Building Skills + Enhancing Lives

Sand and Clay Workshop in Gestalt play at the Centre for Play therapy and Training – Uylenvlei Retreat

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I am excited this morning. The week ahead is reserved to build and nurture my tools as a practitioner.

A few months ago the journey started. Having the opportunity to participate and complete the play therapy course level 1 and 2 at Uylenvlei retreat with Dr Hannie Schoeman was a profound experience that extended my tools as an Occupational Therapist. The course content excited and touched me deeply. It gave me techniques to work with children in the here and now, with what is on the foreground of each individual person.

What stood out for me was the wealth of experience that Dr Hannie Schoeman shared openly in the training. Her presence and ability to listen intensively to us in the training sessions, made me aware of the value of being present with the child in the therapeutic process. The real value of listening and going with what is presenting for my client at a particular moment was an invaluable insight for me.

The Schoeman model as the base for the working process, gives structure and guidance for the practitioner.  The gestalt approach brings the intervention into the here and now and what stood out for me is the acceptance of the client’s process. Understanding the process of each child as a base for intervention and building a relationship of trust and respect is a powerful tool in the therapeutic intervention.

The course made me think of each individual child I work with in a different way. Being in the here and now with the child, respecting her/his individuality and nurturing the child as a base for intervention was something that I took with me into my work from the play therapy 1 and 2 course.

Now i am at Uylenvlei again to do the sand and clay workshop for the next 4 days.

I am excited and a little anxiously awaiting what lies ahead. The group is big and on the first evening we are all getting to know each other around the big dinner table at Uylenvlei. This time Hannie is joined by her daughter Rita, a Professor at the University .

The 4 days are packed with theoretical, and lots of, practical application. We are doing self awareness and sand tray work at the beach, group sessions with the sand tray as well as individual sand tray work. We are getting up early on Thursday morning to walk up a nearby hill to see the sunrise and savour the present moment. On our last day we are going to platbos, a nearby indigenous forest, to walk in silence and become aware of ourselves in nature. I am climbing up a wooden lookout and when i am up i can see all the tree tops and myself amongst them. What bliss.

The sand and clay workshop left me with a deep sense of self and self reflection. It brought the gestalt approach of working in the present moment deeper into my awareness and it solidified the importance of self nurturing as a practitioner in the therapeutic field.

Thank you.

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