Guidelines for Participants Case Presentations

Detailed information follows to help you prepare a case for small group consultation at the Sandplay in Switzerland program. These guidelines are the result of many years of experience and feedback from teachers, staff, and participants in previous courses. We hope you find this information helpful and we hope it assists you in choosing, organizing, and presenting some of your own work at this program.

Program Schedule

There are a limited number of sessions allocated for small group consultation. While we will make every effort to provide an opportunity for everyone who wants to present their work, that may not be possible. Please submit the Case Presentation Form as soon as possible, but no later than April 1, 2017, so we can review the applications. We will try to match your specific case with the interests and specialties of the instructors. We will notify you to confirm your presentation.

In order to make this time as valuable as possible, the faculty will choose areas of focus, depending on casework by those who apply to present. If limited time does not allow us to afford everyone the opportunity to present their work, we will choose cases that reflect topical concerns found in Sandplay work. These might include a child case, an adult case, initial trays, unusual use of symbols or sand, etc.

Selecting a case for presentation

1. One of the most important questions you might ask yourself is what kind of feedback you are looking for with this particular case. Do you have a specific concern or question that others can hold while you present this material? What kind of feedback would be most helpful to your work?

2. Consider that the purpose of small group consultation is educational. It is natural to want to show your best work, but keep in mind this is your opportunity for feedback from our perceptive and skilled faculty as well as from the group.

3. It is important to remember that the context we’ll be working in is that of a closed professional group. This means cases shown during the program should not be discussed outside the group, so that all material presented will be contained and kept confidential. This is a professional ethic enabling the group to function in a way that promotes learning.


1. Powerpoint equipment will be available at the conference center. Bring your case on a CD or memory stick. If you are bringing your own laptop or other device, please be sure to bring your own adaptor. You will have a chance to check your CD and the equipment before your presentation is scheduled. A laser pointer will be provided.

2. Timing is very important and how you plan to use your time needs forethought. You will have an hour and a half for your presentation and response from faculty. Plan to use 45 minutes to 1 hour to present the case. A discussion period of 30 – 45 minutes will follow. These presentations work best for everyone when there is ample time for group discussion after the case is shown. Please be sure to limit the presentation to the time suggested. Remember that the Sandplay images need time to tell their story. We cannot rush through them. Focus on the sand scenes and the process taking place in the sand. Remember that you may present this material without having to know for sure what may be happening. Sitting with unknowing and uncertainty is part of our learning in Sandplay.

3. Begin with a concise case history before you show the images. This would include but is not limited to the presenting problem, the age of client, siblings and family constellation, and the initial use of sand or introduction to Sandplay. Please consider the salient facts ahead of time so you can keep your introduction to about 5 minutes. Then proceed to show the case.

4. Limit the presentation to a maximum of 10 sand scenes. This is a good number to show in an hour. Show only one image at a time. The images must be clear. Please be able to describe what we see in the sand. All pictures should be taken from the point of view of the person working. Avoid duplicates and too many close-ups, unless you are providing a close-up of an important aspect of a picture.

Preparation before your presentation

1. It is wise to go over your presentation several times before you leave for the course.

2. Review any notes you have on the case ahead of time, and make sure the notes correspond to the images you show. We suggest making new notes for this presentation, to make sure the details of the case are fresh in your mind.

3. In order to develop discussion points, please be prepared to clearly state the question you are holding with this particular case, what you imagine the underlying process to be, and how you envision any challenges as the case unfolds. This will help both the faculty and group support your question and the casework.

4. We recommend you do some research on the symbols used in your case, as they can provide amplification to the process unfolding in the sand. Most important, consider what special meaning a figure might have for the person who selected it.

Recording your presentation

You might like to tape record your presentation and the remarks of instructors and colleagues as well. If so, please bring your own tape recorder and tape. We will not be doing any taping and will not have a tape recorder for your use.


If you have questions about preparing a presentation, please contact us. Because of the many different time zones, email is best.