Certified SandStory Skills® Trainer Programme [online]

Welcome from me!

A warm welcome to you as you look into this new and very relevant online training. This training is for Therapists and Counsellors only and it teaches you how to become a 'Certified SandStory Skills® Trainer'.

In essence this is a 3 part Train-The-Trainer package: 

  1. It teaches you SandStory Skills®. 
  2. It teaches you how to train other practitioners [non-therapists] in SandStory Skills®. 
  3. It teaches you how to offer your training as an in-person one and/or put your training up onto an online platform and so create a passive income business. 

There is a video explanation of the course below [25 minutes] and here are the main key points:

What is SandStory Skills®?

SandStory Skills® equips practitioners who are not therapeutically qualified with essential, safe, 'soft skills' to support the emotional wellbeing and personal development of children, young people or adults in their care.

At it's heart, the training aims to delineate a clear boundary in terms of the SAFE REMIT for these practitioners [whom we call 'Listeners']  so that they keep themselves safe, within the remit of their job description AND those in their care [whom we call 'Storytellers'].

The training draws on several theoretical frameworks to delineate where the safe remit is and offers clarity on when to refer on their Storytellers to qualified Therapists and Counsellors for professional therapeutic support.

The training draws from the wonderful work of Margaret Lowenfeld who developed the 'Small World Technique'. Her theory generated further theories around 'small world play', 'floor play' and 'table-top play'.

In essence, it uses sand and symbols as well as other media [cards, board games etc.] as a creative means for Storytellers of all ages to express their inner stories in a gentle and safe way. 

  • Lara teaches with such care and warmth and in a way that supports, encourages and responds to your individual training needs. At all times in my training and beyond, I felt that I could actually do this and unearth the 'Trainer' hidden inside me! So alongside my qualification as a Certified SandStory Skills® Trainer came the additional 'gift' of an increased sense of self-belief, a new creative energy and drive to learn more about SandStory. This course has really been so enriching on so may levels and I thoroughly recommend you jump in and join the SandStory family!

    — Sarah Day

Margaret Lowenfeld - creator of 'Small World Play'

Who would you be able to offer SandStory Skills® training to?

Participants of your training have roles in which they are responsible - to a point - for the emotional wellbeing of those in their care, whether they are children, young people, adults and senior adults:

CHILDREN [up to 16 years old], such as:
o Childminders and babysitters
o Nannies and Au Pairs
o Nursery Managers and Workers
o Teachers & TAs [Teaching Assistants]
o One-to-Ones/Learning Mentors
o SENCOs [Special Educational Needs Coordinator]
o ELSAs [Emotional Literacy Support Assistants]
o Nurture Group leaders
o Pastoral Teams
o Social Work Assistants
o Emotional Wellbeing Practitioners
o Behaviour Support Practitioners/ PRU [Pupil Referral Unit] Teams
o Play Workers and Therapeutic Play Workers

  • The course has, without exaggeration, been career changing in terms of supporting students with emotional and learning issues. I would fully recommend the course for your teachers and TAs.

    — Huw Fifield, Head of Inclusion

YOUNG PEOPLE and ADULTS [16+ years old], such as:
o Residential Support Workers
o Youth Workers
o Youth Offending Team Officers
o Teen club activity leader
o Careers Adviser
o Youth and Young Adult Support Worker
o Young Adults Social Worker
o Mental Health & Wellbeing Coordinator
o Activity Leaders
o Adolescent Disability Support Worker
o Therapeutic Support Worker
o Behaviour Mentor
o Foster/Adopter Workers and Looked After Support staff
o Social Care staff
o Therapeutic Outreach Workers

o Parents/Carers
o Foster/Adopter Workers
o Looked After Support staff
o Social Care staff
o Therapeutic Outreach Workers
o Carer Support Worker
o Family Support Workers/Advisor
o Parent Coaches
o Community Outreach Worker
o Families Engagement Officer
o Therapeutic Intervention Practitioner
o SEND Caseworker

SENIOR ADULTS [60+ years old]:

o Residential Care Homes Workers
o Activities Co-Ordinators [for senior adults]
o Charities [charity workers and volunteers]
o Hospitals and Hospices
o Church Pastoral Teams

o Corporate – leadership, wellbeing, HR and OTs
o Life Coaches
o Career Coaches
o Business Coaches
o Spiritual Directors
o Religious Heads
o Chaplains
0 Religious Communities [supporting vocational discernment etc.]

The training details:

The training is available in 2 ways:

[1] Individual learner: you can enrol at anytime, work through the content at your own pace and at your own time.

[2] Group learner: enrol when you wish and choose the group option. I will email you a link to the training dates and times. Please note the next 2021 Group dates are: 

  • 5 days from Monday 31 May to Friday 4 June 2021 

Sessions will run from 2 pm to 5 pm every day [UK time] for those 5 days and will cover all the modules.

Below is a photo of the online, May 2020 'Pandemic Group'!

Video explaining this training:

  • Six months ago, Zoom was an ice lolly from the 1980’s not the technological powerhouse of 2020. I had time and energy but not the direction I needed and SSS was still just an enticing idea... Fast forward to early September and here I am, empowered, enriched and so excited about what the next 3 months will bring and then the next three months."

    — Sarah Day

What does the training cover?

  • Lara's course is comprehensive and thorough and will give you the skills and confidence needed to become an online trainer. The opportunity to take a ready made course and make it your own is not to be underestimated as you can truly put your own stamp on your course while having a framework to guide you. I am now confident I have a second passive income to back up my play therapy practice. Thank you Lara for your support.

    — Carol Whibley

What support will you get?

  • "The real anchoring points, when the waters became choppy, have been the coaching sessions. An invaluable opportunity to ‘take a breath’ and take stock. To consider what is going well and what needs another look. This support is what stands out against other course ‘formulas ’and is something I will offer my participants. In addition to the strength of SSS content and its authenticity and robustness is the scaffolding offered to us. I see how this offers us the right amount of holding and the right amount of challenge.

    — Sarah Day on the coaching support

What does the training cost?

The training is currently being offered at a specially reduced rate due to the impact of the coronavirus on the financial livelihood of Therapists and Counsellors.

The cost is reduced to £600 and includes:

  • 1 free hour of 1:1 coaching with Lara

Payment can be made in full, 2 monthly installments of £300 or as 3 monthly installments of £200.

Available to buy: 

  1. SandStoryStarters® 40-card decks - 1 as a mixed decks for different ages; the other created just for use with children.
  2. A fully printed, spiral-bound Workbook to accompany the training [please note this is also available free as a PDF on enrolling]

Please consider the following:

When your training is ready as an online training or as an in-person training, the charge I recommend setting at a per person rate is £300. Once you have sold the course to 2 people, you will have made a full ROI [return on your investment]. Each successive sale is pure profit going forward.

Please note that you can also:

  • use this same course and tailor it to many different participant groups - widen your market
  • use the same learning about putting your courses online and marketing strategies for any number of your own course ideas

The upshot is this training can be expanded to create a whole new passive and active stream of income whilst serving the people that you feel drawn to - these wonderful men and women who are our allies and co-workers in caring for the most vulnerable in our world.

A chance to grow

One-Time Payment

£600 once

Payment Plan

2 payments of £300/month

Payment Plan

3 payments of £200/month

What resources you need in order to do this training:

You won't need these things straight away but, when you can, please start to collect your own:

  • A sand tray - I recommend the Really Useful blue transparent box with lid at 24.5 litres if you don't have anything with you [see http://www.reallyusefulproduct...]
  • Sand - in the UK I love the Tesco sand which is usually available during the summer. However, if that proves impossible to buy, see what you can get and use for now. Even if you temporarily use lentils or jasmine rice [alternatives to sand], do what you gotta do!
  • A set of between 20 - 30 symbols. If you don't have these to hand, once you enroll, you will have access to a list of inexpensive symbols and where to purchase them. You could also just wander around your home and garden and see what you might be able to use as a symbol - a sort of symbol treasure hunt!
  • There will be other resources on the list but these are all optional and up to you if you wish to purchase these for practice according to what you feel your participants may find useful.
  • Once you enroll I will encourage you to 'buddy up' with someone else either on the training or someone you know as a colleague and I will encourage you to use the Zoom platform to have practice sessions with them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have access to the course?

Forever! Once you've enrolled and paid, you'll have access to the course material for as long as you need. So devour it all in one weekend once the training is on the online platform or take things slow. It's your choice!

What if I'm unhappy with my purchase?

Well, I would be sad. But if you're really unhappy with the course, just email me after the second module to receive a full refund [minus any admin fees].

I still have a question, how can I contact you?

I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. Send me an email at I'm also at my Facebook page:

Do I have to have trained in sand therapy before doing this course?

No - I will be teaching SandStory Skills® and inviting you to have lots of practice with a safe and willing 'buddy' so you have a sense of working in the sand and teaching others. In our 1-to-1 coaching sessions, I will support you if you require it.

I hope you will join this lovely group!

One-Time Payment

£600 once

Payment Plan

2 payments of £300/month

Payment Plan

3 payments of £200/month