Forest Therapy Guide Training

New Zealand - Cohort 32

Escape to a land of beauty and fantasy...

Weeklong Intensive Nov 6-13 | Practicum Ends May 13, 2019

This November, join us in gorgeous New Zealand for a Forest Therapy Guide Training event. Bella Rakha is a tranquil retreat center spanning 32 acres of park and wild bush, just outside of Auckland, North Island. The facility provides a quiet setting that is idea for silent meditation and spiritual retreats, with lots of open and private spaces to walk through and be surrounded by the beauty of nature.

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
Bella Rakha Retreat Center
Venue Contact and Lodging Details
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Your Trainers for This Event

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.

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.

Vicky Kyan

Vicky Kyan is the first ANFT Certified Guide, Mentor and Trainer in the Southern Hemisphere. She is a strong advocate for the practice of Nature and Forest Therapy, and for the promotion of trainings in the South Pacific. She is largely inspired by her local ocean beach, seashore and estuary ecosystems, where she has pioneered this work since her Guide Training with ANFT in North California in May 2015.

Vicky operates a small Homestay holiday retreat, where she offers ‘Wellbeing Wanders’ Nature and Forest Therapy guided experiences. When she is not travelling she uses her Pacific Island home as a base for mentoring ANFT trainee guides and building network with nature connection contacts both nationally and around the world. She is also an active member of the ANFT International Training Team and travels to trainings around the world.