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Entering Children’s Worlds: Part 4 - Hearing Stories and Making Meaning

Date:   To Be Determined

Time: To Be Determined

Location: To Be Determined


For any information not on this flyer, please email:


Training Description:

There is a Mexican saying that goes, “Each head is it’s own world.” This saying perfectly captures the power of sandtray in the therapy room. Sandtray allows for clients to express themselves and get some insight into their own internal world. This is the fourth and final part of the four-part introductory training for therapists, counselors, social workers, and others who are interested in learning how to integrate sandtray in their clinical work with youth and families in the child welfare or probation systems. This training will go a step beyond the basics with a focus in discussing trauma. The aim for this training is to provide participants with experiential activities in order to provide effective play-based learning of the interventions and how to process them with youth and families in the child welfare and probation systems. This training will specifically focus on: providing directive sandtray prompts regarding trauma, helping clients feeling grounded, and helping clients make meaning of their experiences.


About the Trainer:

Cristal Alvarado is a bilingual Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Registered Play Therapist (RPT) with an MA in Counseling Psychology and Correctional Emphasis. She currently works with at-risk youth and Hayward families at the Hayward Police Department. Cristal previously worked with First Five in East San Jose and has been practicing play therapy since 2017. Cristal provides play therapy trainings centered on culture to agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area.


**All instructors and staff declare that they have no known conflicts of interest.*


Educational Goals: 

  • By the end of the workshop participants will be able to: 

    •  integrate sandtray in their interventions with clients in order to discuss their history, family of origin, thoughts and feelings.

    • practice the skills involved in processing a directive sandtray during a play therapy session with clients.

    • explain one reason that play therapists should not interpret the metaphors which often appear in the children’s sandtray stories.



  • Participants will be able to:

    • identify at least 6 common sandtray themes.

    • list at least 5 factors that are common in evidence-based trauma-informed care practices.

    • implement at least 3 directive sand tray prompts specific to trauma with clients of all ages and in various modalities.


Target Audience:

This is an introductory course designed for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, LEPs, pre-licensed associates, and graduate mental health students.



To request accommodations for special needs, please email the Program Administrator at



To obtain the grievance policy or report a grievance please email or call 510-516-4345.



Course Completion certificates will be awarded at the end of the course in exchange for a completed evaluation form and passing of a post-test. Course meets the qualifications for 3 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.



Full refund if canceled 45 days before training, minus $50 administrative fee; after that date there will be no refund unless space is filled from the waiting list. Participants may cancel via If a course must be cancelled, the course participants are notified via email no later than one week in advance. In the event that an instructor has an emergency and must cancel a course with less than a week notice, participants will me notified immediately via email and include information regarding a rescheduled date.




Course meets the qualifications for 3 hours of continuing education credit, for LMFTs, LCSW's, LPCC's, and LEP's as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Cristal Alvarado is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (Provider #10003384) to sponsor continuing education for LMFT's, LCSW;s, LPCC;s, and LEP's. Cristal Alvarado maintains responsibility for the program and all its content.



Part 1: Getting Started and Basics

1:00 pm - 1:10 pm : Introductions and Follow Up Questions

1:10pm – 1:30 pm : Grounding Activity

1:30 pm - 1:40 pm : Trauma Review

1:40 pm – 2:30 pm: Experiential


2:30 pm - 2:45 pm Break - 15 minute break not included in CEUs


Part 2: Using Sandtray with Clients

2:45 pm - 3:15 pm : Experiential Activity

3:15 pm - 3:35 pm : Sandtray Examples (Pics and Videos)

3:35pm – 4:00pm : Last Experiential Activity

4:00pm – 4:30pm : Closing Activity

Entering Children’s Worlds: Part 4 - Hearing Stories and Making Meaning

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