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ABOUT:
The International SandStory Association - ISA

Are you sitting comfortably?

Good ... then let's begin.

For I have a story to tell and it's called 'The Story of SandStory'.

And like all good stories, it's starts at the beginning - a rather wonderful beginning where we are offered a CONTAINER - much like the book covers that contain the pages of a story.

Next we are introduced to the CHARACTERS of the Story! Some who are vital behind-the-scenes and others who are central stage. But they are all drawn together and set off on a quest, an epic adventure, their own Hero's journey in the sand following one vision and mission.

And then as the story unfolds, starting with the the backstory, all is CHRONICLED as it came to life.

 

Lastly, as the plot thickens and we see the future story as the next pages, chapters and volumes are written, the CELEBRATION of what has been and what will be continues on.

So get more comfy, snuggle down and feel free to grab a drink, a tipple of your choice [no judgement!] and maybe a choccy biscuit ... and stay a while. 

It's Storytime

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The CONTAINER

Launched on 1 June 2020, the ISA offers a safe  container for the world of SandStory through a community of Therapists that focuses on personal and professional growth using sand and symbols according to it's mission and vision. 

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The CHARACTERS

The ISA is home to some of the world's most inspiring and passionate Sand Therapists & sandy souls!

It also holds a rather magical group of people on the ISA Advisory Board who serve and support the ISA in a spirit of collaboration, clarity & compassion.

The CHRONICLE

The story begins with a  backstory set in 1994 within a 6 foot high walled enclosure - a secluded, monastic, contemplative community. There the interior life is richly lived and presence is paramount.

Read on to where this 'golden thread' of presence spooled out to be the core of SandStory, launched in 2018 and what happened next ...

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The CELEBRATION

Like a good broth, the plot thickens, providing warm nourishment. 

The future of the ISA, it's plans and dreams to spread SandStory through books, trainings, an annual Conference and a world tour ... show that we are just at the beginning of the story and with no signs of the Story of SandStory having a final chapter! So much achieved and so much to look forward to - so much to celebrate!

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SandStory has its home in the International SandStory Association [ISA]. The ISA is an open and free container for Therapists and Counsellors interested in learning more about SandStory, as well as all:

  • Registered SandStory Therapists [Level 1/Level 2] 

  • Certified SandStory Therapy® Trainers       

  • Certified SandStory Skills® Trainers  

  • Registered SandStory Skills® Practitioners

  • Registered SandStory Supervisors®

  • SandStory Circle® members


To find your sandy home and be involved as a member, please join the ISA Facebook page where there is a space for exchange and dialogue on all things SandStory - just click on the SandStory logo:

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What is the Mission & Vision of the ISA?

The mission of the ISA is:

To promote SandStory in all it's forms, provide support and encouragement to all it's members, to develop its use in therapeutic professions and to offer guidelines and promote standards in sand therapy training and practice.

To act as a validating Organisation, supports research and the extension of all SandStory therapeutic applications so that itcan have a real-world evidence-based impact.

To provide a safe and warm forum for all it's members whilst being a referral base for them and encouraging their voice and presence as contributing, collaborative SandStory members.

The vision of the ISA is that:

Members join together with other like-minded Therapists and Counsellors and deepen their skill, knowledge and experience in this sand therapy approach.

 

Members receive invitations to trainings, events and an annual SandStory Conference.

Members have immediate access to news and updates, behind the scenes in the SandStory world and future developments.

Members contribute to the development of this gentle, safe therapeutic approach through sharing their ideas, feedback and contributing to the publication of books and presentations..

THE CONTAINER

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The amazing characters of the SandStory world are not ordinary Muggles - they are fully immersed in the wonderful and magical world of SandStory!

 

They are mainly Therapists and Counsellors who are:

  • Registered SandStory Therapists

  • Certified SandStory Therapy® Trainers

  • Certified SandStory Skills® Trainers

  • Registered SandStory Skills® Practitioners

  • SandStory Supervisors®

  • SandStory Circle® Members

 

They are also the 'beneficiaries' of the reach of those above - such as supervisees and clients. In the latter group these are young children, adolescents, young adults and senior adults.

 

In addition, through SandStory Skills®, they are as varied as Teaching Assistants,                      Prison Officers, Corporate workers, Staff of Residential Homes ... and many,                                  many others from all walks of life. 

Come and meet them on the various Registers! 

A lovely, slightly nutty and rather magical group of kindred spirits that helps to support me as the Founder of SandStory, to:

  • strengthen it's container,

  • establish deep foundations

  • protect it's quality, integrity and authenticity

  • proactively extend it's reach globally so that anyone and everyone can experience SandStory

  • and fulfill it's mission.

That's all! And, believe me, each one is amazing:

The Characters

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Characters
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ISA
Advisory Board 

Click on profile for more detail

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THE CHRONICLE

Chapter 1: Presence

Here we chronicle the Story of SandStory from it's early beginning right to the present moment. But it's worth saying right from the start that, ultimately, this story is a love story.

 

In the early 1990s to 2000, I spent my precious 20s in a contemplative, monastic community discerning a deep pull within. It wasn't a pull to some separated part of me but to something that was instrinsically 'alive' and vibrantly present to each and every cell of my body, in every organ, each particle of bone, suffusing each breath. Literally.

It was - still is - ineffable, outside the scope of words but for me it comes close to my little grasp of the words: 'God', 'Source', 'Energy', 'Universe'. Not that I called 'it' that - I plopped for 'Abba' and sometimes waxed poetical and called 'it', "A Being Whose Name is Love'. What was core, was that when I 'went within' to a space that was vast inside me, I encountered this Presence and merged with it. In those moments everything was ..... Love. 

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Chapter 2:

The Love-Child

This  way of Being Love is highly addictive! So, I started observing how the other women in community entered into presence, connected to this Source and lived from there rather than camping on the thin surface of their lives. I observed, I practiced, I developed a system, I tested it, I lived it ... and when I left the monastery I took this 'magic' with me.

Fast forward 18 years and after various trainings in sand therapy, my own alchemical work with sand and symbols, experience and growth, I birthed a sand therapy love-child: SandStory!

 

SandStory is an integrated blend of SandPlay and SandTray Therapy along with its own distinguishing DNA - a focus on therapeutic presence; a containing 5 Stages; a line of communication between the unconscious and conscious; and an honouring of each Client's natural, habitual and organic self-expression through story-telling. 

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Chapter 3:

The Graceful Passage

Over time, in SandStory sessions with Clients - from little ones to senior ones - I felt drawn within. It's a magnetic pull and there's no resisting this force. From that inner space of presence, my unconscious opens and connects to communicate with my Client's unconscious; synergetically we meet within a shared, safe circle. 

Slowly and with authority, words bubble up to my conscious. I check them. Check them again. Ready to bracket them out as my stuff, testing for projection, for counter-transference, for parallell processing. For any of me. But nope. It's outside of me whilst also being within me - from that core, inner presence.

And so I have learned to trust, even surrender - like slipping into a warm bath - to the 'graceful passage' between my conscious and my unconscious as well as the unconscious to unconcious connection between my Client and I.

So I take deep breath, plant both my feet on the floor and speak the words and I witness the 'magic' - the moment of extraordinary, cathartic, catalystic change for my Client. 
 

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Chapter 4:

The Golden Thread

I went on to develop the 5 Stages of SandStory, which creates the container for the Therapist to remain in deep presence with ease, whilst following the natural and organic unfolding of the Client's process - or story - in the sand.

 

Now, some years later there are over 100 qualified SandStory Therapists and 6 incredible Trainers; the birth of SandStory Skills® which has taken the approach to those outside the field of therapy; an expansion into Supervisory relationships; and is providing a space for personal and professional growth, using the inner templates of the 8 Jungian feminine archetypes.

 

With so much more to celebrate and to come, so much to unravel from that first tug on the 'golden thread', you are warmly welcome to join our very lovely community in the ISA.

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Chronicle
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THE CELEBRATION

SandStory is itself a 'being with', a loving approach - it's a gentle and safe container that holds first the Therapist whilst they hold their Client, or themselves as they grow, or as a SandStory Skills® Practioner holding themselves as the Listener whilst holding their Storyteller.

 

And from this comes so much - so much healing, transformation, integration, beautiful embodiment, peaceful self-and-other regulation and more. 

So time to celebrate all this whilst continuing to craft a future where this simple approach of time in the sand with symbols and an unfolding story can continue to reach and transform lives. Take a look at what's coming up:

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The Future of the ISA

ISA future events

 SandStory Case Study Books 2024

An exciting opportunity to become a contributor to 2 wonderful story-filled books; they are both books on case studies - and is open for all SandStory Therapists and SandStory Skills® Trainers and Practitioners.

Written by qualified SandStory Therapists and SandStory Skills® folk it will be written from your heart, telling not only your Client's/Storyteller's story [with full consent and anonymisation!] but YOUR story as their Therapist/Practitioner.

If you'd like to consider contributing to a Chapter, then after having qualified  and offering SandStory in your role, please do get in touch with me at larakasza@hotmail.com and I'll send you ore guideline sfor your contribution.

 

I'd love to hear from you. Thank you!

SandStory Conference 2025
A SandStory Conference is on it's way - a full 2 days in  2025 in a beautiful, therapeutic setting near London in the UK!

Come and be part of history and experience with your hands in the sand, the beautiful and magical world of SandStory. 

You'll be taken on a journey over the two days as you learn about SandStory Therapy®, SandStory Skills®, SandStory Supervision®, the Train-the-Trainer Programmes and the personal growth Feminine Archetypes retreat course of SandStory Circles®.

There will be workshops,  the chance to meet other sandy and playful souls, buy awesome symbols and trays, go to a book reading and signing, enjoy a delicious lunch and refreshments each day in beautiful therapeutic grounds - and most of all, plenty of time in the sand. Do contact me to register your interest. For more information:
Celebration
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