At 5th Place our mission is to make the world a better place by enabling the how…

How to be less stressed; how to be less anxious; how to get better sleep; how to avoid burnout; how to not feel guilty when I choose me, how to make better choices under pressure and so on…

5th Place offers research, training, education coaching and therapeutic services for groups, organisations and individuals on how to become and remain emotionally fit by enabling them to regulate how they feel.

There are several benefits of emotion regulation for mental health, including:

  • Improved mood: Emotion regulation can help to reduce negative emotions such as sadness, anxiety, and anger, leading to an overall improvement in mood.
  • Reduced stress: Effective emotion regulation can help to reduce stress levels, which in turn can help to prevent the development of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
  • Better interpersonal relationships: When individuals are better able to regulate their emotions, they are better equipped to handle conflicts and maintain positive relationships with others.
  • Improved cognitive functioning: Emotion regulation can help to improve cognitive functioning, including attention, memory, and decision-making abilities.
  • Enhanced coping skills: Emotion regulation skills can help individuals cope with difficult situations in a more constructive and healthy manner, reducing the risk of developing mental health issues.
  • Reduced risk of substance abuse: Effective emotion regulation can help to reduce the risk of turning to substances such as drugs or alcohol to cope with negative emotions.

Emotion regulation is an important aspect of mental health

Overall, emotion regulation and emotional fitness is an important aspect of mental health that can have a significant impact on an individual's well-being.

Emotional fitness can help us cultivate a deeper sense of connection and alignment within ourselves, with others, and with the world around us. It can also help us tap into our innate resilience, creativity, and sense of purpose, allowing us to navigate life's challenges with greater ease and clarity. Ultimately, emotional fitness is a powerful tool for cultivating greater well-being, fulfilment, and meaning in our lives.

When individuals are able to regulate their emotions and improve their emotional fitness, they become more resilient and better able to handle the challenges of daily life. They are also more likely to form meaningful connections with others and to engage with the world in a positive way. As a result, not only do they experience greater well-being, but the world around them is enriched as well.

Emotional fitness is an ongoing process

Building emotional fitness is an ongoing process of developing one's emotional agility and resilience. It involves becoming more aware of one's emotions, understanding how they impact one's thoughts and behaviours, and learning how to manage them effectively.

Emotional fitness also includes developing the ability to bounce back from setbacks and challenges, to stay focused and motivated in the face of adversity, and to maintain a positive outlook and attitude. Ultimately, emotional fitness enables individuals to lead happier, more fulfilling lives, and to develop stronger, more meaningful relationships with others.

Emotional fitness and the environment

Emotional fitness can help individuals to develop a stronger connection with the environment and the planet. By regulating their emotions and feeling more connected to themselves and others, individuals may be more likely to make decisions that support the well-being of the planet and take actions that help to reduce their impact on the environment. Emotional fitness can also help individuals to cope with the stress and anxiety that can arise from environmental concerns and motivate them to take action towards creating a more sustainable world.

Shape of Emotion

In 2017 after 10 months of research, 5th Place developed a new approach to emotion regulation called Shape of Emotion. Shape of Emotion is a model, process, and tool for managing emotions. It is a bodyful and mindful process designed to down-regulate difficult emotions and up-regulate supportive emotions in the moment. It draws from the latest advances in neuroscience and is easy to use and learn, and is content-free.

Shape of Emotion is one of the few, if not the only, full model of emotion regulation that allows individuals to both upregulate and downregulate their emotional states. The technique is based on the theory that emotions are not just subjective experiences, but also physical sensations that can be located in the body. By paying attention to these sensations and using the Shape of Emotion process, individuals can gain greater awareness and control over their emotional states.

One-on-one therapy & the high demand for mental health services

Traditional one-on-one therapy cannot meet the high demand for mental health services in many parts of the world, including in South Africa and other developing countries.

Shape of Emotion was designed to work with groups of people, either face to face or online, in order to address the scale of mental, emotional, and physical health challenges faced by society today. The ability to work with large groups is a key aspect of the approach taken by 5th Place, the company behind Shape of Emotion. By working in groups, the method is able to reach a larger number of people and provide a more cost-effective solution to the mental health challenges faced by many communities, particularly in under-resourced settings.

The shortage of qualified professionals and limited (financial) resources can be major barriers to accessing mental health care. This is one of the reasons why innovative approaches like Shape of Emotion can be valuable and relevant for addressing mental health challenges. By providing a tool that can be used in groups, as well as individually, it can help to reach more people and provide effective support for emotional regulation and well-being.

Summary of relevant work: 

5th Place works with:

  • Primary school children
  • Teens & young adults
  • Support teams for these groups
  • Foundations, NPOs, associations
  • Parents and caregivers
  • The community
  • Individuals and organisations outside of the school space

Primary school children

We have developed a movement and song taught to teachers, child support staff, caregivers who teach it to children as part of learning a way to self sooth. “If you’re feeling bad, have a SNAK”

Teens & young adults

We work with high school teens and young adults to educate them about emotions, and give them emotion regulation and other tools to manage the way they feel as well as offer group and one on one interventions where required. This is done directly through the respective schools or via any institution, association, foundation or NPO providing additional educational or other support. Assessments are done pre and post to identify those most at risk.

Peer support training is offered to build a network of peers to support mental health interventions for this group.

Support teams for these groups

We work with the structure that holds young people, i.e. the school / educational institution / foundation. This includes teachers and leadership, operations, psychosocial and extramural teams at the institution. This is done by:

  • Stress management training 
  • Anxiety relief programs
  • Ongoing Emotional Fitness Classes (online, in person or recorded)
  • Group coaching / support
  • One on one therapy and / or coaching
  • Practitioner training

Foundations, NPOs, associations

We work with Foundations, NPOs, associations who work the schools / communities: This is done by:

  • Bespoke emotional fitness training programs
  • Stress management training
  • Anxiety relief interventions
  • Peer support training
  • Practitioner training
  • Group coaching / support (supervision)

Parents and caregivers

We work with this group so that they can do their part to support the school and student body purposefully, appropriately and with intention. This is done by:

  • Education on what is going on with their kids and how to support them
  • Parental/caregiver support training (Like peer support training but aimed at the adult / caregiver)
  • Group work with PTA and similar teams
  • Emotional Fitness Classes (online in person or recorded)

The community

We work alongside community initiatives that the school is involved with such as community service offerings or businesses that supply / sponsor. This is done by:

  • Information and education on what the school is doing around emotional wellbeing
  • Peer / community liaison support training (Similar to peer support training)
  • Stress management training
  • Group work where necessary and appropriate

Individuals and organisations outside of the school space

We provide adults who have not had the opportunity to learn about emotional fitness and emotion regulation strategies the opportunity to be educated, learn tools and techniques and be offered one on one therapy and/or coaching where relevant. This is done by:

  • Stress management training
  • Introduction to building emotional fitness typically via organisations
  • Bespoke emotional fitness training programmes
  • Ongoing Emotional Fitness Classes subscriptions (online, recorded or in person)
  • One on one therapy and or coaching for individuals
  • Group coaching for individuals  
102 2nd Street, Linden, Johannesburg, 2195 South Africa
Key partners: 

Khulisa Social Solutions -

Flower Foundation -

Yivani Mbali Foundation -

Linda Zama Trust Foundation -

Africa Mental Health Consortium

St Mary’s School Foundation -

Minderful -


Seeking collaboration with: 
Other organizations
Experts by experience/service users
Policy makers
South Africa