Fall 2013

Presenter:  Tonya L. Yelton, MA, LPC, RPT-S


Tonya began working in the mental health, criminology, and education fields 25 years ago.  She is a private practice counselor from Casper, Wyoming and owns Child & Family Counseling LLC.  Presently, she assists children, adolescents, and adults in their individual and family mental health needs.  She provides prevention and intervention education on neglect, abandonment, adoption, adjustment, bonding/attachment, grief/loss, trauma, behavior management, depression, anxiety, learning delays, developmental delays, and injuries through play and art.  In addition, she is a mentor instructor for Prescott College offering Masters level students courses in Play Therapy I, II, and Working with Children.  She is the former President and Board Member of the Wyoming Association for Play Therapy.  Her interest in Sandtray began in 2005 and has continued to be the main method of treatment offered at her office for her clients to this day.  Her theoretical approaches are taken from Analytical Psychology, and Developmental Psychology.


Description of workshop:

This workshop will provide participants with an introduction into how to use the Sandtray technique in play therapy in a mental health setting, the history of the technique, discussions on advanced training uses and opportunities, the psychological theories and methodologies associated with the technique, how to introduce this technique to parents/guardians/professionals, how to manage the transference and countertransference aspects of this technique, understanding the language of play, sand, water, and other elements, and the basics of the alchemical process when working with clients in a play therapy setting.


Day One Objectives:

  1. Understanding brain neuropsychology (through a simple brain doodle) to explain how play therapy assists clients. The brain doodle can be used to explain to parents, teachers, administrators… the benefits of play therapy.
  2. Learning the history of sandtray and how it came to be used in play therapy.
  3. Learning the difference between sandtray and Sandplay.
  4. Learning about the types of sand that can be used in a play therapy setting.
  5. Learning how to empower and set limits for clients in the play therapy room.
  6. Learning how to document a sandtray and a play therapy session with a client.
  7. Learning how to find and create an economical sandtray for a play therapy session.
  8. Learning how to play and the value of floor games in a play therapy session, part one.


Day Two Objectives:

  1. Learning how to play and the value of floor games in a play therapy session, part two.
  2. Learning about bonding, attachment and objects.
  3. Learning about transference and countertransference and the sand.
  4. Understanding the language of play, sand, and water during a play therapy session.
  5. Learning how to assist clients through the use of sandtray to symbolically heal their collective wounds and integrate their inner self in a play therapy room.