna Beyers, Sylvia Simonyi-Elmer, Denise Tanguay, Maria Iosue, Lauris Williams, and Marlo Gillis remain on the Board at least until December 2011 when another election will take place.
The Israeli Sandplay Therapists Association – ISTA (
Presented by a Board Member as a substitute for Lenore Steinhardt (not present).

ISTA Activities 2010-2011
Current Officers:
Dr. Bert Meltzer, Chairman
Michal Troudart, Secretary
Edna Schori, Treasurer
Lenore Steinhardt, ISST representative
There are 14 ISST members in ISTA. Of these, 6 are Teaching Members (CST-T). There are two training programs, one in Jerusalem and one in Tel Aviv.
Dr. Bert Meltzer, The current Chairman Psychologist (Ph.D.) (bert.meltzer(at) In collaboration with Ms. Porat, I am involved in two ongoing Sandplay training groups; a Sandplay supervision group; and commencing a 40 session intensive Sandplay training of a community clinic staff.
My most innovative Sandplay activity is the Bedouin project. It is an exploratory therapeutic service with Bedouin adolescents. The Bedouins are a traditional nomadic Muslim patriarchical society in dynamic transition from its nomadic way of life to rapid modernization and urbanization. Working with Rokaya Marzouk Abu Rekeik, an Arab woman counselor married to a Bedouin and two other Bedouin school counselors in training, this breakthrough project is using Sandplay Therapy to provide therapeutic services to a community and culture previously strongly opposed to self disclosure, unfamiliar with self reflection, and suspicious of “outside intervention”.
Rina Porat, Psychologist (M.A.) Jungian Analyst (rporat(at) The Sderot project: This is the second year of this project which offers Sandplay therapy based psychological services to a community most heavily affected by rockets and missiles being launched into their houses from the nearby Hamas led Gaza strip. This year's innovation included group interventions. Rina, in collaboration with Dr. Meltzer, and several other Sandplay trainees voluntarily lead groups of youth through an individual and collective Sandplay process, in addition to individual therapy to youths who have been continuously traumatized by the ongoing bombing of their community. In addition Ms. Porat is facilitating ongoing Sandplay training groups with Dr. Meltzer, and Dr. Galit Ben Amitai.
Lenore Steinhardt, Art Therapist (M.A.) (las(at) I continue to work with privat patients who do sandplay and I supervise sandplay students. My book, “Foundation and Form in Jungian Sandplay (2000) was translated into Korean. I translated into Hebrew two sandplay symbol articles that I wrote originally in English, for the Kibbutzim College of Education Internet Journal (Hebrew), and was interviewed for an article about sandplay by a journalist from an Israeli magazine devoted to alternative therapies and life styles. The last two- year theoretical sandplay training program group in the Kibbutz College of Education completed their studies in June 2011. I coordinated the program, presented case studies and lectured on sandplay theory.
Michal Troudart, the current Secretary, Psychologist (M.A.), Jungian Analyst, (mictroud(at) Michal continues to use Sandplay Therapy as an important part of her private practice, and in her work with adolescents and adults. She uses Sandplay both as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool. Michal has also been giving supervision in Sandplay Therapy.
Ahuva Arnon-Yavin, Psychologist, (M.A.) Jungian Analyst, (yavinarnon(at) Ahuva has continued to work for the Children's Oncology Dept. in Hadassah hospital and in private practice. She is using Sandplay Therapy with children with life risking illness, and chronic disease – in particular with children who have found to be HIV positive. In her private practice she treats adults and children with emotional problems with Sandplay Therapy, as well as teaching and supervising.
Abramovitz, Liela, Art Therapist M.A. (abrliela(at) Liela has introduced Sandplay therapy to the Geha Psychiatric Hospital - working in the closed adolescent unit. She has also been part of teaching in the sandplay training program in the Seminar Kibbutz College and the training of the advanced Art Therapy students in the therapeutic use of art and Sandplay. In addition, she has continued with Sandplay therapy in her private clinic with both adolescents and adults.
Hana Eker, Art therapist, M.A., (ekerd(at) Teaches sandplay in the University of Haifa; Bnai Brach branch as part of the occupational therapy program, and in the Kibbutzim College of Education Sandplay Training Program. She works with sandplay therapy with students, children, and adults sometimes as an exclusive process and sometimes as part of multifaceted expressive art therapy interventions.
Tehila Dektor Shoham, Social worker, Art therapist, Jungian Analyst (tilishoham(at) Sandplay Therapy has continued to be an important part of my Jungian analytical therapy work, as well as part of my teaching of Jungian theory in the two year Sandplay Training program of the Seminar Kibbutz college.
Dr. Galit Ben Amitai, Psychiatrist, (MD) (gbenamit(at) Galit is a child psychiatrist working out of the Geiger Outpatient clinic in Tel Aviv, [which is part of the general health service system.] She is using sandplay therapy both as a diagnostic tool, and therapeutic tool with physically and sexually abused children, and PTSD victims. She also uses Sandplay with children with expressive or verbal impairments. She is teaching Sandplay as part of the training of therapists: Social workers, Child Psychiatrists, and Psychologists working in the Child Abuse Therapeutic Center. She has been extensively involved in training therapists to work with this special population of children who have had to be taken from their home because of abuse or neglect to them. Sandplay Therapy is an important tool both of this clinical work and training.
Ruti Frank, Social Worker (M.A.) ISST: Ruti works in Shalvata Psychiatric Hospital and has developed a Sandplay Therapy service there in which she works with acute and chronic psychiatric patients. Ruti continues to accumulate documentation that extends the boundaries about the effective use of Sandplay Therapy even with severely regressed adolescent and adult clients.
Yonat Fisher-Kopelovitz, CST, Art Therapist, M.A.: Yonat works privately and taught a sandplay course in the Kibbutz College of Education Art Therapy Training program. This past year she gave a series of lectures on Greek mythology in the Kibbutz College of Education Sandplay Training Program.
Edna Schori, the current Treasurer, Art Therapist, MA, continues to use sandplay in her private practice, and enables personal sandplay process to candidates. She taught an introductory sandplay course to special education teachers in an ultra-religious Teachers College.
Rivka Peri, Art Therapist (M.A) (culic(at); and Bruno Yael, Art therapist, M.A. (eranben(at); continue to use Sandplay Therapy in their private practice.
DGST Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sandspieltherapie i.V. German Society of Sandplay Therapy (
Reported by Dr. Ulrike Hinsch
At present the German society has 148 members (4 new ones, 11 from Latvia, 28 ISST members, 21 of them are teaching members).
Since October 2010 the board of DGST consists of
Linde von Keyserlingk, President
Monika Heinzel-Junger, Vice President
Mitra Shirazi, 2. Vice President
Ursula Wachter, Treasurer
Lydia Heisig-Stängle, Secretary
Linde, Monika and Ursula are teaching members of ISST.
The last German speaking Symposium was held in Berlin last year (October 8 to 10, 2010) in cooperation of the Swiss and the German Societies about “The Power of the Unconscious”. It was a big success with about 200 presenters and participants also from other European countries and gave us an enriching and fruitful exchange of ideas about present and future sandplay worldwide.
The teaching members meeting in Berlin (on occasion of the Symposium 2010) discussed a new record of study. It was approved on the following general assembly. The rules of certification were revised and can be studied on the new website
We are happy to have found and engaged Bettina Lankheit-Feilhuber lankheit-feilhuber(at) as a secretary for administration and organisation.
The next Symposium will be held in Erfurt, Thuringia in November 2012 under the headline Re-Formation Sandspiel Wurzeln und Weiterentwicklung. We will come together at the famous place where Martin Luther stayed as a monk, the Augustinerkloster (where the pontifex will stay this fall!).
The joint venture with the Swiss society “Sommerakademie” at the wonderful “Sandspielhaus” of our president in Apfelstetten in June this year brought together up to 30 participants and 8 teaching members from Switzerland and Germany and was a very successfull event which hopefully will continue during the coming years.
New nucleuses of sandplay develop in the eastern parts of Germany (Dresden and Erzgebirge) and in the Southeast (Bamberg and Franken).
Several German teaching members work in other countries such as Latvia, the Netherlands, the Ukraine, Poland, Israel, South Africa and others.
In South Africa the First week of four week intensive was held from July 24 to 29, 2011. In Poland a young group of psychotherapists experiencing sandplay was very successfully supported by a project of the European Union (EU, Europäische Gemeinschaft). 10 German teaching members joined for this real adventure of international teaching and supervision together with individual polish members.
The “Shongolollo” project in South Africa still needs our constant support as well as the colleagues in Latvia and Poland.
The German Journal of Sandplay Therapy “Sandspiel - Therapie” (Editor Linde von Keyserlingk together with colleagues from Germany, Switzerland and also in cooperation with USA and Japan) which is published twice a year in May and November will undergo necessary changes because of the coming transfer to a next editing generation and will need support to keep the high standard of information and experience exchange.
Swiss Society for Sandplay Therapy – SGSST (
Presented by Maria Kendler, chair SGSST
1. Membership: Presently, the Swiss Society consists of 15 members. 13 are also members of ISST. 8 of them are teaching members and case readers.
To our immense regret, Brigitte Gratzl, a founding member of SGSST and former president passed away in october 2010. Throughout the last years, she was very active in the Board of our Society as treasurer, as an experienced advisor in any question concerning Sandplay and as an efficient organizer of national and international congresses. We are very grateful for the essential work she did for SGSST.
2. Tranining candidates: 3 new candidates started their training this year. The global number of candidates is now 18. Half of them follow their training in the German part of Switzerland, the other half in the French part. As there is no group training program in Switzerland, they are individually collecting the training hours requested by SGSST.
3. Sandplay Training: Theoretical training and supervision continues to be provided seperately in two linguistic parts of Switzerland. The French seminars take place in Geneva, mainly organized by Dorothée Baumgartner and Catherine de Dardel and being part of the training program of the Baudouin Institute. In the German part of Switzerland, several teaching members regularly offer Sandplay seminars and supervision.
In June 2011, the 1st “Sommerakademie” took place as a joint training week organized together with teachers of the DGST. These 5 days of training consisted of 2 days of introduction to Sandplay and 3 days of specialised subjects. Some of the 30 participants stayed the whole week, others chose one of the two parts of the seminar. This flexible organization corresponded to the interests of a relatively high number of therapists. The project of the “Sommerakademie” is thought to be repeated every year and reflects the wish of SGSST and DGST to work together more closely in providing training.
In autumn 2010, our General Assembly approved the introduction of a “Sandplay Practitioner” certificate. Conditions for being admitted to this training are the same as for Sandplay Therapists, and the same amount of theoretical training hours (120) and supervision (80) has to be accomplished. However, 15 hours of indivudual supervision are used to supervise an ongoing case during one year. Each of these hours has to be prepared before as well as reflected afterwards on one written page. The collected 30 pages constitute the final paper for the Practitioner certificate. Symbol paper or final case are not requested.
4. Journal: The German Journal as a joint project of the German and Swiss Society has reached its 30th volume in May 2011. Linde von Keyserlingk, responsible editor since many years, is going to quit this activity at the end of 2011. A new team under the responsibility of Maria Kendler is working on a project to continue the journal. Many organizational and financial details still have to be clarified, but we are highly motivated to realize this project in order to continue providing this important medium of exchange for the German speaking Sandplay world and its 350 subscribers.
Sigrid Löwen said: The journal of which Maria Kendler talked about was 10 years old, first in the hands of Kay Strasser in the beginning with one volume a year. Then Linda von Keyserlingk took it over with two volumes a year. I think 10 years was a real burden for each of them. It would be very good if you could hold on for another ten years.
The Netherlands Society for Sandplay Thearapy – NVST (
Presented by Vanessa Prins-Goodman, President of NVST
The NVST is still a very young Nationnal Society, since it was accepted by ISST in 2009 in Kyoto. We are a relatively small organisation. We have 6 ISST members, and about 10 student-members.
The small size of our society partly due of our high pre-training requirements, and the fact that our training is not recognised by Dutch psychotherapeutic community yet.
How shall I describe our Society? I would say it is a warm and active society. We have a General Meeting once a year.
The Board regularly meets to discus business issues (about 5-6 times a year). I have been the President for almost a year now, after our Founding President., Wouter Blijenberg left us after 8 years of hard work.
In the Board, apart from ongoing business issues, we discuss training issues and planning new developments.
We invite Teaching Members from abroad about 4 times a year to give us workshops and supervision. We do not run a training program yet. We have close contacts with the Jungian Group, the NAAP, (since I am also a member of this association). We have thus invited some Jungian Analysts to give us lectures, and are regularly invited to lectures they organise.
This year was also important for us because we voted Thesera Focks Appelman as our first Teaching Member. You met her last year at the ISST Board Meeting. This will facilitate training of students.
In terms of new developments, we have updated our web-site, in order to make it more professional. We have also been thinking of ways to get Sandplay better known in Holland, through publications and lectures for example.
We also regularly meet in small groups (intervision) to discuss clients amongst ourselves (not necessarily in presence of Teaching Member). For the moment we have 2 or 3 of such groups.
The Japanese Association of Sandplay Therapy JAST
Presented by Mr. Yasunobu Okada, substitute of Mr. Kazuhiko Higuchi, the Vice-President of JAST
(1) We have eight ISST members now and three other ISST members living outside Japan are joining to our activity.
(2) Recently, we examined three Korean candidates and approved that they fulfill the standard to become ISST member.
(3) JAST (national society) have 2,100 members. The 23rd volume of Archives of Sandplay Therapy was published.
(4) The 25th Congress of JAST will be held by Senshu University, at Tokyo International Forum from 15th to 16th of October 2011.
(5) JAST has organized a special committee for the Tohoku big earthquake.
(11th March), cooperating with AJAJ (Association of Jungian Analysis, Japan), aiming at supporting suffering people, by such activities as working with children there, consulting for the helping staffs in the area, etc.
Associazione Italiana per la Sandplay Therapy – AISPT (
Presented by Rosa Napoliello Balfour Ph.D.
Number of AISPT Members: 52.
AISPT educational and training programs are as follows:
- Two -year Master’s program in Milan (2010-2012): 7 participants (3° edition currently underway);
- Two - year Master’s program in Turin (2009-2011): 6 participants (1° edition - ended in June 2011);
- Two - year Master’s program in Rome (2011-2013): 9 participants (3° edition – currently underway);
- Four - year entry - level Sandplay - Therapy education and training program for university gradautes in Rome (la Scuola di Roma ) with 23 participants.
The AISPT General Meetings are usually held twice a year, one in the Spring and the other in the Autumn. At these meetings, we discuss any problems concerning the Association, approve the budget and receive the reports of the delegated members of the Board of Directors. Cases are also presented by students finishing the Association’s training programs.
This Spring, a total of 8 cases were presented by students graduating from the Rome training program and from the several Master’s programs as follows:
Maria Bassi “ Un filo teso che avrebbe potuto spezzarsi” (Master Milano)
Laura Bottari “ La bambina con due madri” (Master Milano)
Filomena Rosiello “ Passaggi". Storia di Emy” (Master Milano)
Michele de Toma “ Una storia di iniziazione maschile in età puberale “ (Master Milano)
Iolanda Stocchi “ Alla ricerca dei cuccioli perduti. L’incontro col drago, diventare bambino, ritrovare il corpo” (Master Milano)
Loredana Alecci “ Verso la promessa del padre”(Scuola Roma)
Anna Maria Cester “ Un caso scolastico” (Scuola Roma)
Ludovica Filippucci (Il labirinto ed il filo di Arianna. Verso un processo individuativo” (Scuola Roma).
The rigor that the students used in their cases and their ability in presenting them bore witness to the seriousness of the students resulting from the AISPT training programs in Psycho-Therapy.
As regards AISPT’s programs of research and continuous training, there are 6 groups whose members currently meet once every two months: 2 in Milan, 1 in Turin, 1 in Florence and 2 in Rome. In view of the interest shown by AISPT members on the various research themes of 2009 - 2010, a first meeting among all the research groups was held in September 2010. At this first meeting beyond the presentation of the work of each group, we discussed and evaluated what sort of organizational structure was most appropriate for future research and future general research meetings. A second two - day intergroup meeting will be held near Florence September 18 and September 19, 2011.
A new official Health project in training will be organized at the Don Gnocchi Foundation in Milan during the year 2011 - 2012 on the theme: The Diagnosis of Childhood Sexual Abuse Using Sandplay Therapy. This project was proposed by AISPT member Dr.ssa Chiara Bottari , who is working as child psychotherapist at the Don Gnocchi Foundation in Milan, an important Milanese health - care institute that is connected Wight the University. The project was strongly supported strongly by Dr. Marco Garzonio, our ex President. This official recognition of the utility of Sandplay Therapy in treating Child Abuse is an important step for the direct insertion and diffusion of Sandplay Therapy in Italian public - health structures and in the Italian academic world in Milan and the rest of Northern Italy. In fact, in Rome the collaboration between the Don Gnocchi Foundation and AISPT has existed since 2007, with AISPT’s training programs having their Rome seat near one of the two Don Gnocchi Foundation Health and Rehabilitation Institutes in Rome.
The Spring 2011 AISPT General Meeting elected a new chairperson and a new Board of Directors and the director of the AISPT Traininjg Committee as follows:
Chairperson: Stefano Marinucci
Board of Directors: Anna Sampaolo, Paola Rocco, Maria Claudia Loreti, Rosa Napoliello
Training Commitee Director: Daniela Tortolani
Sandplay Therapist of America – STA (
Presented by Judy Zappacosta
Certified Members
Sandplay Therapists of America (STA) has a total of 80 certified members: 12 CSTs (Certified Sandplay Therapists), and 68 CST-T (Certified Sandplay Therapist - Teacher).
Sandplay Practitioner Members
Sandplay Practitioners (SP) number 46 (up from 37 last year), and is the fastest growing category within STA, partly due to expansion of regional trainings and the Sandplay Therapy Institute.
Associate Members
There are 259 Associate Members, who receive the Journal of Sandplay Therapy and reduced rates at sandplay meetings, conferences, and other educational experiences.
Board of Trustees
The STA Board of Trustees includes: Regina Driscoll (President), Audrey Punnett (Vice President and President-elect), Olivia Heathcote (Secretary), Joe Meyer (Treasurer), Rie Rogers Mitchell (Immediate Past President), Joyce Cunningham (Journal Editor), Chris Ford, Trudy Rankin, and Judy Zappacosta. The Board of Trustees meets for a 2-3 day retreat once or twice a year. Once a month, the Executive Committee and/or the full Board of Trustees holds a conference call meeting.
Journal of Sandplay Therapy
Joyce Camuyrano Cunningham is the editor of the Journal of Sandplay Therapy. The Journal currently publishes two issues per year, and is included on Psychinfo, a prominent database sponsored by the American Psychological Association.
In the near future, ISST members and other professionals will be able to buy CDs of some of the past issues of the Journal from the STA website. Volume 19, #1 and #2 (2010), is nearly ready for CD production; Volume 20, #1 and #2 (2011), will follow soon after. Editor Cunningham’s goal is to release eventually all past journals on CDs. The cost will be similar to a paper copy; however, postage will be much lower.
History and Current Status of Regional Groups in the United States
As sandplay in the United States spread from its 1980 origins in California, the size of the country inspired the formation of regional groups to facilitate access for collegiality and training. In the 1990s, STA (est. 1989) recognizing this growth, designated three US regions: East, Central and West, and authorized regional conferences. In 2008, the STA Board conducted interviews with members from coast to coast, resulting in the 2009 Regional Task Force Report, which recommended that a Regional Committee be established within STA. The first Regional Committee meeting was held at the STA 2009 Members’ Meeting, followed by the first Regional Luncheon meeting held at the 2010 national conference. These meetings resulted in formation of the STA Regional Council, with representatives from 16 regional groups. Input from these regional groups has inspired STA Board action and reorganization of the Education Committee. The first Regional Forum will be held at the 2011 Assembly and Members’ Meeting, October 21-23, co-sponsored by the Minnesota Sandplay Therapy Group (the first regional organization). The Assembly is a new format designed to provide accessible and affordable services for all, and particularly for aspiring clinical and teaching members.
Sandplay Therapy Institute (STI)
The Sandplay Therapy Institute (STI), currently located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is completing its first two-year training program in October 2011. The program has been so enthusiastically received that a second program is being planned for fall of 2012 in Florida. Each 2-year training program consists of 8 sixteen hour weekends which, when completed, fulfills the educational requirements for ISST certification. Each weekend focuses on a specific topic and is taught by two ISST/STA Teaching Members. Students may take the entire 2-year program or register for specific weekends, space permitting. Lucia Chambers, program originator, attends all sessions to “hold the space” and provide continuity for students as they deepen their understanding of Jungian and Kalffian theory. To be accepted to the program, applicants must have completed 18 class hours in the fundamentals of sandplay therapy and be involved in their own individual sandplay work. The content of each class builds on knowledge acquired in prior classes and, according to feedback from current students, produces a deeper understanding of Kalffian sandplay therapy.
2012 National Conference
STA's 2012 National Conference, Returning to the Self in Sandplay, will be held May 31 - June 3 in Berkeley, California, in the San Francisco Bay area. The theme of the conference reflects our desire for renewal and refreshment through a return to our Jungian roots. The theme invites an in-depth consideration of important therapeutic questions. How do we help others to return to wholeness, safety, discovery and spirit? What are ways we facilitate or disrupt a relationship to Self with our clients? How do Jungian concepts illuminate the Self-healing process and enhance our understanding? Do we cultivate our presence to witness the rhythm and flow of the unconscious and the body in sandplay? Can we hold a free and protected space for our clients even when we may be wounded or distressed ourselves?
The conference is designed to balance presentations and sandplay community events with time for personal self-reflection and integration. By turning toward the Self, we reconnect with the essence of sandplay therapy.
We hope our international colleagues will submit proposals for presentations at the 2012 conference. The application form and guidelines for completion, as well as more information about the theme and format, can be found at the STA website:
The STA Board of Trustees is excited to begin the process of upgrading the STA website. Through a process of modifying all facets of the website, adding new information, and seeking new web site designers, the Board believes that this new "face" will impact educating the public about sandplay. Additions will include: more information about Dora Kalff, more photos, broader search engines, easier manipulation of the site to access membership forms, expanded use and availability of the Journal of Sandplay Therapy, including a categories list of all Journal articles for researchers and dissertation writers, and amplification of all STA activities. The website is currently in "subdued" mode while our volunteer webweaver creates a new sandplay face in the United States. Web designers will soon be asked to submit bids for development.
6.  Approval of the Financial Statement 2010
After Maria Chiaia presented each item, the Financial Statement 2010 was approved unanimously.
Maria Chiaia informed that there will be a Budget for 2011/12 as soon as possible, but because of many changes within the Board it is not yet ready. As soon as the budget it is ready, the ISST members will get it.
7.  Discharge of the Board
The Board was discharged unanimously with 46 votes and 0 abstentions.
8.  Admission of the new ISST National Society BIST: The Brazilian Institute for Sandplay Therapy
Ana Maria Colicchio Lopes Sbrissa presented the development of BIST. Ten years ago a Congress was held in Brazil and the first group of mainly Jungian Analysts started to study Sandplay Therapy.
She thanks all ISST teachers who came to Brazil, especially Ruth Ammann.
BIST has 10 ISST members and some of them are on the way to get the ISST Teaching Member status.
Ruth Ammann informed the GA that the Board had carefully checked the Statutes of the Brazilian Institute for Sandplay Therapy and recommended the admission of BIST as a new ISST National Society.
Vote: BIST has been unanimously approved with 46 votes.
9.  Election of the new Board member of BIST
Ana Maria Colicchio Lopes Sbrissa has been unanimously elected as the representative of BIST at the ISST Board. Ana is looking forward to cooperate with the ISST Board.

10.  Presentation of Rie Rogers Mitchell and Alexander Esterhuyzen as ISST Co-Presidents
Rie Rogers Mitchell is an ISST member for many years and underlined how joyful it would be to work with all the people connected to ISST. Alex Esterhuyzen told about his medicine and jungian background and that he works not only as a Jungian Analyst but also as a psychological counselor. He had learned enormously under the leadership of Ruth Ammann and of her professionalism. Rie and Alex benefit of having different personalities to complement and learn from each other. Rie Rogers Mitchell and Alex Esterhuyzen presented their Manifesto and goals for becoming Co-Presidents.
The manifesto:

    • Model co-operation and collaboration among National Societies and the organization as a whole.
    • Consolidate and strengthen individual and local allegiance to ISST by offering more two-way dialogue and participation in the Society.
    • Build on ISST work of professionalizing our society. This will involve more participation and work through committees.
    • Ensure transparent, open, and equitable procedures for everyone (e.g. routes to membership, teaching status, etc).
    • Promote outreach while ensuring high standards and sustaining ISST’s goal of one national society per country.
    • Improve communication through the ISST web site and respond to members, candidates, and other professionals in an open and timely manner.
    • Encourage research and its dissemination to members and other professionals.

11.  Election of the Co-Presidents Rie Rogers Mitchell and Alexander Esterhuyzen

Rie Rogers Mitchell and Alex Esterhuyzen were proposed by the Board as Co-Presidents for a term of 4 years. They represent the society with single signature.

Rie Rogers Mitchell was elected as ISST Co-President for a term of 4 years with 45 yes and 3 abstentions.
Alexander Esterhuyzen was elected as ISST Co-President for a term of 4 years with 46 yes and 2 abstentions.

The Board and the ISST members welcomed the new Presidents with a warm applause.

As the only Vice President remains Kazuhiko Higuchi, Jast.

12.  Election of the Treasurer
Ruth Ammann thanked Maria Chiaia for her work as the treasurer. Five years ago, Nehama Baum left the Board from one day abruptly. Maria Chiaia stepped in. According to the Statutes, if an officer steps in the term of another one, his or her term ends with the turn of the former one. ISST had again the task to find a new treasurer.

Trudy Rankin of STA had been proposed by Rie Rogers Mitchell to the Board as a possible new ISST treasurer. Unfortunately Trudy could not attend the GA. She wrote the following letter to the General Assembly: „Hello, everyone, I am a little surprised at how excited I am to be considered fort he Board position of Treasurer of ISST. I have just completed 6 years as Treasurer of STA. I felt that was enough of number crunching and budget setting. But, Rie’s asking me to consider this position with the opportunity of working with this ecxellent group of Board members was enough to motivate me to say, „yes.“ My interest in the professional connections of ISST is due to the fact that we, as ISST certified members, have international impact in the healing and transformation of the collective psyche. This means a great deal to me. I live in Florida. I have owned a Private Mental Health Practice for 30 years. I have been involved with Sandplay for 20 years. I consider it a humble honor to be the witness in an individual’s process. Our family has been deeply touched bat he impact of mental illness. My passion and call to the work comes from an empathy for those seeking well-being, as well as the care-givers. I have attended two ISST Congresses. I regret not being with you fort his one and wish the very best for your time together. Best regards Trudy.“

Trudy Rankin was elected as ISST Treasurer for a term of 4 years with 45 Yes votes.

Information: up from this moment there were only 45 voting ISST members, because 1 voting ISST member had already left the General Assembly (annotation by the actuary).

13.  Election of new Board Members of BISS
There should be a new Board member of BISS. Alex Esterhuyzen informed, BISS will appoint a new member after the BISS AGM in September.

14.  Election of new Board Members of STA
STA also has to elect a Board member. At the moment, Rie Rogers Mitchell said, that STA doesn’t know anyone yet.

(annotation by the actuary: Maria Chiaia is proposed to the Board to stay as STA Board member at least for one year. This information came after the General Assembly).

15.  Information about the Board’s decisions regarding training issues
Alex Esterhuyzen red point 1 – 8 of the requirements of Teaching member status, as follows, cit.:
“An ISST Teaching Member is not only a fine clinician and an excellent teacher, but also fulfills other requirements including: (a) demonstrating the capacity to prepare students for ISST membership, (b) teaching students to use the Jungian/ISST approach to Sandplay, and (c) demonstrating knowledge of the requirements and procedures that students must follow in order to become ISST members. Specific requirements are:
1.             Have a minimum of two years of extensive experience conducting full Sandplay processes after ISST certification.  Rationale: It is necessary to have further grounding in clinical practice after ISST certification to deepen experience and understanding of the responsibilities of a certified Sandplay therapist.
2.             Present at an ISST Conference or attend an ISST Congress and publish an article about Sandplay in a Sandplay or other journal.  Rationale: Attendance at international and national conference(s) encourages a broader and deeper perspective. The capacity to present to one’s peers and colleagues and defend a viewpoint is an important aspect of Teaching Member status.
3.             Co-read and satisfactorily report on two student symbol papers.
Rationale: This will establish the applicant’s knowledge of what is required in a symbol paper as well as the individual’s knowledge of the nature of symbols. Evidence: Reports of Teaching Member.
4.             Co-teach with a Teaching Member. This teaching should not only be clinical, but also include coaching trainees for ISST requirements (e.g., preparing and writing a case for ISST membership, writing a symbol paper and other requirements for ISST membership). At least one of the co-teaching sessions should be at an introductory/fundamental level of Sandplay therapy. Rationale: This provides a demonstration of effective teaching skills and appropriate content including knowledge of the Jungian theoretical base. Evidence: At least two written critiques of the teaching, provided by the Teaching Member, plus student feedback.
5.             Prepare at least two clinical teaching cases in addition to the individual’s final case for ISST membership.
6.             Co-facilitate with one or more ISST Teaching Members four Sandplay group supervisions or clinical discussions. Rationale: This provides an opportunity to develop supervision content and style. Evidence: Evaluation reports by ISST Teaching Members.
7.             Be familiar with ISST procedures and training requirements for the symbol paper, ISST case, and independent route requirements and procedures. Rationale: Such knowledge is important because Teaching Members can be approached by any potential students, including those from countries without a National ISST Society, for advice or mentoring on working towards ISST certification. Evidence: Assessed and signed off by Teaching Consultant.
8.             Co-read and report on at least one ISST case, to a satisfactory standard. This requirement may be fulfilled by using a current or a previously approved case.  Rationale: The purpose of co-reading cases is not to become a case reader, but to demonstrate an awareness of what is required in ISST final cases. This ensures that prospective Teaching Members are able to provide appropriate advice and supervision to their students on cases being prepared for submission to readers for ISST certification. This will also demonstrate their knowledge of Jungian theory and good clinical practice. Evidence: Assessed and signed off by Teaching Consultant.

Time Frame: There is no deadline for the completion of these requirements. Individuals are encouraged to work towards meeting these requirements at a pace that is comfortable for them.

Procedure: The prospective Teaching Member is advised to identify an ISST Teaching Member to act as Teaching Consultant. There must be an audit trail of all pieces of work so that they can be documented. It is the responsibility of the prospective Teaching Member to collate the documentation and submit it to the ISST certification committee. The Teaching Consultant will advise and provide direction for applicants in their preparation to become a Teaching Member. The Teaching Consultant will not necessarily evaluate all items 1-6, since these may be conducted by various Teaching Members who will provide written feedback via the prospective Teaching Member to the Teaching Consultant.
It is the responsibility of the ISST member wishing to prepare for Teaching Member status to make arrangements with certified Teaching Members to fulfill these requirements. Arrangements and any costs that may be incurred are negotiated directly with the Teaching Members concerned.“
The participants started an open discussion about the requirements for Teaching Member Status. An Australian therapist asked if there would be a committee who is taking care of certification. She was informed that the issue of the certification committee will follow just in the next agenda point.
A member of JAST asked for the need of more time to reflect on the training program. The Co-Presidents will discuss the request of time limit within the Board again.

16. Information about new ISST Committees
The Board discussed and decided to present several committees. Ruth Ammann presented the first committee:
1. Committee: Jung’s Analytical Psychology as the theoretical basis of Sandplay Therapy
This committee has the aim to integrate and monitor the jungian theory to every candidate (the jungian theory must be integrated in the final case). Alex Esterhuyzen and Ruth Ammann will first collect required texts for reading and then discuss them with the committee. Alex Esterhuyzen, Ruth Ammann, Maria Chiaia, Milvia Talamini and Maria Kendler will be part of the committee.

Rie Rogers Mitchell presented the following committees:
2. Committee: Developing Groups
This committee has been developed for coordinating and controlling Sandplay training in non-ISST countries. The committee consists of three members: Ruth Ammann, Alex Esterhuyzen and Rie Rogers Mitchell.

3. Committee: Certifying Committee
(The aim of the certifying committee is to check and validate applications for ISST membership and Teaching member status, ensuring that minimum requirements have been met. This may include dialogue with applicants through the Chair. This group would also co-ordinate and update relevant members lists in conjunction with the secretary. The Chair keeps ISST president(s) informed regarding applicants, new members, and potential issues.
Sylvia Simonyi-Elmer (chair), Milvia Talamini and Ulrike Hinsch form the certifying committee.

4. Committee: Exception Committee
The aim is to evaluate requests for exceptions to an ISST rule by an Individual Member or a National Society. Judy Zappacosta is the coordinator of the Exception committee.
The open discussion started:
One of the attendee advised to contact the subcommittee in IAAP for exchanging the experience we e.g. training issue. Alex Esterhuyzen added that all of these committees are still developing and ISST will also have a research committee, for example for publications in journals.
Then ISST Revue on-line has been presented by Rosa Napoliello Balfour: An online- review, which is less expensive than a normal review and could be published in several languages.
In Rosa Napoliello Balfour's opinion it is important for the ISST Society to have an international review.

17.  ISST Congress 2013
Rosa Napoliello Balfour informed: The Board recommends to hold the ISST Congress 2013 in Venice in a wonderful congress center which has been a previous psychiatric hospital. Applause in the hall.

Then Alex Esterhuyzen informed the audience about the ITW 2012. The Board plans to have the next ITW in Poland, Krackau. Further information will be sent to all ISST members.

1. ISST languages:
Jörg Rasche, DGST, claims that ISST has to act as an international society and therefore other languages than English should also be represented (in fact the official languages of ISST are according to the ISST statutes: English, German, Italian and Japanese!). In his view the journal would be a great possibility for publishing translations in different languages. Alex Esterhuyzen answered immediately, that Mr Rasche would be a good person to be in the Journal committee.
2. Mystery Item (Rie Rogers Mitchell):
On behalf of the Board and all ISST members Ruth Ammann was applauded for her excellent leadership as the President of ISST. Ruth Ammann received a beautiful crystal award. Ruth thanked for "this mystery" and said “I will miss you all but I will see you in Venice.”

3. Appreciation Dora Kalff (Rie Rogers Mitchell):
Rie Rogers Mitchell wants to recognize the people who worked and studied with Dora Kalff. A photo has been taken of all those present who worked with Dora Kalff.

End of the meeting: 10.20 p.m.
Zürich, 19th September 2011    The ISST President:         Ruth Ammann
                                                                      The ISST Secretary           Tsering Bamert