Forest Therapy Guide Training

California - Cohort 28

In the fields and forests of Wine Country...

Weeklong Intensive 11-18 Aug 2018 | Practicum Ends 18 Feb 2019

Join us on 3,900 acres of oak woodlands, Coastal Redwood groves, and more at one of the most beautiful parks in Northern California. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is our home site for researching and leading Shinrin-Yoku and forest therapy walks We are intimately familiar with the landscape, the trails, and the bioregion. ​Participants will also experience Quarry Hill Botanical Gardens. Quarry Hill is one of the pre-eminent Asian botanical gardens globally, featuring one of the largest collections of documented, wild-collected Asian plants in the world. It is place of delightful discovery, with each bend in the trail bringing new surprises. 

What is Certified Forest Therapy Guide Training?

This six-month training begins with a week-long 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).

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.

About the Training Location
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Venue Contact and Lodging Details
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Your Trainers for This Event

Carolynne Crawley

Carolynne lives in Toronto, Canada, where she pursues her lifetime commitment to social and environmental justice. She is a Certified Forest Therapy Guide who brings many years of deep nature connection training to her practice. Her perspective is informed by  her own indigenous heritage.

Ben "Crow" Page


Ben ‘Crow’ Page is a certified forest therapy guide, council carrier and alternative educator based in Los Angeles. He is the founder of Shinrin Yoku LA, an organization dedicated to transformative nature therapy and contemplative practice in the wild. Since his practice began, Ben has been featured in such publications as Women’s Health, USA TODAY, Good Morning America, The Washington Post, and WebMD. Ben is the Director of Training for the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy as well as a trainer and mentor of guides. Ben is also a co-founder of The Open School, Southern California’s only free democratic school. He holds a B.A. in religious studies from Carleton College and an M.A. in human development and social change from Pacific Oaks College.

Christy Thomson

Christy is the music program director for the local YMCA, a violinist and vocalist. She finds her quiet time in the outdoors to take the star role in her self-care. Indiana's beautiful deciduous forests are wonderful, all four seasons. Her forest therapy practice works primarily through local organizations: counseling services, local and state parks, and ACRES landtrust. She is currently in school studying Environmental Science, with a minor is Religious Studies. Her primary interests lie in indigenous people's use of plant medicine and the translation of that in to modern herbal medicine.

Caitlin Williams

Since childhood, Caitlin has been driven by her deep desire to live a life close to the earth and in service to the health of all life.  She offers forest-bathing walks as an opportunity for people to develop an intimate relationship with the land and to connect to the innate processes that bring health and wellness to us as organisms.  She knows our health is intimately tied to the health of the land and visa versa.  It is her intention that this work lead to tender relationships with nature that bring greater health and vitality to individuals and invoke greater stewardship and commitment to the healthy regeneration of our world.  As a guide Caitlin brings joy, grace, loving compassion and a deep sense of beauty and presence.  She is dedicated to the future generations and leaving them a healthy, happy, thriving world.

Jackie Kuang

As a certified nature and forest therapy guide with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, Jackie loves guiding people for an immersive experience in Nature. She also loves teaching others how to make certain Chinese food, including dumplings. So she combined her two passions and launched a successful AirBnB Experience called “Forest Bathing with Jiazi Dumplings” in the spring of 2018. Born and raised in rural China, Jackie spent a lot of time outdoors as a child, helping her grandmother gather firewood and following her grandfather around as he raised buffaloes. She came to the United States as a PhD candidate in 1990 and made Los Angeles her home after completing her studies. Besides leading forest therapy walks, Jackie also does translation work and advocates for her autistic son Chris.