Psyche & Soma
Psychotherapy and the Body:

Sandplay Therapy
Play Therapy

Katie Amatruda PsyD, MFT, CST-T, BCETS

This course meets the qualifications for 10 hours of continuing education training


Approved by the Association for Play Therapy (#02-117) for 10 hours Distance Learning Continuing Education

This groundbreaking new work will introduce the reader to the mysterious world of the mind/body connection. We will look at the psychotherapy treatment of two children and two adults who had physical illnesses, and begin to see how play therapy and sandplay therapy provide a keyhole through which we can get a glimpse into the inner world of healing. We will explore how the therapeutic power of play helps the client to cope with the stress and pain of illness.

"As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to light a candle in the darkness of mere being."
(C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams and Reflections)


Peter - at three and one-half years old, he was haunted by an illness which neither he (nor the therapist) knew that he had. Yet his symbolic play clearly expressed imagery specific to his disease; a 'cellular consciousness". How could that be?

Tony - seven years old, his sandplay therapy treatment occurred in the pediatric oncology unit of a hospital. We met only four times over the course of 22 days. When "Jumping Mouse" jumped, what did he see?

Lori - she came to therapy only five times...did anything happen? What did it mean that she had broken a bone the day before her first session? And what did it symbolize to her when the dinosaurs created the jewels?

Marianna- hoping not to die, she worked very hard in her therapy. Along the way she created a place in which triangles intersected. She was not cured...was she healed?

This book and course will ask more questions than it answers as we explore the mysterious and magical way in which cells seem to communicate through imagery. Along the way, we will get glimpses into a world that is liminal and luminous; that we will never fully comprehend.

We will explore how play therapy and sandplay work, why the elements are important to forging the mind/body connection and the concept of 'somatopsychics' in which the soma, or body, communicates cellular knowledge to the psyche. We will touch upon the mystery of the 'liminal world', the threshold between body and psyche. Along the way, we will discover the healing power of symbols, and find out about horses, cranes, butterflies, Kuan Yin, bridges, quartz, mermaids, triangles, light, etc. We will take a peek into the symbols of shamanism, Tibetan chakras, and the Medicine Wheel. Join us and wonder at the mystery of the psyche and the body.

Educational Objectives
Upon Completion of this course the participant will
1. Be able to recognize how the therapeutic power of play helps the client to cope with the stress and pain of illness.
2. Understand how play therapy (including sandplay and art) can open the door to the 'liminal world'.
3. Be able to identify areas of clinical and social work intervention relevant to doing play therapy and sandplay therapy in a hospital setting.
4. Know when play therapy and sandplay therapy are contraindicated.
5. Have an understanding of how healing symbols arise out of play and play therapy.
6. Be cognizant of our own pain and countertransference as we do play therapy, sandplay therapy and psychotherapy with clients who are ill.
7. Understand the importance of creating a safe, contained therapeutic space.

This course meets the qualifications for 10 hours of continuing education training

is approved by the:

CA BBS - California Board of Behavioral Science accepts our CE Provider Approvals through APA, NASW, and NBCC. Course meets the qualifications for hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Science
Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, Mental Health Counseling (BAP 753 )
ISST/STA - International Society for Sandplay Therapy/Sandplay Therapists of America
NAADAC - The Association for Addiction Professionals (#575)
NBCC - National Board for Certified Counselors - has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6055. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. (ACEP #6055)
Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (#1761)
The Texas Board of Social Work Examiners (#6246)
maintains responsibility for the program.




Table of Contents

The World Where Worlds Meet

Peter-The Haunted Boy

Tony-Glimpsing Sacred Mountain

Lori-The Sacred Journey

Marianna-Where Triangles Intersect

Reflections on the Mystery


10 ceu course with post-test $125


how it works

Due to the wonders of technology, the minute you submit your order over our secure line, it is encrypted, and processed safely and securely by, a secure web processor. Or, if you prefer, call us toll-free 888-777-3773.

You will immediately receive confirmation of your order, your password and how to access the course material. (Please do not block e-mails from, and

If you ordered an online course, you can begin to take the course immediately.

You will receive instructions, via e-mail, on how to take your test online.

Contact us or call if you need technical support.

Your test will be graded online, so the moment you have passed, you may print out your certificate of completion.

That's it! You are done!


Katie Amatruda, PsyD, MFT, CST-T, BCETS, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress, and a teaching member of the International Society for Sandplay Therapy. She is a Disaster Service Mental Health volunteer with the Red Cross, and has responded to the Katrina disaster, as well as to local fires and floods with the Disaster Action Team. She went to Sri Lanka with the Association for Play Therapy and OperationUSA. She has lectured internationally and teaches in the Extended Education departments at U.C. Berkeley and Sonoma State University. She is the author of A Field Guide to Disaster Mental Health: Providing Psychological First Aid,  HIV: The Storm, Psyche & Soma, Trauma, Terror and Treatment, and Painted Ponies: Bipolar Disorder in Children, Adolescents and Adults. Her work with children with cancer is featured in the video Sandplay Therapy and the Liminal World. She is the co-author of Sandplay, The Sacred Healing: A Guide to Symbolic Process and Reweaving the Web: The Treatment of Substance Abuse. She practices in Northern California.

APA Ethics

We do adhere to the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists. Our courses are carefully screened by the Planning Committee to adhere to APA standards. We also require authors who compose Internet courses specifically for us follow APA ethical standards.

Many of our courses contain case material, and may use the methods of qualitative research and analysis, in-depth interviews and ethnographic studies. The psychotherapeutic techniques depicted may include play therapy, sandplay therapy, dream analysis, drawing analysis, client and therapist self-report, etc. The materials presented may be considered non-traditional and may be controversial, and may not have widespread endorsement within the profession. maintains responsibility for the program and its content.


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