About us

Our brief history:

Expressive Sandwork has began as a teamwork.
Its specific setting was first designed by Jungian Analysts (IAAP) in 2002 out of emergency situations in China’s orfanages and in the slums of South Africa.

The founders Eva Pattis Zoja (Italy), Gao Lan and Heyong Shen (China) and the Art Therapist Imme Thom (South Africa) were searching for a method which could help children in vulnerable environments accessing their own inner therapeutic and creative potential in order to cope with severe life adversities.

Based on Margareth Lowenfelds World Play and Dora Kallfs Sand Play Therapy Expressive Sandwork has been further developed around the Jungian concept of the psyche’s tendency of selfregulation and J. Bowlbys attachment theory.

The earthquake in Sechuan Province in 2008 allowed us to implement Expressive Sandwork joint with Sand Play Therapy in numerous "Work Stations of the Hearth & Soul", where victims of the earthquake received psychotherapeutic assistance.

The same year a project was initiated in Soul City and in Munsieville, Johannesburg, South Africa by Imme Thom and Eva Pattis Zoja.

In 2008 Eva Pattis Zoja brought Expressive Sandwork to Bogotà and trained 5 IAAP routers: the first project in Expressive Sandwork in Colombia was implemented in The Escuela de la Paz (Community of S. Egidio). In the following years more precise setting details and theoretical concepts were elaborated by Monica Pinilla Pineda, Maria Camila Mora, Maria Claudia Munevar, Ines de la Ossa Isquierda and Eduardo Carballo.

Expressive Sandwork projects were further replicated and enlarged: In 2012 Maria Claudia Munevar created a partnership with Suramericana, which permitted Sandwork projects to grow quickly. Aliences with 18 different institutions were created. (See projects.)

Eduardo Carballo initiated sandwork in a Child Care Center for children waiting for adoption.

Monica Pinilla Pineda and Maria Camila Mora wrote the “Sandwork Trainers Guidelines”, which constitutes the practical framework of Expressive Sandwork.

In 2013 Eva Pattis Zoja was invited by Cristi Constantinescu (president of Lapis) to bring Expressive Sandwork tu Romania, the first project in Macrina Child Facility was implemented with the help of IAAP canditates.

In 2014 an alliance was cretaed with the Romanian association Sol Mentis and Iulia Feordeanu, (IAAP router), has since than developed 18 projects collaborating with 18 institutions.

In 2014 IAES trainers of trainers from Colombia brought Sandwork to Argentina in collaboration with Fundacion Vocacion Humana and under the guidance of Jungian analyst Ana Deligiannis.

From 2015 on Expressive Sandwork was brought again to South Africa (Capetown) in collaboration with Jungian group (Saaja) and C.A.S.E. and under the guidance of Jungian analysts Philippa Colinese and John Gosling.

In 2015 Ursula Mukarker from Palestine asked IAES to initiate sandwork at the Foundation “Wings of Hope for Trauma” in Bethlehem.

In 2016 Pam Guteranam ask IAES to initiate a Sandwork project in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with Rohinya refugee children. A second project was initiated in the same year.

In September 2016 a Sandwork project was initiated in Germany in collaboration with the Jung Institut Stuttgart and The Caritas program OMID for refugee children.


Donations (Banking connection): IAES Credito Valtellinese
IBAN: IT 32F 0521601628000000001030; BIC: BPCVIT2S