Creative CPD
for therapists

Creative CPD for therapists

Diploma in Creative Application of the Five Elements (Dip CAFE)

After 30+ years of abiding interest in the Five Elements model from Traditional Chinese Medicine, experiencing the wonderful benefits of using creative methods during my counselling training and hundreds of hours refining creative application of this ancient wisdom tradition with my clients, I'm offering my holistic fusion of this as a four month CPD course from March 2025.

If you've not used creative methods before in a professional capacity, the Dip CAFE will give you a solid grounding in how to do this as a genuinely integrated part of your offer. If you already appreciate the therapeutic value of creative exploration and play, the course is designed to add some Five Elemental oomph to your practice. 


Cost: 2025: £650.

Dates: Up to two cohorts each year: March to June and September to December. We'd meet one weekend each month. Workshop weekends are outside school holidays.

Location: Venue TBC. Probably Southampton or Winchester.

Eligibility: The course is designed primarily for Counsellors and Psychotherapists. Whilst being a post qualifying diploma, it's also open to trainees who are genuinely interested in what this course has to offer, are well established in their placements, have regular client contact and are used to engaging fully in the supervision process. The Dip CAFE provides important psychotherapeutic knowledge, skills and practical experiences that could support other helping professionals such as Counselling and Clinical Psychologists, Arts Therapists and Play Therapists.

Technical: To view the supporting online resources, you'll need 1) A computer (laptop, PC, iMac, Chromebook etc) or tablet and 2) To use an existing, or create a new, Google account.


Use accessible creative methods such as felts and pompoms, sand tray, LEGO™ and drawing (scribbles and doodles) to help clients work with complex factors such as IFS dynamics.


You'll have many opportunities to fine tune how you apply the Five Elements model, and other stand-alone creative interventions, within your guiding therapeutic approach.

Five Elements

Learn to use the ancient metaphors of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water to help you work with important emotions, needs and balance-promoting qualities.

‘What’s involved?’

Up to 100 hours of activities made up of:

‘Any other highlights?’

Small groups: Six people in each cohort enables focussed personal support as you experience and debrief on receiving and facilitating creative interventions.

Trauma informed: Learn practical ways to help your clients understand, map and work constructively with their underlying autonomic arousal states.

Energy psychology: Explore embodied, self-acupressure stress management methods.

Personal development: Experience the impact of these approaches on your own issues.

Online resources: As well as support from your tutor and peers, you'll have access to comprehensive online resources to help and guide you through every step of the Dip CAFE.

'Why are you smiling?'

I'm smiling because on the first day you'll be given the resources to make your own pompoms to use during the workshops and with your clients as creative therapeutic metaphors. Therapy is a serious business in many ways but it's also possible to balance this with a creative and playful attitude. As well as fully engaging your inner adult / therapist, you'll also be given opportunities to bring your inner child out to play. 

'We don't stop playing
because we grow old.
We grow old
because we stop playing.'
George Bernard Shaw 

‘Who quality assures the course?’

I'm designing the course to meet the Advanced Specialist requirements of the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society and shall apply for this quality mark after the first two cohorts. If any group is required to complete additional learning, I'll provide opportunities to do this at no extra cost. I’ve facilitated interactive workshops in my counselling and careers adviser roles for many years and have designed the Dip CAFE with help from experienced academic colleagues.

‘What are the learning outcomes?’

The Dip CAFE aims to enable you to creatively apply the Five Elements model to support your clinical work. It does this by giving you opportunities to:

‘What's my next step?’

Please complete the form below and I'll get back to you.