What is ISST?
The International Society for Sandplay Therapy (ISST) is the international professional association for those trained in the Sandplay Therapy method of Dora Kalff. STANZA’s membership requirements are listed here.
ISST events are also open to those who seek to learn more about depth psychology with sandplay therapy.
ISST is an umbrella society operating through National Societies around the world. It promotes study, training and research in Sandplay Therapy. It offers its membership a international network, collegiate community and a forum for presentations, research, development and review hosted bi-annually around the world.
America, Brazil, Canada, China, Britain/Ireland, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland and Taiwan have national societies affiliated with ISST.
There are also individual ISST Members in the following countries:
Belgium, Denmark, France, Indonesia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore and Uruguay.
In Australia/New Zealand in 2023 there are five Teaching Members of STANZA/ISST, and two internationally Certified Sandplay Therapists.
It is a unique quality of ISST as a professional organisation of Therapists that from the beginning it profited from a shared enthusiasm for a variety of cultural environments. In this way the history of the ISST is a fit testimony for an archetypally grounded common human essence which helps to transcend cultural differences.
The fourteen founding members included members from Switzerland (Dr. med Kaspar Kiepenheuer, Dr. phil. M. Kalff), Italy (Dr. Paola Carducci, Andreina Navone) , England (JoelRyce Menuhin, M. phil.), America (Kay Bradway PhD, Estelle Weinrib MSW, Chonita Larsen PhD, Cecil Burney) and Japan (Prof. Dr. Hayao Kawai PhD, Prof. Dr. Yasuhiro Yamanaka MD, and Prof. Kazumiko Higuchi, D. Min.). In the following year Sigrid Löwen Seifert MD from Germany was included in this founding circle of the ISST. A majority of the founding members were Jungian analysts.
In order to protect the high professional standard of the work, the ISST defined guidelines for training in Sandplay Therapy as well as guidelines for becoming a teaching member. At the same time it provided and continues to provide an international forum for the exchange of professional experience with Sandplay Therapy.
The years that followed are marked by regular international congresses of the growing membership of ISST all over the world. ISST Congresses take place every two years, in different parts of the world. Contributions via all country societies are invited.
As a fruit of the efforts of the ISST and the untiring work of Dora Kalff the foundation of many National Societies followed, allowing members to create specific structures adapted to particular national needs.