Board Member Spotlight: Gretchen Watts

Gretchen Watts

Gretchen Watts is a Certified Sandplay Therapist of the International Society of Sandplay Therapists whose domicile is in Zurich, Switzerland. She is a Jungian psychotherapist in Nashville, Tennessee. Her practice is equally divided between adults and children. Gretchen gives monthly Sandplay trainings, individual and group consultation sessions.

When I was around 11 years of age, I was walking home from school alone and momentarily experienced awe and wonder as the sun sparkled completely around and through a silver-leaf maple tree, giving the impression of spun silver. I stood in silence for a long time as I took in this visitation from the invisible, supernatural world and experienced a calm Presence.   Many years later I discovered the fantasy story of George MacDonald from the Witch and the Goblin which tells of a fairy godmother that weaves invisible silver threads to give to a young girl when in need.

When I was twenty-five, while riding on a Sunday night smoked-filled train between New York City and Washington, D. C., I experienced a fully- formed mandala image in my mind of a multi-colored fountain with a double border of navy and turquoise.  gretchen mandala.jpgOnly later I was to learn that the psyche produces mandalas forms when an individual needs support from the unconscious when feeling fragmented. I was greatly moved that there was a part of me that created itself without my having any control over it. It came to me again spontaneously, as a visitation ( of the numinous). I made a pastel colored drawing of it and have kept it close to me all these years. The image has come to mean to me that God is an eternal fountain which resides within my quiet heart as an “interior castle”.

Ten years later, after being “called” or drawn by symbols, myths, and religion, I made the decision to travel wherever it would require, to receive training in Jungian psychology. I chose Jungian Sandplay Therapy as my focus. Fortunately, as a young widow raising a young child, I was able to get my training here in the United States, although it did require many years of travel for my own sandplay process, clinical training, and on-going Jungian consultation.

Today, I understand the work of Jungian psychotherapy as an individual path to spirituality, grounded in personal experiences and lived through a psychological perspective.