Becoming a certified member

[Important] Statement from ISST Board regarding online training hours

In recognition of restrictions imposed on in-person meetings and gatherings as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ISST Board has voted to allow the following exceptions regarding the limits of online training and group supervision hours for the time period from February 1st to December, 31st, 2020:

1. Online Theoretical Learning
In addition to a limit of 20 online hours of theoretical training accepted according to ISST statutes, all online hours for theoretical training will be exceptionally accepted for the time period between February 1st and December 31st, 2020.

The limit according to our existing statues is that up to 20 of the 100  hours of theoretical training may be acquired online, so applicants will need to be sure to designate the dates of any online lectures, course, webinars, etc. taken between February 1st and December 31st of 2020 on the Appendix D form of their application.

2. Online Group Supervision
For already existing online supervision groups, additional hours of online supervision, up to a maximum 50, will be accepted.

The limits according to our existing statues allow up to 50 hours of group supervision, 24 of which may be online as long as they meet the other requirements for online supervision.
(No more than 4 group members meeting consistently with the same supervisor, each group member presenting case material and equal percentage of the time, minimum 2 hour time period for each online session.)  Applicants will need to be sure to designate the dates of any online group supervision hours between February 1st and December 31st of 2020 on the Appendix D form of their application.

(NOTE) This exception is granted to only those students who are already a part of an established supervision group and does not apply to newly developing supervision groups.

The ISST Board recognizes that the global Covid-19 pandemic is an evolving and unpredictable situation and will therefore continue to monitor the situation into 2021 and to consider further exceptions as necessary.

It is imperative that the candidate make clear the hours of the group supervision that have been completed using this online method prior to February 2020 and also during the period of February 2020 through to December 2020 in order to distinguish the allowable online group supervision hours (24 hours) and the current exception to the ISST rules and regulations. These hours need to be clearly stated on Appendix D.

Steps to Become a Certified Individual Member International Society of Sandplay Therapy (ISST)

An Individual Member (IM)  is a Sandplay Therapist who is accepted into ISST and does not live in a country with a  ISST Member/Regional  Society. 

If you live in a country that has an ISST Member or Regional society please refer to your local society for their guidelines. ISST sets the minimum requirements only.

Please note that members of IAAP have modified requirements for training as outlined below.

Step 1:

Become familiar with ISST requirements for membership.

A. Personal Process in Sandplay Therapy.  Must be with an ISST Member and precedes, if possible, a regular course of training in sandplay        

B. Theoretical training of a minimum of 100 hours in training seminars in the tradition of Dora Kalff and based on the principles of the psychology of C.G. Training in Sandplay Therapy. Must be with a certified ISST Sandplay Teaching Member.

C. Two written symbol papers, at least 10 pages in length, but no more than 20 pages with 1.5 spacing. At least one paper must include clinical sandplay material.

D. Supervision of practical work by at least two different Teaching Members for a minimum of 80 hours. Thirty (30) of the 80 hours must be individual supervision. Up to fifty (50) hours of group supervision is acceptable provided the student candidate presents his/her own clients’ material for at least 1 hour out of every five group supervision hours. All the supervision hours can be individual as group supervision is optional. Note about On-line Supervision: Individual supervision hours can take place on-line provided the supervisor and supervisee have met each other before and the supervisor knows  the credentials of the supervisee. Regarding On-line Group Supervision: At the 2018 ISST Board meeting the following was agreed: It is important that the supervisor has knowledge of each supervisee individually through meetings prior to commencement of the on-line supervision group. Examples are:  individual face to face or on-line meetings; through attendance at face to face group supervisions or through personal interactions during training events. A maximum of 24 hours of online group supervision is allowed with the following conditions: 1. All 24 hours must be completed with the same supervisor and in the same group. 2. The group maximum is four (4) people. 3. One presentation per session is allowed with a minimum of two hours for each session.

E. A written final case study of at least 30 to a maximum of 50 pages of text with 1.5 spacing. The case study must be read and evaluated by three ISST Teaching Members, who are recognized Case Readers. If the applicant lives in a country with an ISST Member Society at least one of the case readers should be from their ISST Member/Regional Society and at least one from a  National/Regional Society different to  that of the applicant. The applicants  personal sandplay therapist and the supervisor on the case cannot be one of the readers. Each reader will provide an evaluation report of the case study to the Case Advisor. Once the Case advisor is satisfied that all three readers are in agreement, the outcome and readers reports are sent to the applicant. The case reader’s fee is determined by themselves unless it is set by their National Society. All requirements a-d above  must be completed before submitting the ISST Final Case to readers. And a copy of the applicants Appendix D must accompany the case material sent to the readers.

Download guidelines for writing a case study

Step 2: 

Keep a record of your training.  You may, if you wish, use Appendix D form to keep track of your progress. Please be aware that several of the items require signatures verifying completed work. It is best to ask for a certificate of attendance to verify your work (supervision or teaching) from the Teaching member at the time that you attend. Keep these certificates as part of your evidence of completed work towards certification.

Step 3: 

Select a Training advisor.  Before writing the required symbol papers, ask a certified ISST Teaching Member to serve as your training advisor.  The Teaching member needs to have been certified as a Teaching member for at least two years. Their role will be to guide you through your professional development towards certification. You might want to consider formally registering as an ISST Independent Route Candidate.

Step 4:

Once you have completed your training and supervision hours and two symbol papers you are ready to start working on writing up your final case study. You can take the advice of your supervisor(s) as to which case may be suitable. You can then choose a Case Advisor to support you with writing up and submitting your final case as well as choosing readers. The case advisor can be your supervisor, your training advisor or another ISST teaching member.

After you have completed the ISST required training hours and two symbol papers, but before submitting your ISST Final Case to readers, your Record of Training should be completed and copies submitted to:

Your Case advisor, who will review your Record of Training to verify that you have completed all ISST training requirements before you submit your final case study to your readers.

After your advisor reviews your Record of Training, send a copy of the Record of Training, a professional resume, and the final case study to your ISST Final Case readers.

Your Final Case readers will report the outcome of their evaluation of your paper to your advisor, who will then contact you.A written evaluation of your paper from each of your readers or a joint evaluation from all three will be available to you.

Step 5:

If your paper was approved by your readers, complete the last part of  Appendix D.   

Step 6: Your case advisor will submit your completed Appendix D form together with case comments to the ISST secretary who will log the date, check that all contents are completed and forward your application to the certification committee. You will be advised of the outcome.

Requirements for ISST Membership for Qualified Jungian Analysts (members of IAAP).

Sandplay was developed by Dora Kalff and is based on the psychological principles of C.G. Jung. Fully qualified Jungian Analysts may undergo an adapted training for ISST membership. This training should include, as a minimum:

1. Personal Sandplay process with an ISST member.

2. 60 hours specific Sandplay teaching  seminars.

3. Clinical case supervision: 40 hours of which a minimum of  15 must be individual supervision hours. A maximum of up to 25 group supervision hours are acceptable. The candidate should present their own clinical work in one of every five hours of group supervisions.

4. One relevant seminar paper with Sandplay clinical material.

5. Submission of written clinical case study as outlined in Appendix A b-f in the rules of procedure.