The Forest is the Therapist. The Guide Opens the Doors.
Next Guide Certification Course: New Zealand, October 8-15 2016. Registration Closes August 12. More information
What is Forest Therapy?
Forest Therapy is a research-based framework for supporting healing and wellness through immersion in forests and other natural environments. In Japan it is called "shinrin yoku," which translates to "forest bathing." Studies have demonstrated a wide array of health benefits, especially in the cardiovascular and immune systems, and for stabilizing and improving mood and cognition.
The Association's Forest Therapy Guide training draws on the latest medical research, new developments in the field of nature connection, and ancient traditions of mindfulness and wellness promotion. In this training you will learn skills that are applicable in any forest ecosystem or bioregion. They can be adapted to other natural settings besides forests, and are also effective in human-built environments such as city parks and botanic gardens. They can be readily integrated with health promotion, psychotherapy, social work, recreation, nature education, employee wellness programs, conservation efforts and many other specialties.
Forest Therapy Guide Training
Certified Forest Therapy Guide Training (CFTG): This six-month training begins with a weeklong immersion, which is followed by a field practicum consisting of a series of structured assignments completed over a series of six months. During the practicum trainees are supported by mentoring via phone or skype and by monthly group conference calls with other participants in their cohort. Completion of a detailed curriculum is required for certification as a Certified Forest Therapy Guide (CFTG).
Forest Therapy Immersion: Also called "Council of the Waters and Trees," this four-day event is an immersion in Forest Therapy. We use the group communication practice of Council to deepen our understanding of what we are experiencing in nature. A focus of the curriculum is on healing our relationships with the more-than-human world. This event is recommended for:
- Forest Therapy Guides
- Those who are considering becoming Forest Therapy Guides (however, this event is not a pre-requisite)
- People interested in an immersive experience of Forest Therapy and/or the Way of Council.
Space is limited to 15 persons per training; apply early to hold a place
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The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs is a Cooperating Conservation Agreement partner with Wild Foundation. Tax-deductible grants and donations to support the work of the Association may be made to WILD Foundation.