Lorraine Freedle

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The Living Mythology of Pele: Mobile sandplay in disaster relief- A Multicultural Perspective

September 28 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

| $60 – $75

This is a HIPA Event:  Hawaii Island Psychological Association

Dr. Freedle will present with members of our Big Island Sandplay group including Dr. John Souza, Deep Ram-Souza, Michael McGee and Sarah Blechman (bios below), highlighting a multi-cultural perspective on disaster response using mobile sandplay therapy.  Participants will enjoy discussion, experiential activities, and film.

Brief program description:

Life with Tutu Pele is revealed as we examine Jungian sandplay therapy in disaster relief during the 2018 Kilauea eruption. The firsthand experiences of evacuees and helpers are also explored through symbol, story and the award-winning documentary film, Fire and Sand

Summary of the program:

On May 3, 2018 the revered Pele, Goddess of the Volcano, took her lava form on Hawai`i Island. The eruption was sudden and prolonged, claiming over 750 homes and causing thousands of residents in the lower Puna district to evacuate. Local therapists immediately banded together; they joined community-based relief efforts and brought mobile Sandplay Therapy to the people in crisis.

Sandplay Therapy is an expressive, trauma-informed method that helps to alleviate symptoms of distress following traumatic events. Sandplay provides children and adults a tangible, active way to release and metabolize overwhelming emotions. Sandplay has been used effectively after 9-11 in New York City, mudslides in Thailand, earthquakes in China and Nepal, and the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

In this workshop relief therapists, including Hawai`i psychologist and international sandplay teacher (STA/ISST) will review the key tenets and research base of Jungian sandplay therapy and discuss its multicultural applications in disaster relief. Findings from our work in Puna will also be reviewed. Concepts will be brought to life through film, image-making and mobile sandplay. Participants will view the award-winning short, documentary film, Fire and Sand. “Talk story” will follow. Together, we hope to uncover the clinical and cultural implications of life in relation to Tutu Pele.

Learning objectives:

  1.  Identify seven (7) key tenets of Jungian sandplay therapy (SPT).
  2. Define the evidence base of SPT.
  3. Distinguish mobile sandplay in disaster relief from traditional applications of SPT.
  4. Describe four essential components of SPT that promote healing of trauma.
  5. Identify and discuss the research results from 2018 mobile sandplay relief efforts.
  6. Discuss multicultural perspectives on disaster relief.
  7. Describe how myth, symbols and archetypes promote psychological healing—with particular focus on the living mythology of Pele in Hawai`i.

Location: Mana Christian O‘hana (Directly across from the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea, BEHIND Kahilu Town Hall)

Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

TO REGISTER send in this HIPA Sep 28 REG FORM form Freedle – Sandplay or contact aloha.roger.w@gmail.com

The Living Mythology of Pele, Mobile Sandplay Therapy, and Disaster Relief: A Multi-cultural Approach


Lorraine Freedle, PhD, ABPdN, CST-T is a pediatric neuropsychologist, international sandplay therapy teacher (STA/ISST), and trainer in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT). She is the Clinical Director of Pacific Quest, a holistic outdoor behavioral health program in Hilo, HI where she also maintains a private practice, Black Sand Neuropsychological Services. She is on faculty at Southwestern College in Santa Fe, NM. Dr. Freedle has published numerous professional journal articles and chapters, and is an award-winning researcher for her studies of sandplay therapy with adults with traumatic brain injury and youth with co-occurring trauma and addiction. She currently serves as President –Elect for Sandplay Therapists of America (STA) and Research Editor for the Journal of Sandplay Therapy.


John Souza, Jr., DMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist at Pacific Quest and Elemental Guidance where he specializes in working with adolescents, emerging adults, and their families on the Big Island of Hawai’i. John also teaches and supervises clinicians. When not being a mental health professional John enjoys being a husband, father, musician, and surfer.


Vishwani (Deepa) Ram-Souza, LMFT– is an experienced culturally and systemically oriented licensed marriage and family therapist, with clinical training and practice in western psychotherapy, eastern Ayurveda, trauma recovery, and sandplay therapy. She works in Hilo, Hawaii at a private practice clinic called Elemental Guidance, LLC.  Her family relocated to Hilo 5 years ago from Minnesota, but she is originally from Guyana.  Deepa will be pursuing her doctoral studies in Transpersonal Psychology in the coming years as she researches a practiced-based evidence model to address the experiences of trauma.


Michael McGee, MSW, CSAC is a substance abuse counselor and therapist at Pacific Quest on the Big Island of Hawai`i, a holistic outdoor behavioral health program for adolescents and young adults.  He earned his Masters in Social Work from the University of Hawai`i- Manoa and serves as East Hawai`I representative for NASW Hawai`i. Mike was first introduced to Sandplay through Dr. Freedle as part of a yearlong intensive and has since been working on his personal process and furthering his sandplay training. Mike loves to garden, dance, and spend quality time with his friends and pet goat, Scapey.


Sarah Blechman, MSW is a therapist in training at Pacific Quest, a wilderness therapy program for adolescents and young adults in Hawai`i. For the past five years Sarah worked as a direct care worker and supervisor leading many groups of adolescents and young adults through a pinnacle rites of passage experience and has facilitated introductory and advanced trainings on culturally appropriate initiation practices. Last year, Sarah participated in a yearlong sandplay intensive entitled, Empowerment and Transformation under the guidance of Dr. Lorraine Freedle. Sarah is currently in personal process and attends ongoing training and consultation to become a certified sandplay therapist.


September 28
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
$60 – $75


Hawaii Island Psychological Association (HIPA)


Mana Christian Ohana
67-1182 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, Hawaii 96743
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