The Tree Theme Method ® - An occupational therapy intervention in mental health
November 25-26, 2022; January 27-28, 2023; June 02, 2023.
The Tree Theme Method ® - An occupational therapy intervention in mental health


The aim of this course is to get knowledge about the Tree Theme Method® (TTM) in order to apply the intervention in occupational therapy practice. The TTM, based on creative activities and occupational life storytelling, implies that the clients paint trees representing certain periods of their lifetime. The paintings are used as a starting point for the clients to tell their life story with a focus on everyday occupations, shaping plans for their future. The TTM may be used in various care settings, like mental health, clients with chronic pain or chronic somatic diseases.

The course will involve oral lectures, group discussions and workshops. The workshops require the participants to paint their own pictures, alternating “practice” as a client and as an occupational therapist. Before the course starts (and between the first and second period of sessions) the participants will read some papers and have some specific tasks to do complete at home. Each participant is required to bring their own sheets of papers, crayons, watercolors, tempera and some brushes for painting.

The course is organized over four days of training and one day of certification. Before certification day (5th day), participants will receive a written assignment that each will e-mail to Birgitta Gunnarsson, in order to discuss it on the final day.


The overall goal for completing the course is that participants will know how to use properly the TTM as an occupational therapy intervention in their clinical practice, and under which circumstances the method can be used.

The specific goals are to:

  • Acquire knowledge about the theories the TTM is based on
  • Acquire knowledge and enhanced understanding of the framework and techniques of the TTM
  • Acquire skills as a certified TTM user

Target audience

This course is reserved for Occupational Therapists.


3 ECTS Credits and Tree Theme Method® Certification in Mental Health.

Live online classes

The course days consist of lectures and skills training, where participants will paint during each session. The live course will take place on Microsoft Teams.

  • Course day 1: November 25, 2022 - Activity theme, relaxation day (on Microsoft Teams) and Present Life tree
  • Course day 2: November 26, 2022 - Creative activities theme, relaxation day (on Microsoft Teams) and Childhood tree
  • Course day 3: January 27, 2023 - Life story telling and occupational therapy approach (on Microsoft Teams) and Teenage and Adult tree
  • Course day 4: January 28, 2023 - Change in everyday life and possible clients (on Microsoft Teams) and Future tree
  • Certification day 5: June 02, 2023. The certification webinar is a 3-hours webinar

Class schedule: 9AM – 12AM and 1.30PM – 4PM (CET)

Distance learning

Distance learning classes consist of the 4 assignments that are mandatory to be certified.

  • Assignment 1: Read chapter in the book Activity & Relationship, to be completed before day 1 live course
  • Assignment 2: Paint the Present Life Tree, to be completed before day 2 live course
  • Assignment 3: Describe clinical case who benefits from TTM
  • Certification task: Implementation of the method, to be done before the certification day

The certification day

  • Certification day 5: June 02, 2023. The certification webinar is a 3-hours webinar.

The certification means that you complet the TTM-sessions with a client. During that treatment, you describe and reflect on the process based on the TTM's frames and techniques. During the webinar you have the opportunity to reflect with course leaders and participants, and to ask questions. The aim of the certification webinar is to ensure that you have tools to carry out the TTM as intended and to facilitate the implementation of the method. The program with links can be found in the Certification Webinar folder.


Image Lecturer

Birgitta Gunnarsoon, is an occupational therapist and an associate professor in Sweden. She has long clinical experience as an occupational therapist in psychiatric care and she is now an R&D leader in the County of Kronoberg, Växjö. She is also an associate professor at the University of Gothenburg. Her main area of research is everyday occupations, creative activities, and mental health.

Course coordinators

  • Christian Pozzi, Occupational Therapiest MSc, Lecturer SUPSI DEASS (Switzerland) and PhD student Public Health in University of Milano Bicocca (Italy)
  • Yuri Maritan, Occupational Therapy MSc, Lecturer SUPSI DEASS (Switzerland) and OT


CHF 1'000.-

10% discount for members of national occupational therapist associations affiliated with COTEC.


Enrolment by October 28, 2022.