Nature, Craft and Family Systems Course


Regrettably, at the current time we have postponed all our training due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst many training courses have continued to be run on-line, we have decided to hold back as our courses include elements of integral hands-on activity that relate strongly to our therapeutic structure and engagement.

Please take a look below at the overview of the training we have provided recently for a general understanding of the course outline and syllabus. 

We very much look forward to continuing with our training programme as soon as possible.

Please contact  if you are interested in receiving information about future courses 

A Certificate in
Nature, Craft and Family Systems
An experiential and therapeutic approach to working with children and families
A course for provision of creative and practical therapeutic skills for use in therapeutic work with children and adults, in a family oriented focus of delivery. Embedded within the course is a Systemic and Family Psychotherapy foundation course, for which a pilot is currently running. Accreditation will be retrospectively applied for from the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice.
Topics include:
• An introduction to the Dandelion Time models of therapeutic working
• Theories of mind
• The relationships between natural, social and family systems
• The use of gardening and animal care in therapeutic change
• Sensory experiences in the natural world
• Craftwork and creative imagination as contexts for therapeutic change
• The use of seasonal, rhythmic and sequential action in change
• Working with trauma and attachment
• The history of family therapy
• Theories of change which focus on context
• Theories of change which focus on behaviour
• Theories of change which focus on meaning and beliefs
• The human life cycle and family patterns through time
• Working with difference and diversity
• Ethical perspectives on therapeutic working
• The use of self reflexive processes
• Power dynamics in human relationships

father and son harvesting (2)Little girl helping her mother in the gardenKM Graham and boy pottery wheel

The course assists learners to develop competence in working with vulnerable children and their families with complex issues in relationships, behaviour and emotional well-being. On completion of the course it is anticipated that learners will have gained, through both theoretical and experiential learning, basic competencies in the following areas:
• How being immersed within nature can be a healing context for working with children and families with complex struggles
• How working with the senses, rhythm and craft can be a healing context for working with children and families encountering complex struggles
• Systems theory and practice, as encountered both within human relationships, and how humans are in relationship to the wider ecological world
• The use of learning from both human cybernetic and linguistic understandings and how to apply them in working therapeutically with children and families
• The use of other therapeutic models in a nature and craft-based context
• The development of techniques from family systems therapy
• Working therapeutically in a collaborative, non-discriminatory and ethical manner
• Using the course learning to apply new knowledge, understandings and skills to the learners’ working context
Applicants should have experience or qualifications in fields such as counselling, psychology, psychotherapy, health visiting, mental health nursing, social work, education (for example special educational needs co-ordinators, family liaison officers, specialist teachers) or relevant voluntary or statutory sector experience. All Applicants will need to provide evidence of the academic ability required to successfully complete the course. Applicants will be required to have been successful at interview. During the period of the course, the learner will be expected to work with children and families, in a setting to be agreed as suitable (Dandelion Time may be able to assist in finding suitable placements if required).
Concurrent course trainers are as below. Trainers for this course will be confirmed shortly.
girl harvesting
Carol Bridges is a founding member of Dandelion Time with 40 years’ experience supporting families. She is an experienced counsellor with an extensive nursing background. Carol has studied at masters’ level working with practical skills in therapeutic education and has a passion for bringing families together within the setting of the natural world to forge new and positive experiences and relationships.
girl harvesting
Graham Carpenter BEM is a founding member and CEO of Dandelion Time. He is an experienced leader in charitable and commercial organisations with the last twenty years spent working in the areas of adult chronic health conditions, family work and work with children and young people. Graham participates actively in the delivery of the service at Dandelion Time and is a qualified counsellor working systemically with families and individuals in biographical work.
girl harvesting
Dr Nigel Jacobs is an accredited systemic family psychotherapist and UKCP registered supervisor, working for 12 years in the NHS as a senior clinician. He has extensive teaching experience in systemic theory and practice and is on the Board of Directors of both Dandelion Time and the Association for Family Therapy.
girl harvesting
John Hills is a systemic psychotherapist and supervisor. He co-founded “Context”, the principal practitioner publication for the Association for Family Therapy (AFT) and wrote “An Introduction to Systemic and Family Therapy: A User’s Guide” alongside countless articles.
girl harvesting
Chiara Santin is a systemic and family psychotherapist, systemic supervisor and has extensive experience as a systemic trainer.
She has developed a dual expertise in social care and systemic psychotherapy, using and promoting a systemic approach to working with children and families at high risk. She has published extensively.
girl harvesting
Dr Joe Hinds is a senior lecturer in psychotherapy and an integrative psychotherapist. He has published a number of papers related to the relationship between the natural environment and psychological well-being including a recent co-edited volume (Ecotherapy) that examines the diverse psychotherapeutic ways of encountering nature.
girl harvesting
Dr Lesley Hanney is a consultant systemic family psychotherapist and accredited systemic psychotherapy supervisor with over 25 years’ experience in the area of child and adolescent mental health. She has published articles in attachment and developmental trauma.
The course will be delivered at Dandelion Time’s premises in eight blocks of 3 days (Saturday, Sunday and Monday). Exact dates to be confirmed.
West Farleigh, Maidstone, Kent ME15 0NY
Cost :
Please email for an application form.
Applications will close when the course is full. Applicants must be available to attend an interview. Late applicants should contact