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Meet Your AST Board Members


Amy Flaherty Hood, LPEI-RPT, ICST-P

Amy is the Founder and Director of Southern Sandtray Institute, which trains sandtray therapists from all over the world. She owns a group private practice in Arkansas. Amy is a lover of all things sandtray therapy and believes in the power of sandtray to change the world.

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Board Members
Board Members

Vice President


Hi Ya’ll, I’m Beth Moore and I love Sandtray Therapy!! It all started for me when I did my first sandtray in graduate school for counseling. Voila, I had immediate insight into my reality by looking at my little miniatures in my world. My heart was changed and I knew this is what I wanted to specialize in as a counselor. So, here I am, diving in as a RIST (Registered Integrative Sandtray Therapist) and finishing up my provisional license hours for LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor). I love using Sandtray Therapy and Play Therapy with clients in Louisiana, teaching about integrative therapies, and finding new ways to heal our whole mind-body-spirit. I am honored to be on the AST (Association of Sandtray Therapy) Board of Officers and hope to get to know you all better to serve you.

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Virginia Willis, LCSW, ICST

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Board Members
Board Members

Director of Communications

Megan Cinnamon, LPCC, ICST-P

Megan is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Registered Integrative Sandtray Therapist practicing in Somerset, KY. Megan utilizes sandtray therapy in her daily practice with clients of all ages and backgrounds with a variety of presenting concerns. Megan is passionate about helping others and sharing the power of sandtray therapy. She is a member of the 2018 RIST cohort from Southern Sandtray Institute

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Director of Multicultural Affairs

Carmen Jimenez Pride, LCSW, RPT-S, ICST

Carmen Jimenez-Pride is the founder, and Executive Director of Outspoken Counseling and Consulting. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, Internationally Credentialed Sandtray Therapist, Certified EMDR Therapist, Internal Family Systems Therapist, Registered Yoga Teacher, Registered Children Yoga Teacher and a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator.

Carmen is the developer of Diversity in Play Therapy Inc.; and creator/organizer of the 2020 Diversity in Play Therapy Summit.

Carmen received her Bachelor of Social Work with a certificate in Child Protective Services from Benedict College. She was then accepted into the advanced standing program at the University of South Carolina earning a Master of Social Work with a focus on communities and organizations. Carmen’s passion is youth/ children, and she has dedicated herself not only to enrich the lives of children but also providing the tools and curriculum for clinicians to ensure her goal to reach others has an even farther span in society.

Carmen is experienced in the clinical treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with culturally diverse backgrounds addressing a wide range of concerns. Carmen’s career in the mental health field spans more than 15 years.

Carmen has extensive training in sandtray, play therapy, EMDR, Internal Family Systems, and Adlerian Play Therapy.

Her experience as a therapist, consultant, trainer, educator, coach, and author encompasses Carmen’s approach to practice, which is “Together We Will Grow”


Director of International Relations

Nidhi Kirpalani, M.Sc.,, ICST-P

Nidhi Kirpalani is an ICST-P, owner and founder of Carribean Sandtray Institute.  She is a Clinical & Counseling Psychologist based in Trinidad and Tobago working in a child protection agency with kids, adults, families, foster care, adoption, and doing forensic interviews.  Nidhi’s private practice is primarily adults with symptoms of depression or anxiety, but over 90% reveal a history of trauma or abuse, especially sexual abuse.  Nidhi studied Clinical Psychology at the University of West Indies and Counseling Psychology at the University of the Southern Carribean.  She loves working with clients in the sandtray and sharing these trainings with persons internationally, or in her home town, near the oceans in Trinidad & Tobago.

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