Free CPD for Holistic Therapists – 10 simple tips

Concerned about getting sufficient CPD points to meet the requirements of your professional body? Well, Mary Atkinson, award-winning therapist and tutor, offers ten simple ways of achieving your Continuing Professional Development without putting pressure on your bank balance.  Your professional body will provide you with full details of the policy for CPD for holistic therapists. Many will also have templates to help you record your CPD activities.

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1. Read and reflect on a book or an article in a journal, related to your work as a therapist

There are many holistic therapy magazines around now. Your professional body will also publish one that has information and updates on research, best practice and developments in therapies. Simply read an interesting article and then record your thoughts and reflections on what you have learnt from the information. Just make sure that your work is least 300 words. Members of the FHT (Federation of Holistic Therapists) will find a helpful guide to reflecting on articles in every issue of the International Therapist.

You can also record your views and thoughts on particular therapy related books. As an author of several books (including Once Upon a Touch… Story Massage for Children, Healing Touch for Children and The Art of Indian Head Massage), it is always helpful to receive reviews from readers. So do let me know if you would like to review one of my books! You can find me at

2. Offer your services at a Local Support Group meeting

Although there is usually a charge for attending branch meetings (your professional body will have a list of local support groups), if you offer to act as co-ordinator then you won’t need to pay. Similarly, many groups will welcome your time on the entrance desk or serving refreshments and will allow you to attend for free.


3. Swap therapy sessions with a colleague

This is always popular – and a wonderful way of caring for ourselves too! Team up with a colleague and swap therapy sessions then write down your thoughts and reflections afterwards. Make sure you write at least 300 words as this will prove that you are using the time as part of your professional development.

4. Work as a volunteer

Many organisations are recruiting volunteer therapists to offer sessions for clients and patients. These include working with people with learning disabilities, palliative care patients, homeless people, drug and alcohol abuse…  Or you may like to offer taster sessions at a pamper evening or event to raise money for charity. You’ll find plenty of inspiration and support from reading articles in magazines published by your professional body. Just make sure that you record your hours and reflect on things that you have learnt and experienced.

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5. Write or publish an article about your therapy, or about holistic therapies in general

These days there are opportunities for publishing your work, whether it is in a local newspaper, national magazine or on-line. And even if it doesn’t get published then keep a copy for your records. Why not set up a regular blog on your website? Or contribute to someone else’s blog.


6. Write and reflect on a case study

We’ve all completed case studies as part of our therapy qualifications. And they are included in courses as a way of structuring therapy sessions, recognising improvements in our clients and reflecting on best practice for future sessions. Case studies are an integral part of my three day Indian Head Massage Diploma – and I look forward to reading them to see how students have gained new insights and information. I always learn a lot from reading case studies both published, and unpublished, too.  So go back to your student days and write some more case studies with a minimum of 300 words. You will find it a useful part of your continuing professional development.


7. Create a business plan

A business plan is an integral part of your success as a therapist – yet it is so often overlooked. You’ll find downloadable business plans on the internet, or ask your bank for some advice on writing a business plan which sets out your business goals for the future, and your plans for reaching them. Once written, then you can review your document as your business develops. Be sure to keep a record in your CPD portfolio. You’ll find some free tips for keeping your business healthy from Ali’s Therapy Academy.

8. Develop a marketing plan

For a self-employed therapist, qualifying in a therapy is often the easy part! The next step is gaining and retaining a client base – which can take time and effort. But it’s CPD too! So keep a record of everything you have done to design your flyers, develop your website and promote your business.


 9. Give a Talk for a Local Group

Giving talks and presentations for local groups such as Women’s Institutes or Rotary Clubs can be an excellent way of generating new business – and if you reflect upon it afterwards then you will have CPD points too. Keep your talk lively and interesting, maybe with some photographs, anecdotes and simple and safe self-help ideas. Be sure to take along your diary and business cards.


10. Listening/watching radio, TV, YouTube

Here’s a great way of earning CPD points in the comfort of your own home. There are many valuable sources of information for therapists and you are probably watching and listening to topical and relevant therapy programmes and videos anyway. So reflect on what you have learnt. Spend some time recording and writing down your thoughts, with a minimum of 300 words, and then place it in your CPD portfolio. You can find my YouTube channel here: Mary Atkinson Holistic Therapy Courses

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One Comment

  1. Posted March 10, 2015 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    What a great feature to help new therapist on their journey, and some of the rusty ones 🙂 You suggested Mary, Simply read an interesting article and then record your thoughts and reflections on what you have learnt from the information. Just make sure that your work is least 300 words, were would you put this review? In a blog you have on your website or submit it, to where? I am always reading, for new research, but hadn’t thought to write down my thoughts, so for me, I would be inclined to use it a blog feature, then link back to the relevant author and title of the book. I have also joined the FHT this year, and lolking at attending my local class in Waterlooville, but may come over to the Chichester group to come and meet you over there too.
    I am sure I have seen a guide to work out the total of CPD points for all of the areas you have covered too?


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