Annual Conference


1st Annual International Forest Therapy Conference and Congress

Jouvence Lodge in Winter

Enrollment Open

07-11 July 2019
Sonoma State University
Sonoma, CA, USA

An international gathering of guides, researchers, and activists for forest therapy and healing relationships between humans and the more-than-human world. It's both a conference and a congress. The conference will focus on exchanging information and methods, as well as building friendships. The congress will begin what we imagine will be a years-long process toward building a truly international consensus on what the practice of forest therapy is, what it can be, and what should be involved in training practitioners, as well as what questions are ripe for further research.

Who should attend
Schedule Overview

A Global Gathering of Guides and Friends of the Forest

About the Venue:

Sonoma State University

A beautiful campus with comfortable conference rooms, expansive grounds featuring forests and a year-round stream.

About the Venue:

Sonoma State University

Amos Clifford is the founder of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs and author of the best selling Your Guide to Forest Bathing (Conari Press 2018). A student of Buddhist philosophy for over 20 years, Amos founded Sky Creek Dharma Center in Chico, California, where he emphasized the importance of meditation practice in wild places. Amos is also widely known for his work in restorative justice. He is founder of the Center for Restorative Process, where he has led the inquiry into how the principles of restorative justice can inform ways to heal the broken relationships between humans and the more-than-human world of nature. Amos holds a BS in Organization Development and an MA in Counseling from the University of San Francisco. Amos has been the primary developer of ANFT's acclaimed training programs.

Christy trained with Cohort 6 in 2016 in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. She is a facilitator of ANFT immersions, trainer and mentor. She was born and raised in the farmlands of Indiana, where she now resides with her 4 children and husband. She is a violinist, vocalist and teacher by training and vocation. She administers a music school in her small town through the local YMCA. Christy lives amongst the fields of corn, wheat, soybeans and wooded lots on a small hobby farm where she has planted vegetable gardens, berries, fruit trees, and the many memories of her children’s lives. Her work with ANFT has been life-changing and the source of so much of her energy and vitality. She is currently finishing a degree in Environmental Science and Religious Studies, which is in part the result of her training and also a source for even more love and connection to her forest therapy practice.

Brenda Spitzer is a Certified Forest Therapy Guide, Mentor, and Immersion Workshop Facilitator.  She trained and was certified with Cohort 3 in 2015.  She has assisted at Forest Therapy Guide Training Workshops in Illinois in 2017 and in Minnesota in 2019.  She has a Bachelor of Arts in Art from Northern Illinois University and Certificates in Natural History and Botanical Art and Illustration from The Morton Arboretum.  She also holds a Certificate in Sustainable Landscapes from College of DuPage.  Brenda introduced the “Nature Rx: Forest Therapy Walk” program at The Morton Arboretum in 2016, and has been guiding forest therapy walks at that location, during all seasons,  for the past 3 years.  She also guides walks for The Western DuPage Special Recreation Association.