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Using Sandtray-Based Play Therapy Effectively

Richmont is opening a portion of this graduate course from the Certificate in Child & Adolescent Counseling to Richmont alumni and the surrounding community for Continuing Education.

When: February 12 & February 13, 2021 / 9:00am-5:00pm EST

(1 hour lunch break each day) 

Where: Live webinar *Zoom information will be sent one week prior to the training

Presenter: Michael Lyles, LPC-S, LMFT-S, RPT-S & Renee Holdo, MA

CEs: 12 CEs Awarded. No partial credit awarded.


Marshall Lyles, LPC-S, LMFT-S, RPT-S, has 20 years of practice in family and play therapy. Drawing on lessons learned from working with attachment trauma in a variety of mental health settings, Marshall regularly teaches on trauma, expressive therapies, and attachment-informed family work around the globe. In addition to maintaining a small clinical practice, Marshall also conducts supervision and consultation sessions with counseling professionals who are pursuing EMDR certification and RPT status, often with a particular focus on the use of sandtray therapy. Marshall has published in professional journals and magazines in addition to contributing to the books Counseling Families: Play-Based Treatment and EMDR with Children in the Play Therapy Room: An Integrated Approach.

Renee Holdo serves as Resident Play Therapist at the Richmont Trauma Center specializing in Child-centered Play Therapy, Activity Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy, and Child Parent Relationship Therapy Training. She earned her Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family at Richmont Graduate University and received her Post-masters training in Child-Centered Play Therapy at the University of North Texas. Currently, Renee is pursuing a Ph.D, in Marriage and Family Therapy specializing in Children and Adolescents, and has taken an active role in assisting in the creation of the newly redesigned Child and Adolescent certificate program at Richmont Graduate University.


This course will blend lecture, discussion, and experience as the basic skills and protocols of sandtray-based play therapy are introduced for use with all ages.

Learning Objectives: As a result of this seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss how the history of sandtray therapy and play therapy evolved into current day practices
  • Describe how the awareness of and connection to play therapy materials are applicable to executing sandtray sessions
  • Discuss standard practices and protocols of sandtray and how to integrate into play therapy with all ages
  • Apply knowledge of play therapy reflective skills and theme analysis to sandtray sessions
  • Discuss trauma-informed use of sandtray-based play therapy
  • Apply person of the play therapist concepts to effective utilization of sandtray therapy
  • Practice sandtray sessions in practice play therapy simulations
  • Participate in coaching on sandtray and play therapy skills
  • Practice sandtray treatment planning for play therapy cases
  • Discuss extensive sandtray case study through a trauma-sensitive lens

Continuing Education: 12 CEs Awarded. No partial credit awarded.

Target Audience: Psychologists, Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Play Therapists, Social Workers, Graduate Students

Level of Audience: Beginners



9 am – 12 pm

Opening sandtray activity

Discuss how the history of sandtray therapy and play therapy evolved into current day practices

1 pm – 5 pm

Discuss and experience sandtray therapy materials

Work with protocols of a standard sandtray therapy session

Closing sandtray activity


9 am – 12 pm

Opening sandtray experience
Work with sandtray prompts from perspective of different clinical theories

Practice processing of created sandtray worlds

1 pm – 5 pm

Practice sandtray therapy sessions in dyads

Discuss modifications needed for group sandtray therapy

Closing group sandtray experience


Refunds: In order to receive a full refund, requests must be made prior to Friday, February 5th.

Please direct your questions regarding this seminar to Martha Busby at or 404.835.6121..

There is no known commercial support for this program.

Richmont Graduate University has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 4534. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identifited. RGU is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Richmont Graduate University is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Richmont Graduate University maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


APT: Due to COVID-19 health concerns, this one-time online event has been approved by APT for 12 contact CE hours.

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Using Sandtray-Based Play Therapy Effectively