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September 27, 2017

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Hawai`i Hosts International Sandplay Therapy Congress

By:  Dr. Lorraine Freedle, Clinical Director

Sandplay therapists and researchers from 24 countries gathered in Kailua-Kona this summer to explore the latest trends in Jungian Sandplay Therapy and to participate in the 24th Congress of the International Society for Sandplay Therapy (ISST).

With support from my Pacific Quest ohana and the Hawai`i sandplay community, I served as the primary conference organizer and host.  After two years of planning and anticipation, we were excited to realize that the conference surpassed all expectations!

Kahu Kauila Clark offered lessons in Hawaiian culture and ceremony, providing grounding each morning while eight PQ therapists participating in this advanced training opportunity spread the Spirit of Aloha with our visitors.

Research was presented on the effectiveness of Sandplay Therapy in treating individuals with anxiety, trauma, parental distress, and co-occurring disorders.

Neuroimaging data revealed how people access and reprocess memories through Sandplay and also provided evidence for neural synchronization between the therapist and the client during Sandplay Therapy.

I presented original research on the neuropsychology of Sandplay Therapy and the role of Sandplay in the treatment of adolescents and young adults with co-occurring trauma and substance use disorders.

Sandplay Therapy is offered to students at Pacific Quest. This nonverbal method has roots in Jungian psychology, play therapy, and eastern contemplative practices.  Touching the sand, using symbols for self-expression, and entering a state of mindful presence activates multiple brain systems for healing.  We have found that Sandplay Therapy complements our holistic approach and helps our students to express and resolve emotional and personality issues that may be inaccessible in verbal therapies alone.

On September 29, 2017 twelve therapists on our team will begin a year-long intensive and experiential training in Sandplay Therapy.  This series not only allows me to provide STA/ISST-certified training at Pacific Quest; it also improves quality of care for our students and helps my team practice self-care and grow stronger together.

Dr. Lorraine Freedle, Pacific Quest’s Clinical Director is an international sandplay teacher (STA/ISST), serves on boards of the Sandplay Therapists of Hawai`i and the Sandplay Therapists of America and is the Research Editor for the Journal of Sandplay Therapy.

For more info, visit:

International Society for Sandplay Therapy (ISST)

Sandplay Therapists of America (STA)

May 30, 2017

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Dr. Freedle Published in Routledge International Handbook of Sandplay Therapy

Dr. Lorraine Freedle, Clinical Director at Pacific Quest Wilderness Program, was asked to contribute her original work to The Routledge International Handbook of Sandplay Therapy.  Dr. Freedle’s chapter, “Healing Trauma through Sandplay Therapy:  A Neuropsychological Perspective” explores the underlying mechanisms of Jungian sandplay therapy that promote neural integration and wholeness of personality.  It also chronicles the sandplay journey of Liv, a teenager who came to Dr. Freedle to heal from traumatic grief following the sudden and violent deaths of loved ones.

Dr. Lorraine Freedle

“This chapter is not just a brain-based theory, it’s anchored in depth psychology.  And so as we explore how sandplay helps traumatized people safely access and reprocess their pain, we don’t lose the importance of connection to the deeper Self,” Dr. Freedle shared.

As a board certified Pediatric and School Neuropsychologist and international Sandplay Teacher (STA/ISST) Dr. Freedle has practiced and lectured at the crossroads of neuropsychology and sandplay therapy for over 25 years.  The contents for the chapter emerged over a number of years building upon her prior presentations and publications.

When asked about what makes this chapter unique, Dr. Freedle shares “The chapter makes the neuropsychology of therapeutic change accessible and explains how sandplay works.  This is very important for people and programs who would like to utilize sandplay to effect meaningful change.”

This text will be used worldwide in universities to teach sandplay therapy. Pacific Quest congratulates Dr. Freedle on this prestigious honor and accomplishment!

For more information on The Routledge International Handbook of Sandplay Therapy as well as information on how to purchase, please visit:

For more information on Pacific Quest Wilderness Therapy Programs, please visit:

May 19, 2016

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PQ Has Completed Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics® (NMT) Training Certification Phase I Level


Pacific Quest is pleased and excited to announce the completion of an eighteen month training and certification process with The ChildTrauma Academy. Pacific Quest is now site certified in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, or NMT, which is a “developmentally-informed, biologically-respectful approach to working with at-risk children.” NMT is an approach to clinical practice that allows clinicians and programs to use their environment in a neuro-sequential way. This evidence-based practice integrates multiple principles, techniques, and interventions to be applied in a way that promotes brain development and relational health.NMT-phase-I

Pacific Quest is the first and only outdoor/wilderness program to be site certified in NMT! As such, Pacific Quest utilizes the garden and nature-based setting, mind-body techniques and clinical therapies in a neurodevelop
mentally-informed manner that is individualized for each student. Bruce Perry, M.D., PhD, founder of the ChildTrauma Academy, adds, ”We are very excited to have Pacific Quest become an NMT Trained Site because they have a great deal of experience and knowledge to share with our community. Pacific Quest’s focus on wilderness therapy, nutrition, and holistic practices is a natural compliment to some of the therapeutic recommendations that are generated by NMT principles, and so their expertise in implementing a blending these approaches can be highly successful and offer us all valuable insights.”

As part of the Phase I NMT site certification process, clinicians at Pacific Quest participated in case consultations with Dr. Perry and other trainees from across the globe. They learned to use the clinical practice tools with fidelity, and completed over 100 hours of training in core principles of neurodevelopment and traumatology. Their training continues through case-based staffings, fidelity exercises and review of current research and practice updates.

Pacific Quest Clinical Director, Dr. Lorraine Freedle has completed Phase I, Phase II/Train the Trainer and is a certified NMT provider and trainer. She comments, “Pacific Quest is an enriched environment with an abundance of opportunities to effect meaningful change. NMT is a very helpful paradigm for case conceptualization and targeted treatment planning so that we may use the resources we have at the right time and in the right way for our students.”