Exploring Culture and Family of Origin Using Sandtray and Play Therapy Genograms

Oakland, CA
Friday, April 5, 2019 – 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM 6CEs
Limited to 4 participants
Presenter: Karen E Pernet LCSW, RPT-S


As our communities become more diverse, it is important for us as play and talk therapists to be aware of how we are shaped by our cultural backgrounds and family of origin relationships and how this impacts our work with clients. This training provides an opportunity to explore culture and family of origin through two powerful experiential mediums-the cultural sandtray and the play therapy genogram.

During Part 1 participants reflect on their own culture by creating cultural sandtrays. In this context culture is defined as a “a broad multidimensional concept that includes ethnicity, race, religion, gender, social class, sexual orientation and so on.” Sandtray is used because it helps create a safe place and deepens the experience.
During Part 2 participants explore family patterns and influences by creating play therapy genograms using miniatures to represent family members and relationships.

The training is highly experiential: each person will create both an individual sandtray and a play therapy genogram and discuss the content and the process. As a group we will engage in conversation relating our own culture and family of origin to our work as play and talk therapists. Also we will look at issues of privilege and its effect on us as helping professionals.

Karen Pernet, LSCW, RPT-S Karen Pernet has been in practice for over 25 years and specializes in play therapy and sandtray for people of all ages. She uses her training as a Gestalt Therapist and a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) to enhance the sandtray experience. Her trainings have been described as safe, lively, encouraging, responsive to individual needs, informative, interactive and welcoming. Karen has both a personal and professional issue in diversity and culture. A participant from a past workshop on culture wrote “Very rich and intoxicating environment, discussion and activity. Great sense of safety and trust w/Karen. Helpful and interesting to see examples of other’s cultural sandtrays.


  1. Participants will be able to list 3 components of culture that are important to both play and talk therapists.
  2. Participants will have experienced the process of creating a cultural sandtray
  3. Participants will be able to list 2 advantages for play and talk therapists examining their culture using the modality of sandtray versus a didactic approach.
  4. Participants will be able to describe the process of creating a play therapy genogram.
  5. Participants will be able to discuss 2 ways that the experience of creating cultural sandtrays and play therapy genograms deepened their self- awareness as individuals and as play and talk therapists.
  6. Participants will be able to name 2 ways that their cultural and family of origin histories relate to issues of privilege and its effect on their work as play and talk therapists.

Trainer: Karen Pernet LCSW, RPT-S
Time and Date: 10AM-5:30 Friday, April 5, 2019
Location: 3725 Coolidge Avenue, Oakland 94602
Fee: $180 if registered before 3/5/19, $190 if registered after 3/5/19
6 CEs 12 CEs - $25 additional charge
Approved by Association for Play Therapy (APT 09-241) NO FEE for APT credits
Fee includes delicious snacks and handouts.
Register: Credit card charges through Pay Pal. To pay by check, please contact Karen via email so she reserves your spot and then mail a check to: Karen Pernet 3725 Coolidge Ave, Oakland, CA.
For CEs, click on $25 buy now button.
Cancellation Policy: Full refund if canceled 30 days in advance minus $30 administrative fee; after that date there will be no refund unless space is filled from the waiting list.
Questions: Contact Karen at 510-923-0520 or

All trainings provide CEs for mental health professionals. Karen Pernet is on the faculty of Sierra Institute for Contemporary Gestalt Therapy. SICGT is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Psychologists may receive continuing education credit for this workshop. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) recognizes APA continuing education credit for license renewal for LCSWs, MFTs and LPCCs. Partial credit cannot be given.

Growth through Play Therapy is a provider for Association for Play Therapy-APT approved provider 09-241. There is no extra charge for APT CEs.

This workshop and presenter have no conflict of interest in presenting this workshop, nor is there any commercial support.


  • Regular Registration Fee: $190 (after 3/5/19)

  • Early Bird Registration Fee: $180 (paid by 3/5/19)
  • 6 CEs @$25 from SICGT