An Experiential Session on Trauma Informed Practice in Schools.

This intense and deeply moving five-hour workshop sets out to have participants understand the long-term impact of a traumatic event. Our time together will begin with an experiential sculpt of three increasingly serious levels of trauma. Individuals will be invited to take on various parts of the traumatic events; for example, the specific input from the environment, all the senses, the reactions of the body and the responses of different parts of the brain. This is a powerful way for participants to experience and understand exactly how the impact of a traumatic event can become a lifelong traumatic and shaming experience which can affect many aspects of daily life. In a second sculpt, the shame that often arises from trauma will be explored experientially with participants playing the roles of inner critic, believer, self and shame.There will be opportunities to debrief the experience of the sculpt in small groups within the workshop and to discuss how this experience help us see the value of adopting a trauma informed practice for schools.

The second part of the workshop will be a demonstration of how school counsellors can transform the impact of trauma and shame using the sand tray. The ‘negative’ defences arising from trauma and shame will be shown to be having the positive intention of the keeping the client safe and to have also produced 'special gifts' which can assist in transforming the impact of the trauma. A volunteer will work with me and through the use of the metaphor of figurines in the sand tray, explore their own past trauma and how they have kept safe. Some practical guidance in the use of the sand tray and discussion of the therapeutic relationship will be addressed.  A brief introduction to transforming shame will also be given.

Target Audience



Friday 10:30 AM - 4:15 PM

This session is full.



  • Counselling for Children and Families
    Dr. Madeleine De Little

    Madeleine De Little has been a student for ten years of ‘Transformational Systemic Therapy’ in Canada. She is currently the research chair of the Satir Institute of the Pacific. Her studies of the latest developments in neuroscience and transformational change have led her to develop a unique model of sand tray therapy and write a book, Where Words Can’t Reach - Neuroscience and the Satir Model in the Sand Tray 2nd Edition*.

    Madeleine has been an elementary and high school counsellor for 28 years, and continues to be a therapist in private practice and an international trainer in her model of sand tray work. The research for her Ph.D. focused on the personal and professional impact on student therapists of learning and practicing this model of sand tray therapy. Madeleine is a Master Therapeutic Counsellor and a Registered Clinical Supervisor.


    Bring payment $45 in you wish to buy Madeleine’s book “Where Words Can’t Reach: Neuroscience and Satir in the Sand Tray 2nd Edition”.