Course starting 4 February 2024. Enrollments are now open.

New training with 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. In particular children who do not respond to cognitive and image-based approaches, can practice to process and order incoming information in an embodied way. At the Clay Field they learn to organise their implicit sensorimotor base, which gradually enables them to respond to relationships with their environment in an increasingly fulfilling way.

Professional Development

  • Accredited Training

    A solid professional development option for therapists, counsellors, social workers 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.

  • Extensive Resources

    Richly illustrated with filmed case examples and in-depth Practitioner Round Table discussions on key topics. Plus join your fellow course participants for a monthly live study group.

"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

The course has been designed as professional development for mental health professionals and educators. Completion will enable participants to work with this groundbreaking approach. 12 modules of approximately 4 hours duration each will be released fortnightly over a period of 6 months. The high-quality videos are prerecorded and richly illustrated with over 300 Clay Field sessions with children and adolescents ranging from 2 to 18 years of age. Each module features an in-depth Practitioner Round Table discussion, sharing different perspectives and experiences on working with children and Clay Field Therapy.

The self-directed approach of this training is designed to allow participants to study in their own time - wherever they may be. Students are encouraged to engage with each other through the dedicated course community. Once per month a live Study Group with Cornelia Elbrecht will give space for questions and answers.

Enroll now for a February 2024 start.

The training will commence February 4, 2024. Enroll early to secure your place. Monthly installment options available.

Endorsements for the Book

Healing Trauma in Children with Clay Field Therapy

Peter A. Levine, PhD

Cornelia, a student of ours, has immersed her many years of expertise in somatic-based trauma healing and teaching of Clay Field Therapy into her new book, Healing Trauma in Children with Clay Field Therapy. I recommend her book not only to child practitioners but to therapists and body-workers of all kinds.”

Ronald P.M.H. Lay, MA, AThR, ATR-BC

Considerable insights into the critical and transformative therapeutic work with children are elevated through a carefully constructed framework against the backdrop of active engagement and profound clinical case material... The contents of this text will certainly equip and further inform practitioners at any stage in their career, including the most seasoned.

Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD

Elbrecht describes elegantly how interacting with a clay field can awaken our senses, particularly our sense of touch, thus facilitating a feeling of embodiment, agency, connection, and trust, functions that are sorely lacking in the aftermath of trauma... Working with the clay field, among other therapies focusing on sensorimotor input, has the potential to transform our understanding and treatment of trauma-related disorders.

Michael A. Franklin, PhD, ATR-BC

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.

Dr. Joe Tucci

Touch is an important sensory experience for children who have suffered complex trauma. For many of them, the very integrity of their bodies has been violated... [The book] shows how playing, pushing, scraping, moulding clay can heal. It is meaning-making at its best.

Laury Rappaport, PhD, MFT, REAT, ATR-BC

Cornelia Elbrecht’s depth and range of clinical experience, attuned sensitivity, and integration of varied theories ... permeates her book, offering both new and experienced clinicians an excellent guide to understand this approach to trauma... Elbrecht’s approach powerfully demonstrates how to help clients find their body’s innate wisdom toward healing - that unfolds within a safe therapeutic relationship and creative process.

Heidi Chapman, BSc (psych), PhD

Clay Field Therapy, described in detail, uniquely and importantly provides a nonverbal and noncognitive, haptic approach to the treatment of all trauma types, including the difficult-to-treat complex trauma of early childhood. Her work, spanning decades, shows time and again the real benefits to these children and corresponds beautifully with the neurophysiology of stress and trauma... This radical work has immense scope and opens the way for a deeper understanding.

We are now accepting enrollments for our next group to undertake this online training.

Course start date 4 February 2024.

  • 00Days
  • 00Hours
  • 00Minutes
  • 00Seconds

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.

Founder & Director

Cornelia Elbrecht

BA. MA. (Art Ed), AThR; IEATA; 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.