Kristín Unnsteinsdóttir, PhD, is the designer of the method Sandtray Play and Storytelling in Education. She adapted Jungian Sandplay for use in schools and education; since 2015 she has called it Sandtray Play in Education to discern it clearly from Sandplay as a psychotherapeutic method. Kristín studied Sandplay therapy with Dr. Barbara Turner and is a Sandplay psychotherapist and registered sandplay therapist.
Kristín’s background is in Jungian psychology, fairy tale lore and children‘s stories. She finished a PhD from The School of Education and Professional Development at the University of East Anglia in 2002.
She is in charge of the learning center of Ártúnsskóli in Reykjavík, Iceland, where she has developed the Sandtyay in Education method. Kristín engaged in a 4-year research study in 2005-09 on the influences of Sandplay and imaginative storytelling on children‘s learning and emotional-behavioral development. This research is currently being replicated in collaboration with colleagues from Ireland and Romania through a grant from the European Union Programme for Education, Erasmus+ for Projects with Multiple Beneficiaries. Read more about the project on http://sandplay.artunsskoli.is and on http//sandtray-play.com.
I have worked as a foreign language teacher for 20 years at my private schools which I still own.
I started my studies concerning Psychology in 2000 and finished with my Masters in School Psychology in 2007. I have worked at my own private practice since 2014.
I learned about Sandplay during my training as a Therapeutic Play Practitioner with Play Therapy Greece. Immediately I started searching how I could go on with it and I followed the Sandplay Practitioner Training Part I in Beaumont Estate in June 2016.
I believe in the power of Sandplay and look forward to becoming at least a Sandplay Therapist, because I have already seen how calm it makes me feel while at the same time I am able to help teenagers and adults.
I am a Chartered Educational Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (registered with the HCPC), an Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist with the BABCP (Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies) and a Registered Sandplay Therapist with the Association of Sandplay Therapists.
I hold a Degree in Psychology, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (teaching) and a Masters in Educational Psychology. In addition to this I have a Diploma in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders and a Certificate in Psychotherapy and Mindfulness. I am trained in Mindfulness and in the delivery of Teaching Recovery Techniques to children impacted by war. I have completed various trainings in third wave CBT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy & Compassion Focused Therapy) which I incorporate in all aspects of my work.
I work with a range of ages and populations, from children to adults. As my work is largely school based the majority of my clients are children or teenagers. Dependent on the case and the client’s preferences, I might use a range of therapeutic modalities. Sandplay Therapy can be used as a stand-alone therapy or effectively as a useful adjunct to more traditional ‘talking therapy’.
Presenting problems can range from low self-esteem, anxiety and depression to more complex trauma. (Often early trauma can be
reflected in maladaptive, destructive behaviours, which can easily be overlooked when focusing solely on the behaviour).
Through the medium of sand and symbols, Sandplay Therapy works at the symbolic and sensory level, encouraging communication and integration between the different functions and parts of the brain. Often clients with complex trauma respond to a more flexible, fluid approach which Sandplay Therapy provides. The ‘free and protected space’ which is at the heart of Sandplay Therapy, enables the client to work at their own pace, with their own resources, negating the possibility of re-traumatising or overwhelming the client.
I believe the aim of therapy is to create greater psychological flexibility and encourage the use of an individual’s own resources to enable change, healing and growth. I have found Sandplay Therapy, grounded in Jungian Psychology, has an appeal to all ages, young and old.
I have a love of and a connection with nature and am blessed to own 2 lovely horses a beautiful dog and 2 crazy yard cats which remind me of this every day. My love of nature rolls into my passion for my therapeutic work where I am privileged to support children and young people within schools, which is the biggest part of my practice. I love using sand and clay as the main tools of my trade and have a real affinity with them having seen for myself the value and difference this can make in such a crazy world. I have over 15 years’ experience of working with children, young people and families and this has brought me to my life’s dream of being able to support others within the therapeutic role I am now in. The journey that the Sandplay training has brought me on has been the making of me and I feel truly blessed to be a part of such a loving and connected group of wonderful people. I am excited about the future of my practice knowing this is going to support and help so many to work through the challenges and difficulties of their lives. I have a wonderful trainer in Eunice who I owe so much. I am excited about the future and the plans I have to further my learning and my practice knowing that Sandplay can support and heal and help us to re-connect with our true selves.
I am an accredited Play Therapist-supervisor based in Scarborough on the beautiful NorthYorkshire Coast. I work with domestic abuse survivors, fostered and adopted children and I am on the approved provider list for therapeutic services for Yorkshire & Humber Adoption Consortium
My first experience of sandplay came during my play therapy training in 2007 and it knocked me off my feet. I found my first tray to be so powerful, offering me insights that were previously hidden and I am now a passionate advocate for working with this gentle medium as well as other creative arts therapies. I find adults and children who are offered this approach are able to move forward with their lives with more intuitive knowledge and understanding of themselves. I certainly feel that my journey of self-discovery started with my very first sand tray and continued with Eunice Stagg with whom I have completed my AST Certified Sandplay training in 2017.
I am an Accredited Play Therapist, member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the Association of Sand Play Therapy.
I undertook my Sand Play training and process in the UK with Eunice Stagg and am a Registered Sand Play Therapist.
I initially studied Health and Social Care , completing my degree and then training as a lecturer .This culminated in lecturing in both Health and Social Care and Early Years on University of Essex, University of Suffolk and Anglia Ruskin University Courses.
During my time in teaching I began to recognise from both my personal and professional experiences, the impact of societal pressures and the personal and familial traumas that affected children and adolescents educational experiences .This provided the motivation to change careers and train in Play Therapy at Canterbury Christchurch University.
Whilst undertaking this training I experienced Sand Play and felt strongly drawn to this powerful medium.
I now work with adolescents in a specialist school for adolescents with Behavioural, Emotional, and Social difficulties, where I am privileged to regularly experience and observe the profound and amazing changes in clients initiated by this powerful modality. I feel honoured to be able to be part of holding my clients sand play process.
I have a deep interest in using Sand play with children and adolescents who acutely struggle with the social and emotional aspects of the Education System.
I also have a private Sand Play Therapy practice where I work with children, adolescent and adult clients .
My goal is to train for certification as a Sand Tray Therapist. I work with high acuity clients with co-occurring mental health/substance misuse disorders. In my experience, we often see the same individuals in residential high intensity treatment many times. We seem to use the same messages and strategies which may maintain the client often do not move the client to new understanding or insight. Clients are well versed in the language of recovery and tend to parrot these well work concepts back to us on each admission. I believe that sand tray therapy may be a productive way to circumvent this routinized process and move the client forward in new and different ways.