VSOF Newsletter – June 2022

June 2022


Celebration of the Life of Violet Oaklander (Including a 5 minute slideshow with music)

Trainings in the Oaklander Model

 Oaklander Method Scores High!  Footballers in England

Celebration of the Life of Violet Oaklander

Violet’s life was celebrated at a lovely gathering on May 14th with about 75 family, friends and colleagues. 

Before she died, she wrote instructions for her children for what she wanted for her memorial, including:

  • People should be told not to wear black unless they are making a fashion statement. I like bright colors, white, purple, etc.
  • Do  not have this gathering in a morbid place, like a funeral parlor, unless you have to.
  • People should have the option to speak if they want to, even if you ask specific people to speak.
  • It’s ok to cry–crying is good. It is also very OK to laugh.
  • This should be a true celebration of my life. After all, I’ve lived a long time and have done a lot of things, more than I ever dreamed I would do.

Well, we did wear bright colors in a very beautiful, certainly not-morbid setting. Violet’s children, grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren were there to share their thoughts, feelings and remembrances. The VSOF board also gathered to celebrate Violet in true Oaklander Model fashion, expressing our thoughts and feelings about her work using sandtray, clay, projective cards, music and drawing. We even had a table set up for drawing and sand tray creation. Many in attendance also spoke of their connection to Violet and how she will be remembered to them.

Violet and her family’s love of music was very much a part of this celebration. Her son Mha Atma, friends and family led us in singing several favorite songs of Violet’s. Many of us cried, and certainly laughed while sharing this time to remember Violet and connect with those who loved her.  We thought she might have even been there with us. She certainly remains in our hearts.

Here’s a link to a  slide show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpsD5LAPWuA of our celebration of Violet’s life with musical accompaniment  by John Denver who was one of Violet’s favorite musicians.  The song title is “Sunshine on My Shoulders”.  

Karen Hillman Fried, Psy.D., M.F.T.

Psychotherapy, Educational Therapy

Director, K&M Center, Inc.

(310) 998-0030

kandmcenter.com: Educational Remediation

Trainings in the Oaklander Model

We highlight here two trainings by Foundation president Karen Fried.  Please check our trainings page https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Xb7e6gyTUyTrSzhXj0c5ogxPHXMmVf3gI4C2VsFjoQU/edit#   for additional upcoming listings given by Violet’s long time colleagues and Foundation members.

 Fall/Winter 2022 Virtual Training for Child and Adolescent Therapists: Play Therapy Using the Oaklander Model

Part I: Introduction to the Oaklander Model

Dates: September 24 – 25, 2022

Time: 8:00AM – 12:30PM Pacific

Topics: Developmental Issues, Therapeutic Process

Part II: Experiencing the Model

Dates: October 22 – 23, 2022

Time: 8:00AM – 12:30PM Pacific

Topics: Emotional Expression, Anger/Aggressive Energy, Grief and Loss

Part III: End of Therapy, Termination & Application of Techniques

Dates: December 3 – 4, 2022

Time: 8:00AM – 12:30PM Pacific

Topics: Self Nurturing, Sand Tray, Termination

More Information

Please join Dr. Karen Fried for a fun and experiential training for therapists featuring a variety of materials including drawing, puppets, clay, sand tray, picture cards and more!  We welcome attendees with different experience levels, coming from all over the world.  The three-part training will be held virtually on Zoom.



Oaklander Model In-Person Training – Play Therapy Theory and Application: with Guest Seema Omar From Sri Lanka!

Saturday, October 15, and Sunday October 16, 2022, both days  9:30am – 4:30pm PDT

This training addresses topics applicable to all Oaklander Training trainings, Parts I – VI, spanning our current trainings. We like to think of this as Parts 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, etc.

Participants will:

  • Learn the theory and experience on how to enhance physical contact with our clients.
  • Experience how to understand the connection between awareness and experience using the projections.
  • Make your own puppets and so many creative, powerful and healing ways to use them.

More Information

Please join Dr. Karen Fried and Seema Omar in Los Angeles, CA for a fun and experiential play therapy training for therapists.

This weekend focuses upon the theory and applications of play therapy using the Oaklander Model:

  • Stages of the projective process, Session management,
  • Theory and experience using many media such as: puppets, drawings, projective cards, collage, etc.

We welcome attendees with different experience levels, coming from all over the world.


 Oaklander Method Scores High!  Footballers in England

By Jon Blend

So exciting to bring the Oaklander model to Football Beyond Borders (FBB) – a UK organisation that works with diverse groups of neuro and racially diverse children and teenagers who are struggling with academic and relational issues. Many of these young people have experienced lives of adversity and trauma. The ‘tracksuit therapists’ from FBB offer counselling, mentoring and other services to them, meeting the young peopleindividually and in groups both in school and on the football pitch! Qualities of leadership, sharing, interdependence, tolerance self-pride, determination, striving for success and managing failure are among the many ‘lessons in life’ acquired through this innovative scheme, based around young people’s love of ‘the beautiful game’.

The project has the backing the UK national Football Association which through its schemes such as ‘Kick it Out’ continues to work with players and supporters, seeking to eradicate racism and violence on and off the football pitch.

Recently during two training days in London, the group explored working with drawing and with clay ‘Oaklander style.’ They learnt how to address strong feelings including grief and anger in safe, appropriate ways, using a dialogic, phenomenological Gestalt approach.  Whilst the counsellors and therapists in the group came from different orientations the Oaklander Gestalt method seemed to bring a useful, unifying ‘lingua franca’ enabling people to come together and explore situations from places of connection.

I look forward to facilitating further Oaklander training with this keen bunch in the autumn and providing consultancy to teachers interested in learning about Violet’s approach.

Jon Blend  jon@gacp.co.uk

Oaklander Short -Course Trainings: Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, UK.

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