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Life in the Metaphor

Sandtray, Expressive Arts and Active Imagination

A two-day Workshop and Training with Jo Sopko and Gabriel Rabu

This workshop, both didactic and experiential, is designed for a small, intimate group (max. 8 participants). We will explore the use and interplay of Sandtray, Expressive Arts and Active Imagination both in a clinical context and in self-inquiry.

Our focus will be on various techniques of grounding meditation, guided imagery, active imagination and how to integrate these in an intermodal expressive arts approach (sandtray, visual arts, creative writing/poetry, drama, movement and ritual). This work has shown immense potential in the practice of psychotherapy, helping clients communicate deep emotion; providing a container for trauma, suffering and loss when verbal skills are compromised; and/or as a vehicle for personal transformation or spiritual practice.

The course will anchor its didactic aspect on the exploration of essential differences between Sandplay and Sandtray, as well as exploration of Jungian Active Imagination process to access unconscious layers of the psyche. Joseph Campbell’s monomyth stages will be used to illustrate a thematic approach to Sandtray process.

Learning Objectives ­– Participants will better be able to



  • Demonstrate understanding of the distinction between sandplay and sandtray approaches
  • Use Jungian active imagination as a tool to further depth work
  • Develop proficiency with an intermodal approach to expressive arts
  • Apply basic projective devices and externalization in one's personal and professional life
  • Demonstrate practical sandtray skills in clinical practice
  • Demonstrate ethical and culturally appropriate use of expressive arts and active imagination
  • Describe three areas of trauma requiring utmost safety measures in all the modalities
  • Apply mindfulness and compassion practices in expressive arts therapy
  • Utilize symbols, rituals and thematic approaches in sandtray practice

April 25-26, 2021 in San Anselmo

(Saturday 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM; Sunday 9 AM – 4 PM)

NOTE : The 2022 workshop has been postponed

Please get in touch to add your name to the waiting list

$275.00 ($250 by March 31st) / Students/Interns: $225 ($195 by March 31st)


Fee is fully refundable until April 10; 50% refund after; no refund on day of workshop.

13 CEs available for an additional $50 (see below)

Jo Sopko, MFT (MFC 38054)

A Registered Drama Therapist, Jo has used Sandtray for over 25 years both clinically and in education. She is Trauma Specialist at Homeward Bound of Marin where she works with homeless children and families. She has taught clinical supervision for both the Expressive Arts Therapy and the Integrative Counseling programs at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). Jo also directs Self-Revelatory student thesis performances in the Drama Therapy program at CIIS. Jo has presented at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and at various national conferences of Expressive Arts and Drama Therapy. She uses mindfulness practice and meditation in her work, and is dedicated to the use of art as a powerful tool toward healing. She has a private practice in Marin and San Francisco.

Gabriel Rabu, MFT (92400)

Gabriel has been practicing psychotherapy in mental health clinics working with children, adults and couples. He has maintained a dedicated practice of meditation over the past 40 years and specializes in mindfulness practice and its application to DBT, dreamwork, Jungian active imagination, hospice & end-of-life work, and self-growth. Gabriel is an expat' from France (in the US since 1972), he conducts Expats' Support Groups focusing on the social and psychological impact of immigration and acculturation. He has a private practice in Corte Madera and San Francisco.

            (Click above button to download flyer)

13 CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC) which is co-sponsoring this program. SRC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. SRC maintains responsibility for this program and its content. SCRC is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.

For questions about receiving your Certificate of Attendance, contact Jo Sopko & Gabriel Rabu at

For questions about CE, visit or contact David Lukoff, PhD at

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