kelly nicest photo


  • Kelly is a Social Worker registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers  and Social Services Workers (OCSWSSW)

  • She is a Play Therapy Intern with the Canadian Association of Child                        and Play Therapy (CACPT)

  • She is in her 5th of 6 years of specialized training as a Sandtray Therapist.  




I am often asked how I became a Sand Tray Therapist. Here is a little of that journey.


For many years, I was a children's librarian, offering programs and experienes for families, infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age and teenage children.


As much as I loved my career, I always felt like I wanted to be doing more to help in the world.


In 2009, I began to study Play Therapy with the Canadian Association for Child and Play Therapy. In my second year of training, there was a two day introduction to Sand Tray Therapy.


Although generally an 'open to new experiences'  kind of person, as I watched the therapist organize many trays of sand and viritually thousands of miniatures around the room, I remember thinking, "I don't know what this technique is, but nothing could be worth all this effort!"


Instead of providing some theoretical background in Sand Tray Therapy, the instructor began with the direction to spend some time looking around the room and selecting the figures that spoke to us.


I quickly selected a handful of 'things'. Her next direction was to create our world in the sand. I quickly stuck my figures in the sand, and with my arms crossed, waited for the next instruction. "Stand back and look at your world", she said.


At that, I burst into tears. In placing these seemingly random 'things'  haparzdly in the sand, I had, in fact, created a map to my future. It was one of the most profound and insightful experiences of my life.


That year, I began my training in Sand-Play, World-Play with arguably the most authoritative person on the technique of Sand Tray Therapy, Gisella Schubach De Domenico, PhD


This also led a degree in social work and two years at a play therapy centre. Although historically Sand Tray Therapy is done with children, it has profound applications when done with teens, adults, families, and couples.                      And this is my passion.

"If 'A' equals success, then the formula is: A=X+Y+Z

X is work, Y is play and Z is keeping your mouth shut"                                 Albert Einstein