For Jungian analyst and professor, Jorge de la O, the desire to become a therapist began in the late 1970s when he saw Violet Oaklander[1] the founder of Gestalt therapy with children and adolescents, at a confluent education conference at USC. Oaklander presented some slides on the process of sandtray (a somewhat different process from Sandplay, the Jungian approach to sandtray which was created by Jungian analyst Dora Kalff)[2]. When Jorge saw the trays and the work Oaklander was doing, he was completely taken by it. "It was magical," he reports. As a kindergarten teacher at the time, he knew he wanted Sandplay in his life, and a seed was planted....

After starting the program at Pacifica Graduate Institute (where he now holds a faculty position), Jorge’s early fascination with Sandplay was renewed. The Counseling program required that each student training to be a therapist undergo their own personal therapy, so Jorge immediately looked for a Sandplay therapist who was also a Jungian analyst. All the tumblers just sort of fell into place right from the beginning, he notes.

sandplay_by_dora_kalff.jpg?t=1507063614125&name=sandplay_by_dora_kalff.jpg&width=200I can relate to Jorge’s perception of Sandplay as “magical,” having been completely taken by some of the case studies presented at a recent conference I attended on Sandplay, and how Sandplay works so magnificently in the healing process. The founder of Sandplay (and author of the book by the same name), Dora Kalff, saw Sandplay as a free and open space where individuals create images in the sand using miniatures[3], Jorge informs me. It is a nonverbal form of therapy which allows psyche to come to the surface, much like active imagination. Part of the magic, as Jorge explains it....

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Bonnie Bright, Ph.D., Founder of Depth Psychology Alliance, is a Transpersonal Soul-Centered Coach certified via Alef Trust/Middlesex University, and a certified Archetypal Pattern Analyst®, via Assisi Institute. She earned Master’s degrees in Psychology from Sonoma State University, and in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she also finished her Ph.D. She completed a 2 1/2 year training in Indigenous African Spiritual Technologies with West African elder Malidoma Somé, and has has trained extensively in Holotropic Breathwork™ and the Enneagram. Bonnie’s path to soul began with a spontaneous mystical experience in 2006, and she continues her quest for awakening each day with a sense of joy, freedom, and gratitude at the magic afoot in the world. She continues to live into her gift and calling by helping others find their path to soul, and to learn to do the same for others.