Course starting 11 August 2024. Enrollments are now open.

New training with Cornelia Elbrecht

Healing Trauma in Children with Clay Field Therapy is a world-leading, body-focused art therapy course for mental health professionals and educators.

The hands-on approach of Clay Field Therapy® helps young people to resolve traumatic developmental setbacks in a safe somatosensory way.

Presented by Cornelia Elbrecht this engaging and fully accredited training will equip participants to offer the Clay Field to their young clients.

High quality video lessons are illustrated with filmed case examples covering a wide range of ages, therapeutic needs and settings. These are complemented by Practitioner Round Table discussions with a panel of Clay Field Therapists and supported by regular monthly live Q&A Study Groups.

Professional Development

  • For Mental Health Professionals

    A solid professional development option for creative arts therapists, counsellors, social workers, occupational therapists and educators to develop their skills and offer this modality to their clients.

  • 6 Month Course, 12 Months Access

    Delivered over twelve, fortnightly modules this course teaches you the fundamentals of Clay Field Therapy when working with children and young people.

  • Accredited Training

    Receive a 'Certificate of Completion' from the Institute for Sensorimotor Art Therapy and earn up to 48 CPD Points. Certified professional development training.

Enroll now for an August 2024 start.

The training will commence August 11, 2024. Secure your place now. Monthly installment options available.

"Solutions at the Clay Field emerge from vital developmental needs and speak through the body's felt sense. Once these new options to life become integrated, they are remembered similar to learning how to swim or ride a bike. They are implicitly learnt, bottom-up achievements."

Cornelia Elbrecht

Touch is the most fundamental human experience. We learn safety and love through touch, but also abuse and violence. Clay Field Therapy® is capable to repair interpersonal trauma. 

The focus is on haptic perception, which describes how we sense and perceive with our hands. The material will reciprocate every communication impulse. Every time children reach out with a motor impulse, they will receive sensory feedback from their own action pattern. 


  • This sensorimotor feedback loop defines the essence of Clay Field Therapy. The approach does not ask for what happened, but will address trauma as developmental setbacks. 

  • Children who do not respond to cognitive and image-based approaches can practice processing and ordering incoming information in an embodied way. 

  • They learn to organize their implicit sensorimotor base, which gradually enables them to respond to relationships with their environment in an increasingly fulfilling way.

Immersive Training

The self-directed approach of this training is designed to allow participants to study in their own time - wherever they may be. The course features:

  • Twelve in-depth modules, released every two weeks for a total training of six months. Approximately 4 hours of video content per module.

  • Illustrated with 300+ filmed Clay Field Therapy sessions with children and adolescents aged 2-18 years old.

  • Practitioner Round Table discussions for each module, sharing different perspectives and experiences on working with children and Clay Field Therapy.

  • Regular monthly Study Groups, a Discussion Forum, Reading Lists & Practical Exercises.


I was always eager for the next module! - Linda, Australia


"I thoroughly enjoyed this course! I found the content very in depth and thorough with each subject flowing well into the next module. The videos were fantastic and the case studies gave a great visual of the concepts presented. I loved the round table at the end of each module as it gave different perspectives and presented new and different ways to work with the theory... This training was put together comprehensively and I was always eager for the next module!"

Needed this sensory based modality - Mariko, USA


"I work with children with developmental delay, autism, non-verbal/mutism, intellectual disability, and children with severe trauma. Parents, guardians, and social workers usually would ask for ABA therapy, EMDR, CBT, etc and I always thought those will not get to core of their issues. I am an expressive arts therapist and trained in trauma therapy but still needed this sensory based modality and this is far more effective than all those combined."

A more body based healing modality - Emma, Ireland


"I was seeking a different approach for the young people I work with, as I could see that so many of them were struggling with talk therapies and having to repeat their story to lots of different professionals. I was always drawn to a more body based healing modality as this has worked well for me personally, and the clay field has exceeded my expectations in terms of the therapeutic benefits that it can provide."

I have been searching for a modality like this for years - Wendy, Australia


"One of the highlights for me was realizing that Clay Field therapy is one of the most effective therapies for children with ADHD. Being able to work with this particular client group and have parents notice positive changes in their child's behavior is very exciting… I have been searching for a modality like this for years. A tangible tool that will address some of the unmet developmental sensorimotor needs of the children we work with."

I have already made arrangements at two schools - Esther, Slovenia


"I have been working with clay and porcelain for almost fifteen years and I know the material very well. My professional work is working with children with special needs [in primary schools]… For a number of years, I have included clay modelling, but not as a strictly therapeutic method. Now I can also incorporate Clay Field Therapy… I have already made arrangements at two schools."

I feel so humbled to venture with this modality - Lauren, Australia


"Truly profound... to be able to observe the sensorimotor base through skin sense, depth sensibility, balance, posture is truly remarkable. To witness and see how Clay Field post nurtures, strengthens and supports the sensorimotor foundation is inspiring and I feel so humbled to venture with this modality… It helped me deeply make sense of what I have witnessed, supported and seen the many children i have worked with over the many years as an Art Therapist. It has given me a confidence to know i am supporting the sensorimotor foundations and to support their post nurturing and healing."

Access and repair preverbal developmental trauma - Carolyn, UK


"On a professional level, CFT training has solved what I need to focus on for the children I work with, will work with. This work will underpin their future development through post nurture and alter the trajectory of that future... For me [it’s] the opportunity to access and repair preverbal developmental trauma that feels so wonderous and ground breaking… I have just had eight Clay Field boxes made."

We are now accepting enrollments for our second group to undertake this online training in 2024.

Course start date is 11 August 2024.

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This training has been developed in collaboration with Prof Heinz Deuser and his extensive, pioneering research and development in the Work at the Clay Field.

Course Overview

A summary of the main course themes:

  • Module 1: An Introduction to Clay Field Therapy

    Introduction - The Setting - The Box and Props - The Therapeutic Process - The Somatosensory Foundation - Dual Polarity - Case Studies - Practitioner Round Table

  • Module 2: Touch & Haptic Perception

    Somatosensory Touch - Haptic Diagnosis - Haptic Perception - Case Studies - Practitioner Round Table - Study Groups

  • Module 3: Trauma Informed Practice

    Trauma and the Autonomic Nervous System - Regulating Traumatized Children - Explicit & Implicit Memory Systems - Traumatized Children - Trauma in Primary School Children - Case Study: Red-Yellow-Green - Traumatized Adolescents - Practitioner Round Table

  • Module 4: The Sensorimotor Foundation

    The Sensory and the Motor Division - Trauma-informed Interventions to Strengthen the Sensory Division - Case Study: Strengthening the Sensory Division - Trauma-informed Interventions to Strengthen the Motor Division - Case Study: Strengthening the Motor Division - Sequential Development - Practitioner Round Table - Study Groups

  • Module 5: Haptic Development in the First Year of Life

    The Developmental Stages - Skin Sense - The Prenatal World of Water - Birth and Birth Trauma - Birth to 6 Months - 6-12 Months - Practitioner Round Table

  • Module 6: Haptic Development Ages 1-4

    The Sensorimotor Foundation - Balance Age 1–2 - Practitioner Round Table - Depth Sensibility Age 3-4 - Trauma and Depth Sensibility - Practitioner Round Table - Consolidating the Sensorimotor Base - Study Groups

  • Module 7: Haptic Development Ages 5-6

    The Clay Field as a Relational and Emotional Experience - Creative Destruction - Haptic Acquisition in Preschoolers - Haptic Acquisition in Older Children - Orientation in Space - Practitioner Round Table

  • Module 8: Haptic Development Ages 6-9

    Children at Age 6-9 - Balance in the Relational Field of the Parents - Dealing with Developmental Trauma - Dealing with Hyper and Hypoactivation - Dealing with Parental Conflict - Dealing with Trauma - Discovering Identity through Symbolic Play - Practitioner Round Table - Study Groups

  • Module 9: Haptic Development Ages 9-11 & 11-13

  • Module 10: Haptic Development Ages 13-16 & 16-18

    Centering as Search for Identity: Age 13-16 - Working with Teenagers - Manifestations at the Clay Field - Centering as Search for the Own Base: Age 16-18 - The Homeland - Entities - Soul Retrieval - Practitioner Round Table - Study Groups

  • Module 11: The 5 Situations - Working with Children

    Introduction to the Situations - Situation 1: Finding a Safe Base - Situation 2: Facing the Clay Field - Situation 3: Haptic Questions - Situation 4: Haptic Answers; Finding Fulfillment - Situation 5: Building my Own Base in the World - Situation 6: Self-Perception as Intentionally Feeling - Practitioner Round Table

  • Module 12: Working at the Clay Field

    The Role of the Therapist - Regulating Nervous Systems - Haptic Dialogue - Strengthening the Sensorimotor Base: Skin Sense - Strengthening the Sensorimotor Base: Balance and Depth Sensibility - Haptic Dialogue: Developmental Ages - Practitioner Round Table - Study Groups - Conclusion to the Course

For a detailed look at all course lessons - including free video previews - sign in for a FREE PREVIEW.

Training developed by Cornelia Elbrecht

Founder & Director

Cornelia Elbrecht

BA. MA. (Art Ed), AThR; IEATA; IACAET; SEP. Cornelia is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Sensorimotor Art Therapy. She has over 45 years of experience as an art therapist and has been conducting professional certified training in Initiatic Art Therapy, Clay Field Therapy and Guided Drawing for nearly two decades. She has studied at the School of Initiatic Art Therapy in Germany, is trained in Jungian and Gestalt therapy, Bioenergetics, Shiatsu and Naturopathy. More recently Cornelia has completed her trauma therapy training with the Somatic Experiencing Training Institute (SETI). She has published four books on Sensorimotor Art Therapy. Cornelia works in private practice and conducts training throughout Australia, internationally and online. She is an accredited supervisor with ANZACATA.

More Testimonials

Clay field therapy is the perfect thing - Hannah, UK


"As an anxious overthinker I am always apprehensive about starting anything new and unfamiliar but the training was so thorough and covered all bases that there is really no doubt that I can deliver this successfully… I had been bringing movement into my practice more and more over the years and felt I needed something solid to offer. Clay field therapy is the perfect thing. Sensory and body focused, and a beautiful way to meet the increasing sensitivity of children now. "

A powerful and effective resource - Clara, Mexico


"Clay Field therapy holds the potential and capacity to facilitate healing where other therapies have been unable to, this is a very exciting possibility and in my opinion makes Clay Field therapy work very special. I feel that I now have a powerful and effective resource to use with children in my work… The solutions to resolving our unmet developmental needs and the effects of trauma truly lie within us, when we have the opportunity to work with a modality that has the capacity to unlock these."

I have already seen some results - Monica, Canada


"Practicing Clay Field will allow me to support also the ones who struggle the most with preverbal trauma and I struggle to reach out to. I have already seen some results… The Clay Field becomes them, and transforms under their eyes and mine. Children learn to love themselves and observe themselves in the making. What a privilege to be part of that transformation!"

Very in depth and thorough - Linda, Australia


The discovery of interoceptive wisdom, especially for traumatized children, is the purpose of the Clay Field, so elegantly presented by Cornelia Elbrecht. She intimately understands the haptic vocabulary of clay as a language for supporting a traumatized nervous system... clay is an ideal material for stimulating embodied joy while also developing sensorimotor-based ego strengths for repairing psychological injuries.

Enhanced my work - Carima, UK


"The practical case studies and videos were incredibly beneficial in understanding the theory as well as the practical implementation of the interventions used by the therapists. This is invaluable! I loved the theories and approaches that underpin the Clay Field working - it has enhanced my work in other ways as well, specifically in self regulation tools, providing a tangible "safe place" and in other art therapy approaches. I have had a number of "lightbulb " moments in terms of my own trauma experiences and having a better understanding of my own state of being and what interventions I may require to successfully move forward."

Connecting to their sensory system - Donna, Australia


"The training was very thorough... I feel that I can assess / evaluate where my client might be and what developmental building blocks they are working through in the Clay Field... Understanding the link between the hyperactive behaviour of many of [my] clients and how they are not receiving sensory feedback. Understanding that when they slow down they were connecting to their sensory system and able to be in their body."

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is this an interactive training?

    Yes. The training is delivered via high quality, prerecorded video lessons. All participants are supported by Cornelia Elbrecht and institute therapists through monthly Study Groups. These groups are live discussions, hosted on Zoom, which allow a supported space for questions and answers. The Study Groups are run across two streams with international time differences in mind, and recordings are made available. Participants will also have the opportunity to connect and share experiences through the student discussion forum.

  • What will this training qualify me for?

    This course is certified as professional development training by our Australian registering bodies ANZACATA and ACA. Our training is widely recognized internationally, although we recommend you check with your local registering body as this may vary. Upon successful completion participants are able to integrate Clay Field Therapy into their practice with children and young people. This training is not the equivalent to a formal tertiary qualification to become a registered mental health professional.

  • How long will I have access to the course for?

    The course is accessible for twelve months.

  • I live in a different time zone to Australia. How will I be able to access the training?

    The course is designed with an international group of participants in mind. The video lessons are pre-recorded and are available to access in your own time. The only exception are the monthly Study Groups, which are scheduled on Zoom. There will be two different time slots offered, to suit both American and European time zones. Attendance is encouraged and recordings are made available for those unable to attend live.

  • Are there any prerequisites for enrolling?

    Anyone can enroll in the training and no prior qualifications are needed. The course is designed as professional development in particular for art therapists, educators, occupational therapists and mental health professionals, however many participants also join for personal development.

  • How much time should I allocate for each module?

    Modules are released every two weeks. Each module comprises around 4 hours of videos to watch (some are slightly longer); you can plan to watch these at a time and pace that suits you. In addition there are also simple practical exercises we encourage you to complete, plus recommended readings from Cornelia's book. In addition there are the monthly one-hour Study Groups. To get the most out of this course we highly recommend allocating the equivalent of a half-day per week for the duration of the training.

  • How do the monthly payment installments work?

    When you enroll on a payment plan, our payment system (Stripe) will charge the first installment to your credit card. The next payment will be processed automatically one month later. Payment reminders and receipts are sent to your email. You do not need to cancel a payment plan.

  • Do you offer discounts?

    As a general rule we are unable to offer discounts on our training. We offer occasional part-scholarships to mental health professionals based in countries where the cost of the training is prohibitive relative to incomes. These are assessed on an individual basis.

  • Is there anyone I can contact if I have more questions or if I experience any technical issues?

    Please contact [email protected] and we will be happy to help. 😀

Enroll now - join the training!

Course commences August 11, 2024. Monthly installment options available.