Our Mission

ASTA is an organization of mental health professionals who provide quality education and direction in support of the personal and professional growth of the sandtray therapist, while strengthening the integrity of the modality.

Check out Austin SandTray Association's By-Laws to learn more about ASTA, including

membership details,  our executive team and officer descriptions, meetings, and business affairs. 

Our Working Definition of SandTray

ASTA believes that Sandtray is fundamentally a nondirective approach, although directive techniques can be applied when appropriate, as guided by the Sandtray therapist’s clinical judgement and theoretical orientation. The therapeutic stance is client centered, allowing the client to lead the process and interpret his or her own work while the therapist demonstrates total positive regard. Because the client’s work is symbolic, the therapist stays in the metaphor. The sandtray is a sacred space that must be protected from all intrusions, including the therapist’s or another’s body, interpretation and/or narrative. 

Although we acknowledge the many people who have contributed to the creation and continued evolution of Sandtray, we also believe that this modality began with the World Technique, created by Margaret Lowenfeld. We believe Dora Kolff took World Technique and through her Jungian theoretical perspective made adaptations to the modality which became Sand Play. From Sand Play, Sandtray has evolved.

While we welcome different ideas and perspectives about sandtray, this is the definition of Sandtray that ASTA stands behind.

About Us

Our History


​Austin SandTray Association was born out of a desire to create a community of support for sandtray therapists and a recognition of the need for quality education in the sandtray modality.

In the fall of 2013, the founding members found themselves discussing ways to make sandtray education more accessible to the therapeutic community, including how to bring coveted speakers, like the beloved sandtray practitioner, Bonnie Badenoch to Austin. What formed was a plan to organize to offer quality and engaging trainings, conferences, support, community, and fun to sandtray therapists.

The founding members put on a charity garage sale to fund the beginning nuts and bolts of formation, and they look forward to seeing how the organization will continue to sustain and grow in the months and years to come.