Carla Sharp, APRN, RPT-S, STA/ISST
Clinical Specialist in Child Psychiatric Nursing
Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor


B.S. Nursing, University of Rochester, NY, 1970

M.S. Child Psychiatric Nursing, U.C. San Francisco, 1973; with emphasis on child-centered non-directive play therapy with the school-aged child, family therapy and group therapy.

Hawaii Registered Nurse #16503

Hawaii Advanced Practice Registered Nurse # 23


C.S. Certified clinical specialist in child psychiatric nursing by the American Nurses Association in 1983 and recertified 1988, 1993, 1998 and 2003.

Certificate from Forest Institute of Professional Psychology, Honolulu, for completion of a three semester "Seminar in Depth Psychology” taught by Dr. Ramon Lopez-Reyes, Jungian Analyst, 1990.

Fulfilled the requirements for certification as a Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor (RPT-S) by the Association for Play Therapy, 1992

Fulfilled the requirements for certification as a Sandplay Therapist by the International Society for Sandplay Therapy (Founder: Dora Kalff) and as a Teaching Member of the Sandplay Therapists of America, 1996.


1985 to present Full time private practice in child and family therapy, using play therapy and the sandplay process with emphasis on the treatment of the sexually abused, traumatized, bereaved and the attachment disordered child. Current emphasis on family play therapy and dyad play therapy to reattach the adopted child.

1986- 1991 Consultant, Salvation Army Day Treatment Center for Children, Kula Kokua, performing individual play therapy with traumatized and sexually abused children, consultation and inservice education.

1989-1992 Consultant, Children's Advocacy Center conducting interviews of possible sex abuse victims in conjunction with Child Protective Services and Honolulu Police Department.

1989 to present Trainer, conducting workshops to Oahu agencies on the use of play therapy, the projective uses of children's drawings and "Helping Children Cope with Grief". Teach ongoing workshops to therapists in beginning, intermediate, and advanced play therapy including the use of play therapy in the treatment of the sexually abused child, the traumatized child and the bereaved child. Also trainer to other therapists in the Sandplay Process. Created over 100 hours of instruction in play therapy and the Sandplay process.

1999-2001 Instructor, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Outreach College, teaching courses entitled “Using Play in Family Therapy” “The Use of Play Therapy in the Assessment and Treatment of the School-Aged Child.”

1987-2000 Instructor, University of Hawaii, Manoa, John Burns School of Medicine, seminars on play therapy presented to Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residents and presentations at Grand Rounds in “The Use of the Human Figure Drawing in the Assessment of the Child”, “The Use of the Kinetic Family Drawing in the Assessment of the Family” and “Introduction to the Sandplay Process”.

1997-Present Trainer, Hawaii Department of Education, Primary School Adjustment Project, designed and currently teaching 18 hours of training to child aides and home/school liaisons in this primary prevention mental health project focusing on the use of play to establish a helping relationship with the child.

1985 to present Speaker, over 100 talks given to parent groups and schools on discipline, self esteem and and the importance of parent/child play in building relationship.

1980-1985 Psychiatric Nurse Clinician, St. Francis Hospital, Honolulu, psychiatric liaison nurse, provided individual psychotherapy,consultation to staff nurses on patient management, program planning to enhance patients mental health, inservice education and hospital-wide crisis intervention. Also initiated play therapy for the children of hospice patients; and co-created the Child Bereavement Program.

1979-1980 Director, Armed Services YMCA Family Center

Administered Primary Prevention Program for high-risk military families: individual and family therapy, health and parent education, assessment of children's developmental needs.

1977-1979 At home with young son.

1976-1977 Director, Wesley Drop-in Child Care Center. Administered child care center, supervised students and volunteers, counseled parents; accompanied by my own infant son.

1973-1975 Science teacher, U.S. peace Corps, Swaziland, Africa.

Taught general science to 8th and 10th grades in a rural, isolated setting, school librarian and counselor.

1971-1972 Child Care worker, Salvation Army Residential Treatment Center, Honolulu, responsible for daily care of eight emotionally disturbed boys with serious symptoms of sexual and physical abuse as well as supervised four staff members and performed family therapy with selected families.


Grew up in Springfield, Ill., active in school government and athletic organizations. Had early opportunities to travel to Europe, Hawaii, Mexico and then to Africa and across the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Have lived in Hawaii since 1970.


Studying holistic health and Jungian psychology.

Also enjoy running, biking and swimming


Chosen as CHAMPUS peer reviewer and received training, 1984, New Orleans, Louisiana

Chosen as writer for A.N.A. exam for certification of clinical nurse specialists in child and adolescent psychiatric/mental health nursing and received training, 1983, Kansas City, MO

Appeared in Who's Who in American Nursing, 1984

Chair, National conference on psychiatric nursing, Honolulu 1989

Named “Friend of Social Work” by the National Association of Social Workers, Hawaii Branch, 2005


American Nurses Association


Hawaii Nurses Association

Appointment as Clinical Instructor to U.H. John Burns

School of Medicine

International Society of Sandplay Therapy, Zurich

Sandplay Therapists of America, Walnut Creek, California

Association for Play Therapy, Fresno, California

Past-President and Founder Hawaii Association for Play Therapy

President, Sandplay Therapists of Hawaii


“Use of Play in Family Assessment: the Build-a-House Technique" at the Association for Play Therapy Conference, San Antonio, Texas 1994; San Francisco 1995; Orlando, 1997; Phoenix, 1998 and Denver 2004 and at the North West Play Therapy Institute, 1996; at the Play Therapy International World Congress, Honolulu, 1998, at the British Columbia Association for Play Therapy annual meeting, 1999;

"The Boy's Use of the Hitler Figure in the Sandplay Process: Integration of the Shadow." Hawaii Psychological Association, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1996 and Sandplay Therapists of America national conference, Asilomar, California, 1997 and the International Society of Sandplay Therapists, Rome, 2005.

“Sandplay Process of a 9 Year Old Girl Who Lost Three Mothers”, International Society for Sandplay Therapists

Congress, Vancouver B.C., 1999

"An Introduction to Kalffian Sandplay Therapy" at the national Sandplay Therapists of America Conference, Austin, Texas 1999 and Santa Fe, New Mexico 2002.

“Beyond Emotional Intelligence: Limbic Resonance and

the School Counselor” presented to the Maui School

Counselor's Association, May, 2003.


Sharp, Carla, “The Lighthouse”, in Journal of Sandplay

Therapy, vol. IX, no. 2, 2000.

Sharp, Carla “The Parent-Child Clay Animal Activity “ 101 More Favorite Play Therapy Techniques, Schaefer, C. and Kaduson, H. eds., Jason Aronson, Northvale, N.J., 2001


315 Uluniu Street, Suite 207, Kailua, Hawaii 96734    *    Phone: 808-261-0066    *    Fax: 808-261-0096    *    carlasharp@hawaii.rr.com