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Certification in Symbol Work

Certification in Symbol Work (endorsed by Malaysian Association of Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy chapter of Malaysian Society for Complementary Medicine)

Symbols work is wonderful ways of exploring our inner world .Symbols work are often used in conjunction with Sandplay. There are a lot of transformation can happen at this level, as the figurines are related to and arranged in relation to each other. It is very non-threatening. Inner changes are allowed which remain hidden in a traditional counseling session. Symbols work is a hands-on expressive counseling and psychotherapy modality that has been in use for over seventy five years. It forms a bridge between verbal therapy and the expressive therapies, combining both elements. Symbols work allows the deeper aspects of the psyche to be worked with naturally and with safety, and is highly effective in reducing the emotional causes of difficult behaviors. It can be used both as a support for stress management and emotional growth and as a means for providing a bridge to support the use of a variety emotional growth therapies.

Fees and Course Structure

Course Cost  RM 8,400 (Students are required to buy various recommended text books)
Course Time  100 minutes per session (7 sessions)
Prerequisite At least a Credit in SPM English or two years working experience at a related industry
Group Size  Group limited to 6 participants maximum only to optimize group dynamics

Training Topics

Foundation Skills

  • Introduction to Symbol Work
  • practical experience, history and theory
  • Brief review of literature
  • Role-play techniques to support integration
  • Input on symbol work equipment
  • Contraindications for use of symbolic work and role-play
  • Creating mythological stories for self-understanding
  • Illustrated case studies

Advanced Skills, Psychological Frameworks

  • Psychological mechanisms activated by sandplay
  • Concepts from Jungian Psychology supporting sandplay
  • Use of mandala artwork for integration
  • Interpretation of spatial arrangements in the tray
  • Dr Lowenfeld’s theoretical framework
  • Skills practice and case illustrations

Research, Theory & Development of Practice

  • Use of Symbol Work in group programs
  • • Review of Dora Kalff’s theoretical framework
  • • Indications for analysis of sandpictures
  • • Working with dream symbols
  • • Co-transference in the sandplay session
  • • Refinement of facilitation skills

Transpersonal Aspects, Supervision

  • Case presentations by students
  • Transpersonal and perinatal influences on the psyche
  • Beyond the Shadow – completion trays
  • Skills development

Course Layout

We use the mastery system of education. Besides lecturing, this course provides clinical experience such as: research, case study, supervision & presentation. Assessment includes case study presentations, group participation, research paper and assignments.

The topics mentioned above are taught within seven sessions. Between the sixth and seventh session, a period of approximately 1 month of clinical supervision & research is implemented outside of classroom. During this period, students will be give assignments and projects to do.

Equipment & venue

Below are the equipment used:

  • Projector
  • Toys
  • White board
  • Notes/ books
  • Chairs & Table

Venue: International Psychology Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

Teaching Faculty


B.Sc.(Hons.)(Psy), PgDip.(Clin.Psy),

MSc.(Learning)(Lancaster), D.Phil.(Psy)(LSP)(IOU),

CSAC(Hawaii, International Certification &

Reciprocacy Consortium) (Reg. No. M906-98)

Principal Consultant Psychologist, Executive & Life Coach, and Certified Master Trainer

Dr Chan is a fellow of the Malaysian Association of Psychotherapy; a fellow of the Malaysian Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Association; a practitioner member of the division of Organisational Psychology, the division of Adult Psychotherapy; the division of Couple and Marital Therapy; and the division of Child Therapy of the Malaysian Association of Psychotherapy; a Member of the International Employees Assistance Professionals Association; a Member of the Malaysian Institute of Human Resource Management; Charter member of the International Coaching Federation (Malaysian Chapter); a member of the International Association of Facilitators and a member of the Malaysian Society for Training and Development.

Dr Chan is also a regular contributor to national newspaper and professional journals as well as a well-known radio and television personality on psychology and relationship issues, Dr. Chan has also authored several books on these topics including the critically acclaimed Love Is Never Enough : Pleasurable Commitment Rules, Are You Man Enough To Be a Father and the “Dancing with Crocodiles”.