Opengate Institute – Accredited Specialist Training in Sandtray Therapy

Opengate Institute is the advocate for Sandtray Therapy in Australia

Opengate Institute was established in 2018 as the Advocate for Sandtray Therapy  in Australia. We welcome and support the training of current and emerging students and offer supervision, ongoing CPD/OPD and peer support. Opengate Institute has developed training courses, personal development and workshops working closely with our industry advisory committee. We are the only training organisation in Australia to offer training in all the different sand techniques including Sandtray, Sandplay Therapy and Sandtray Play Work. These members represent Counselling, Psychotherapy, Education, Social Work, Psychology, Indigenous, Youth Work and Disabilities. Members currently work in their areas of expertise, including research, professional practice, teaching, training and advocacy.


Opengate Institute seeks to unite the Sandtray Therapy industry and therapists current and emerging who serve in this area following the research and training developed by Dr Margaret Lowenfeld (1928). Training is aimed at registered counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, social workers, mental health workers, youth workers, community workers and educators. Those who seek recognition of their skills and abilities using all the methods of sand in an educational or therapeutic manner can gain recognition of their skills and do further training to meet the ethics and standards of their governing associations and the frameworks, guidelines implemented by Sandtray Institute Australia.


Opengate Institute and Sandtray Therapy Australia work together to independently maintain ethical standards in their training. They work closely with industry associations adhering to ethical standards and procedures as set out by national registers, which protects the public and community interests. All Sand practitioners will need to meet ongoing Professional Development requirements and practice within the ethical guidelines of the profession in order to retain their professional requirements.

Training Centre

Our cottage is located on the grounds of the beautiful University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury campus, Richmond. There is parking (paid), cafes, library, gym and access to transport. 

Accommodation: cottages are in the grounds of UWS link to website for short term accommodation bookings – short stays

Bookings can also be made via third party websites if you type Western Sydney University Village Hawkesbury into google. Any direct short stay bookings or questions can be directed to or by phoning 02 8024 6050

(Opengate Institute is not able to help with accommodation support)

Training Courses, Workshops and Sandtray Supervision

Sandtray Therapy – Specialist Sandtray Practitioner Training  

For mental health practitioners wanting to add an extra skill set to their practice using expressive therapies working with children, adolescents adults, couples or groups. All these areas will be covered in this Specialist Training over x 5 modules and 18 weeks duration

Learning Objectives
  • Implementation of resources required to set up as a Sandtray Therapist in practice
  • Ethical understanding when using Sandtray in diverse settings with diverse clients and client issues
  • Foundations of Sandtray practice and theories that support this method including Morals, Values and own sense of Self as therapist
  • Understanding metaphors, images and symbols and how to read a sand world
  • Skills in questioning, challenging and focusing the narrative using Sandtray
  • Applying current practitioner skills to Sandtray therapy methodology
  • Apply practical application for sensory awareness, own and others
  • Application of techniques working with different ages of clients
  • Develop awareness of stages of development as seen in the sand worlds
  • Confidentiality, writing case notes using Sandtray terminology
  • Applying photos of sand worlds to integrate into the client’s treatment plan, confidentiality, storage and agreement forms
  • Learning cultural sensitivity and strategies to responding to the sandtray miniatures that representing cultures
  • Working with Group dynamics and the seen and unseen aspects of sand worlds and group interaction and learning to observe, report and monitor group
  • Understanding of the importance of supervision and how to write case notes with photo series as a supervisee
  • Using Sandtray Therapy as a Self-healing and Self-monitoring process
  • Understanding the significant role of the therapist and personal process work
Hurry this module is discounted  50% if students book and pay before 27th September.

Contact Fiona Werle for further information as this course has Entry Requirements
Request a Student Handbook - go to Contact Page or go to Courses page to book and pay

Introduction to Sandtray Therapy Theories and Application

*Note - this is the first Module of the specialist sandtray practitioner training course
This first module is hands-on so that you experience the sand, the sandtray miniatures, and the expression of creating sand worlds. We take a look at a series of case studies so that you can understand how your own method and theoretical alignment can be applied in this cross-theoretical method for writing case notes, case study inquiry and understanding the visual aspects of Sandtray Therapy applications being Developmental and Attachment informed practitioners. This workshop is ideal for emerging or current practitioners who are looking to consolidate their learning or for new learners to Sandplay who would like to add a skill to their current practice.

This event counts as 15.5 hours of category A CPD for PACFA’s membership renewal requirements and CPD for ACA members. 
Hurry this workshop is discounted  50% if students book and pay before 27th September.

Booking and payment go to Courses and booking for Module 1 Specialist Sandtray Practitioner Training

Sandtray Play Work – Training for Teachers, Educators and School Counsellors

Course 1 – What is Sandtray Play Work and How can I use it for learning and development?
Course 2 – Implementing Sandtray Play Work for Learning and Development using STEM
Course 3 – Sandtray Play Work as an assessment tool for learning and development

For Proficient Teachers Completing this course will contribute 6 hours per course total 18 hours 3 X courses of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered PD addressing 1.1.2, 1.2.2, 6/2/2 standard descriptors from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW

Teacher Outcomes
Teachers will experience the role of student and undertake their own experience of STPW to understand the principles that underpin this method including theories of personality and development and assessment strategies. Teachers will be given strategies to help improve student learning and outcomes and have access to peer support to develop creative thinking using STPW.

We are able to run this course in your area, school or early learning setting
Contact Fiona Werle for further information Mobile: 0412 534 690

International Jungian Sandplay Therapy - Practitioner Training Session 1 & 2

For mental health practitioners who want to follow a more Jungian based approach to their practice. This course is taught by International trainers. The training will be in two sessions, with first training 7 days duration and second training over 8 days in 2020. Completion of the this training will give you International Accreditation.

contact Fiona Werle for more information and registration


Fiona Werle is a qualified Supervisor and available for Sandtray supervision

$90 per supervision - 1 hour

Contact 0412 534 690

Are you ready to take the next step in your education?

Choose a course that suits your needs​

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