Brief Introduction of ISST in China and China Society for Sandplay Therapy
The Development of Sandplay Therapy in China
and China Society for Sandplay Therapy
Sandplay Therapy and ISST in China, along with the development of Jungian psychology, started in 1993, has almost 30 years now. At the 25th ISST conference (Berlin, 2019), the China Society for Sandplay Therapy was formally set up, with the CSST Constitution, Training Programme, and the Code of Ethics approved and accepted by ISST. We are very grateful and proud to be a group member of our international family, and we will work together with our colleagues and societies for the Sandplay Therapy we cherished, created by Dora Kalff on the foundation of Jungian Psychology.
Many senior Sandplay Therapists (ISST and IAAP officers, as well as Jungian analysts), such as Ruth Ammann, Harriet Friedman, Rie Mitchell, Kay Bradway, Gretchen Hegeman, Hayao Kawai, Kazuhiko Higuchi, Yasuhiro Yamanaka, Eva Pattis Zoja, Alex Esterhuyzen, Betty Jackson, Liza Ravitz, Lauren Conningham, Maria Chiaia, Joyce Conningham, Dyane Sherwood, Irmgard Else Thom, Heather Lesley-Swan, Maria Kendler, Rasche Jorg, etc., they supported the development of Sandplay Therapy in China, and came to China for teaching, training, and supervisions. Our group takes international visiting learning, bring our candidates to Zurich (for Martin Kalff, and Ruth Ammann; as well as for Jungian analysis training), Berlin, Roma, Milan, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York…… We founded the Oriental Academy for Xin-Li-Fen-Xi, focused on Analytical Psychology and Sandplay Therapy, and set up three institutes in three universities (SCNU, Fudan, CityU), and brought Sandplay Therapy into the formal university courses. Several hundred graduate students have done their dissertation researches for Master's degrees and Ph.D., focused on Analytical Psychology and Sandplay Therapy, and have done many related academic and scientific publications. We have translated and published many Jungian and Sandplay Books, including Dora Kalff’s book, books of Kay Bradway, Ruth Ammann, Harriet Friedman, and Rie Mitchell. At the same time, our group translated the Collected Works of C.G. Jung (20 Vol), and Selected Works of C.G.Jung(9 Vol), and related many Jungian books to Chinese. We have participated in the ISST conferences and IAAP conferences since 1995, make useful publications and contributions for the Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Journal of Analytical Psychology, and presentations at ISST, IAAP congresses, Fay Lectures, and Eranos East and West Round Table Conferences.
The primary contact between our group and International Sandplay Therapists was by Heyong Shen and Gao Lan (in 1993, 1994, and 1995), with Harriet Friedman, Rie Mitchell, and Ruth Ammann. Based on clinical training and practice, our group published the first paper (1997, by Hongxia Fan), the first book (2004, by Heyong Shen and Gao Lan), the first series of books for Sandplay Therapy (2004, Heyong Shen is the chief editor) in Chinese to introduce Sandplay Therapy, and set up the first Chinese Journal for Sandplay Therapy (2015). Our group, CSST (cooperated with China Society for Analytical Psychology), also has organized the cherish program of “Garden of the Heart & Soul”, to provide psychological support for orphans and earthquake (disaster) victims.
At the 17th ISST conference (Seattle, 2003), Heyong Shen, Gao Lan from China participated in a special meeting with Gretchen Hegeman, Ruth Ammann, Kay Bradway, Kazuhiko Higuchi, Harriet Friedman, and Rie Mitchell, discussed the development of Sandplay Therapy and ISST in China, especially for the professional training strategy and training program. Four pillars raised for instance: Kalffian Sandplay, Jungian Psychology Foundation, Chinese Culture (like the diagram of Chou Tun Yi, Five Elements Theory, I Ching…which both Dora Kalff and C.G.Jung value so much,), the combination of the three with teaching method, clinical practice, and supervision system.
Pictures from 17th ISST conference.
Heyong Shen gave a plenary presentation: Sandplay Therapy and Chinese Culture
One of the important achievements of ISST Seattle Special Meeting for the development and professional training in China, is the publication of the first textbook of Sandplay Therapy in Chinese by Heyong Shen and Gao Lan, with the foreword of Kay Bradway. The title of the book: Sandplay Therapy: Theory and Practice. It is almost like the Teaching and Training Outline, with six chapters. Just as Kay Bradway says: “It is clear that Professor Shen and Gao Lan are excellently equipped to write a seminal book on Sandplay for therapists in China. The contents of chapters attest to the comprehensiveness and thoroughness with which he covers the field of Sandplay therapy.” “Professor Shen’s depth of knowledge and width of experience together with his keen appreciation of depth therapy has succeeded in bringing both Jungian analysis and Sandplay to China.” At the end of the “foreword”, Kay Bradway says: “I feel this is an extremely important book, not only for the development and use of Sandplay in China, but also for Sandplay in the international scene.” This book became a best seller of academic books, reprinted almost every year since then.
Before that, in 1993, 1994, and 1995, Heyong Shen and Gao Lan made the connection with Harriet Friedman, Rie Mitchell, Ruth Ammann, Eva Pattis, Thomas Kirsch, Jean Kirsch, Murray Stein, and Martin Kalff in Los Angeles and Zurich, prepared and started researches of Sandplay Therapy. In 1998, our group organized the first International Conference for Analytical Psychology and Chinese Culture (supported by IAAP, and later joined the support of ISST), with some of Sandplay Therapists participated. After that, the training of Sandplay Therapy in China started with the main teachers: Harriet Friedman, Rie Mitchell, Ruth Ammann, and Eva Pattis.
Sandplay: A Psychotherapeutic Approach to the Psyche by Dora Kalff; Sandplay: Silent Workshop of the Psyche by Kay Bradway; Healing and Transformation in Sandplay: Creative Processes Become Visible by Ruth Ammann; Sandplay: Past, Present and Future by Harriet Friedman and Rie Mitchell (Heyong Shen brought these books to China in 1995, after attended the IAAP conference in Zurich then, and organized to translate them into Chinese); and Sandplay Therapy: Theory and Practice by Heyong Shen and Gao Lan, are the main books used for teaching and training.
In 2006, Ruth Ammann, on behalf of ISST, made agreements with officers of IAAP, for the cooperative development in China, and co-sponsored for the International Conferences of Analytical Psychology and Chinese Culture (1998-2018, every three years; to organize the best Chinese philosophers, such as I Ching, Taoists, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Chinses Traditional Medicine scholars, to make dialogues with Jungian analysts and Sandplay Therapists). We also organized the China National Conferences for “Sandplay Therapy” mainly since 2008 (almost every year).