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Sandplay Training with Jean Parkinson, CST

  • Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monterey Peninsula 490 Aguajito Road Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA, 93923 United States (map)

Please join the Northern California Regional Sandplay Society and STA/ISST teaching member Judy Zappacosta for a special day with Jean Parkinson, an internationally certified sandplay therapist who lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand. Come for the full day or either event separately. 

Morning Presentation 10:00-12:30: Sandplay Therapy in the Shaky Isles of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Jean’s presentation introduces Maori culture and traditions. See how the inner worlds created during sandplay therapy intersects with mythical and real landscapes in the sandplay process of a boy.

Lunch 12:30-1:30: bring a picnic lunch or find a nearby restaurant

Afternoon Sandplay Group Supervision 1:30-4:00 with Jean Parkinson, CST and Judy Zappacosta, CST-T.

Sandplay cases are welcome for presentation and discussion, particularly those with emphasis on clients who use the sand sculpted as landscape, with or without symbols. Group is limited to 10 students.  Contact Judy Zappacosta, MFT at to sign up to present a case for supervision.


FEE: Presentation: $50 NCRSS or STA members, $55 non-members. Register on-line at Contact for questions or more information.

FEE: Supervision: $25     Register directly with Judy Zappacosta at or 831-427- 5326.

LATE REGISTRATION FEE: If registering less than 6 days before the event, add $10. CANCELLATION POLICY: Full refund if cancelled up to 7 days before the event. EDUCATION CREDITS: NCRSS offers 3 hrs. for the presentation toward certification as a sandplay therapist, approved by Sandplay Therapists of America. Judy Zappacosta provides 2.5 hrs. of STA group supervision hours. No other continuing education credits are available for this event.

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PRESENTATION:  The Shaky Isles of Aotearoa New Zealand with Jean Parkinson

Sandplay Therapy is a recognized modality used worldwide and appreciated by clinicians from many different countries. Continued training experiences through the International Society for Sandplay Therapy are offered now on most continents. There is a rich cross pollination in the work as both the universality of sandplay therapy as well as its uniqueness in different cultural settings.

This presentation explores symbolic language as it appears in the collective cultural unconscious in a sandplay process of a young boy. Many clients who come to sandplay therapy in New Zealand have lived in the same geographic areas for four and five generations.  These clients carry bi-cultural influences that also interplay with culture and family history of their forebears. Follow the sandplay process of a boy who is able to reconnect with his roots and cultural origins, using the sand and symbols as the container and co-transference in his journey. Through a personal bi-cultural lens, you are invited to reflect on how cultural, mythological, historical and geographical energies embedded in our psyche may manifest in sculpted sandplay landscapes.  Particular attention will be given to Maori traditions and symbols.

For it is the body, the feeling, the instincts which connect us with the soil. If you give up the past, you naturally detach from the past; you lose your roots in the soil, your connection to the totem ancestors that dwell in your soil.

(Jung, 1989, in Sabini, p.73. The Earth has a soul.)

Aotearoa, New Zealand presents unique geological, cultural and mythological landscapes that appear in sandplay process.  Situated in the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealand comprises two main islands, the North Island, the South Island and the smaller Stewart Island. Shaky Isles or Shaky Islands is a contemporary nickname for these geologically restless landscapes characterized by extensive shorelines and waterways, rugged mountains, dense bush, active volcanoes and frequent earth tremors.  

Maori were the first permanent inhabitants to make Aotearoa, New Zealand their home between approximately 900-1,000AD (Orbell, 1996).  A second wave of immigrants, manuhire, (non-Maori) also arrived by sea. Arrival is an important transitional phase of the archetypal journey of immigrants. Maori culture, historic events, beliefs and legends are preserved through strong oral traditions, carving, weaving, dance, and various art forms. A respectful introduction from oral creation myths of Tangatwhenua (the first Maori inhabitants) will attempt to set a context for how geography and topography was personified and mythologized in legend.

Jean Parkinson, MAAT; AThR ANZATA), CST; Registered Art Psychotherapist, Certified Sandplay Therapist and Educator. Jean is an experienced therapist working with children, families and adults in private practice (Auckland).  Through privileged exposure to bi-cultural Maori-Pakeha perspectives in her teaching career and now in therapeutic work, Jean has developed a reflective practice that honours the cultural unconscious.  She specialises in loss and change, trauma, relational attachment. Her work is informed by Kalffian Sandplay Therapy, psychodymanic Art Therapy, Reality Therapy, and Neuropsychotherapy.