About – Opengate Institute


Opengate Institute is the advocate for Sandtray Therapy in Australia. We work in partnership with other industry experts and stakeholders within Australia to support Sandtray Therapists. 

At Opengate Institute we are always looking to partner with others who are interested in sponsorship or advocacy in the areas of Children’s mental health and wellbeing, Disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Children in Schools and more. 

We have chosen to support Sandtray Therapy in these fields as this method is a researched evidenced-based approach that has been proven to work effectively as a preventative measure in early childhood, resilience building and a form of communication for those who are non-verbal, including children, adolescents and adults.

Opengate Institutes therapeutic centre is purpose built facility. The therapy centre is open for clients ages 3 – 100 years of age. Students can utilise the facilities to complete mandatory hours of training, in which we offer free sandtray therapy to clients for this purpose.

Our training staff are highly qualified in their field, which gives the learner a holistic experience of this unique and wonderful method of working with clients towards to good psychological health and wellness. 

Training and workshops are aimed at learners who work as educators, therapists in mental health including counsellors, psychologists, nurses, social workers, youth workers, community services and those working with children, disabilities or other specialist fields of allied health.

Opengate Institute Pty Ltd


Opengate Institute as a platform to unite the Sandtray/Sandplay therapy industry and provide a space for all therapists who use the method of sand, an indoor tray and miniature objects in their practice to gain support through peer programs, supervision and ongoing OPD/workshops. 


Our intention is to train the trainers who become experts in their own field; eg working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders/children/adolescents/adults or groups. 


Our aim is to connect the industry through training and workshops and to help unite the industry in the standards of training being delivered and to provide learners with recognised government accreditation once training is complete.


Opengate Institute welcomes those with industry knowledge and expertise to join our industry group, we are looking for supervisors, trainers, workshop presenters and specialists in their fields. 

Our platform is a place for industry to showcase techniques, knowledge and create peer support, support for learners and a safe place to call our ‘sand home’.

Opengate Institute


WORKSHOP - FIONA WERLE Sunday 29th August 2019

W2.1 Sandtray Therapy as the Central Model of counselling

At the heart of Counselling is the task of entering the client’s whole mind using the gentle method of Sandtray Therapy. As therapists we are not just tapping into our clients own felt sense and intuition, we are a Witness, an integral part of the therapeutic sand worlds created by our clients. We are also linking conscious knowledge of theories of personality and development to understand the whole mind, behaviour and the environment in which our client has evolved. In this 90-minute workshop we will explore felt senses using mindfulness techniques, create stories, and metaphors using the Sandplay miniature figurines.


Fiona Werle will be presenting at this conference

The 2019 World First Nations Early Childhood Conference: Empowering Generations is envisaged to be the largest gathering of First Nations Elders, inter-generational experts, early childhood educators, teachers, researchers, paediatricians, child practitioners, psychologists and community-controlled early childhood education and care providers amongst others. The conference is planned to be held every four years with great line up of First Nations guest speakers from all throughout the world who will inspire and enable early childhood educators, childcare workers and mainstream early childhood service providers in providing high quality early childcare programs for First Nations children.