Unit 4: The Psyche-Body Connection in Jungian Sandplay

Unit 4 / Seminar 1: Saturday, September 30, 2023; 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Jungian Sandplay and the Body: Theory and Practice 

Presented by Denise Ramos, PhD, CST-T

Primitive regions of the brain record trauma and generate somatic symptoms that need to be addressed non-verbally. The challenge in treating severe trauma is to connect with these organic, unconscious levels of the psyche where words have no effect. In this seminar, we will see how Sandplay enhances psychosomatic integration by transducing the symptoms from the somatic to the conscious level of the psyche and moving traumatic states toward healthy ones.

Learning Objectives:  

  • Describe what is meant by a psychosomatic approach to psychotherapy from a Jungian perspective;
  • Give an example of when it would be appropriate to introduce psychosomatics in clinical work;
  • Describe how a psychosomatic approach can be utilized for patients dealing with trauma;
  • Describe the modality of Sandplay therapy;
  • Give an example of  Sandplay therapy when working with a client with somatic symptoms;
  • Describe what is meant by a psychosomatic hypothesis;
  • Give an example of how to establish a psychosomatic hypothesis in a clinical setting.

Denise G. Ramos, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, Jungian analyst of the Brazilian Society of Analytical Psychology (IAAP), and teacher member of the International Society for Sandplay Therapy (ISST). She has been vice president of the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP) and the ISST and is an elected member of the Academia of Psychology of São Paulo. A Fulbright recipient at the New School University in New York City, she is a full professor in the Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology at the Catholic University of São Paulo. She is the chair of the Centre of Jungian Studies, where she also directs post‐graduate thesis work and coordinates research groups on psychosomatics and cultural complexes from a Jungian point of view. Her main fields of interest are psychosomatic phenomena and cultural complexes as the basis for social pathologies, emphasizing corruption and racial prejudice. She has lectured internationally and published several books and articles, including The Psyche of the Body, which has been translated into several languages.

Unit 4 / Seminar 2: Saturday, November 4, 2023; 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Sandplay as a Psychosomatic Therapeutic Method

Presented by Ruth Ammann, CST-T    

During this seminar, we will study the Sandplay process of a young woman with hereditary progressive muscular dystrophy. Through this case, we will learn how the work with the concretely formed sand body can penetrate our unconscious body, and bring to light aspects that we cannot see otherwise. We will also describe how the transcendent function appears through psychosomatic transference and contact with the sand. Finally, we discuss  how beneficial it is for the client and therapist to review the  entire case material together. Only through these reviews can the effect of the process on both the client and the analyst be grasped in its full depth.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the somatic therapeutic aspects of Sandplay;
  • Describe what is meant by somatic transference;
  • Give an example of the clinical use of Sandplay for a case of trauma with somatic symptoms;
  • Describe the different aspects of the transcendent function;
  • Illustrate the importance of the final review of the case material;
  • Describe the different levels of clinical use of Sandplay.

Ruth Ammann is a Jungian Analyst (IAAP), a Sandplay therapist, and a teaching member of the ISST from the Jung Institute in Zurich and works as a training analyst, supervisor, and Sandplay therapist in private practice near Zurich, Switzerland. Ruth was the president of ISST for eight years. She is now the curator of the C.G. Jung Picture Archive in Zurich. She lectures nationally and internationally on Jungian theory, sandplay, and the use of images in therapy. She is the author of several books published in many languages and numerous articles in international journals.

Unit 4 / Seminar 3: Saturday, December 2, 2023; 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Revealing Complexes and Somatic Symptoms in the Sand

Presented by Marion Anderson, PhD, CST-T  

This last seminar of Unit 4 will illuminate what Jung meant by the famous quote: “Often the hands know how to solve a riddle with which the intellect has wrestled in vain… by shaping it, one goes on dreaming the dream in greater detail in the waking state… even though it remains at first unconscious to the subject.” We will begin by examining several vignettes to illustrate how deeper layers of the psyche, such as the shadow, complexes, and archetypal motifs come to life by exploring the sand with the hands. Finally we will focus on a case description which illustrates the revelation of an unknown physical diagnosis through symbols and images in the sand.

Learning Objectives:  

  • Demonstrate the validity of Jung’s theory on the autonomy of hands;
  • Describe how the exploration of sand by the hands can bring images to the psyche;
  • Describe the therapeutic importance of working only with sand;
  • Give a clinical example of the translation of somatic symptoms into words;
  • Explain the relationship between dreams and sand images as seen in a clinical case;
  • Describe the research about somatic symptoms in Sandplay.

Marion Anderson, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, certified Jungian analyst (CGJLA/IAAP), and certified sandplay therapist and teacher (STA/ISST). She teaches sandplay and Jungian theory at the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles where she also regularly offers workshops on painting inner images. A native German she is a founding member of the sandplay society in Brazil where she lived and practiced as a clinical psychologist for 13 years before her move to the USA. She teaches and lectures nationally and internationally and published several articles in The Journal of Sandplay Therapy and elsewhere. She practices as a clinical psychologist in private practice in Santa Monica.

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