Jungian Psychotherapist & 
Certified Sandplay Therapist

Gretchen offers individual adult psychotherapy, and therapy with children and adolescents. She also offers private consultation for professionals working toward Sandplay Certification. Gretchen is a Certified Therapist Member of the Sandplay Therapists of America and the International Society of Sandplay Therapists. World-wide, fewer than 300 people are certified members of ISST. She grew up 17 miles from the sand and ocean, in Jacksonville, North Carolina. She has worked in New York City and Seattle and makes her home in Nashville, Tennessee where she has raised her young adult daughter. Gretchen discovered Sandplay Therapy when she answered a calling to grief work following the death of her beloved husband. 



Gretchen has a specialty in Jungian Sandplay Therapy and is a Certified Sandplay Therapist. She is a member of the Sandplay Therapists of America and International Society for Sandplay Therapy (ISST). Training required to become a Certified Member of Sandplay Therapists of America/International Society for Sandplay Therapists includes in-depth study and research in Jungian Psychology, Symbolism, and Sandplay Theory and Practice, as well as on-going group consultation and individual consultation. Gretchen has travelled extensively for consultations, to institutes and to world congress for her work.



Gretchen earned her BSc from the University of North Carolina (1970) and her MSSW from the University of Tennessee (1981). Her professional experience has focused on creativity and healing, beginning with a position with the Society of Friends (Quakers) in New York City. In Nashville, Gretchen developed a conflict resolution program for the inner-city public schools. Out of this work, she co-authored the book "Friendly Classroom for a Small Planet: A Handbook on Creative Approaches to Living and Problem Solving for Children." Gretchen was part of a small team in Nashville, and later in Seattle, that developed an alternative treatment community for young adults diagnosed with Schizophrenia.


Publications & Research


"Woman Who Walks Between Worlds: Healing from the Dark Maternal"
Presented June 2, 2013
Sandplay Therapists of America Assembly
Albuquerque, New Mexico

"Despair Through Sandplay Therapy: Descent to the Underworld"
Presented June 4, 2010
Sandplay Therapists of America National Conference
Boulder, Colorado

"Towards a New Understanding of Despair: Descent to the Underworld to Unearth the Destructive-Transformative Feminine"
Presented 2006
Sandplay Therapists of America Board Meeting
San Francisco, California

The Friendly Classroom for a Small Planet: A Handbook on Creative Approaches to Living and Problem Solving for Children
Gretchen Watts, et al.

Children and Grief: Helping your Child Cope with Grief
Gretchen Watts and Beth Sheller

Talking with Your Children: Conversations for Life  
Gretchen Watts, et al.

Talking with Your Teen: Conversations for Life
Gretchen Watts, et al.