Forest Therapy Guide Training

Slovenia - Cohort 25
Weeklong Intensive 2 - 9 Jun 2018 | Practicum Ends 10 Dec 2018

In the heart of Slovenia, nestled within a ring of magnificent Julian Alps, lies Hotel Cerkno. It is hidden in an area of pristine nature and breathtaking countryside. The hotel offers a cozy atmosphere and is the most popular ski resort in the country. It boasts an indoor swimming pool with thermal water, which is pumped from a 2000-meter deep bore-hole in the immediate proximity of the hotel complex. At your disposal are also idyllic Alpine-style saunas, as well as a halotherapy salt room. Near the hotel are several maintained and marked hiking and cycling trails, and the interesting landscape offers many possibilities for hunting, fishing, riding, paragliding, climbing, and more.

Recently I visited one of my mentors from many years ago. He lives in New Zealand now, but travels the world over as a mountaineer and adventure enthusiast. He told me he returns to Slovenia at least once a year, because, according to him, "it is the second most beautiful place in the world." (Of course, he has to be loyal to New Zealand; but I felt like he wanted to say Slovenia was the best!). Also, when I was in Serbia in 2016, I met a group of Slovenian forest guides there from an organization called "Forest Selfness" (pretty awesome name!). They were not shy about encouraging me to come to Slovenia to do a training. One of them, Katarina Cuk, has since travelled to California and completed her Forest Therapy Guide Certification through our organization. She'll be an assistant trainer in Slovenia. I'm very much looking forward to renewing friendships and making new friends at this event. I hope you will consider joining us there. 

-Amos Clifford, Founder, Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs

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
Cerkno Resort Slovenia
Venue Contact and Lodging Details
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Your Trainers for This Event

Amos Clifford, Founder & CEO

Amos Clifford is the founder of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. 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.

Alex Gesse

Alex has been working in International Strategy Development Plans of large corporations for the last twenty years in Europe, Asia, and South America. Now as Forest Therapy Guide, he develops Forest Therapy programs for large corporations and organizations to help companies to reduce stress, improve employees' well-being, stimulate creativity, and encourage team work. One of his great passions is to work with individuals in retreats in organized well-being programs, applying different Forest Therapy techniques. His main goal is to support participants to decrease their level of stress and improve their well-being. Additionally, Alex is also developing the KIDS & Forest Therapy Program for teens at risk of exclusion, where he has been working with different institutions toward the engagement of young people. In continuous learning, he is trained in business management, sociology, and communication through the body. He is a Certified Forest Therapy Guide, holds an E-MBA by the EAE Business School de Barcelona, and is presently completing a degree in Sociology.

Katarina Cuk

Katarina Cuk Owl isthe first certified Forest Therapy Guide in Slovenia, EU, author of the book Our Timeless Nature, Forest Selfness guide and a certified meditation guide. Her Slovene surname Cuk means ‘little owl – athene noctua’ in English. 

Living really close to nature from childhood, she has always sought comfort, support and inspiration in the forest. A few years after moving to the city as a student of translation sciences, she realized she longs for that deep connection again - to re-connect to her-self. At a major career shift she decided to work in nature, for nature, with nature, got educated in different areas needed, wrote a book about our connection to nature, and started to promote the importance of returning back to nature for support, and helped people do that through workshops, articles and meditation in nature. She joined the team of Forest Selfness green tourism program as a guide in 2014, through it met Amos Clifford in 2016 and immediately knew ANFT is the embodiment of work she feels has to be done in the world. She did her training in Cohort 10 in California in 2017. Currently she combines her work in sustainable tourism and Forest Therapy Guiding.

Geeta Stilwell

Geeta is a certified Forest Therapy Guide based in Portugal. She is the founder of the company Renature where she creates and facilitates restorative programs that promote wellbeing and health through Forest Therapy, nature connection practices, clean eating and self-care.  She works all over the world with various populations that range from the general public, corporate senior and junior teams, schools, families, mental health populations and individuals recovering from situations of excess stress and resulting depression and anxiety.

Her passion is to bring human beings back to nature and support the reconnection to the restorative potency of the natural world. Based on her own recovery journey, she creates a safe space for the nature connection and self-care journey to unfold. Over the past 20 years she has dedicated a great part of her time and resources to her own development and self-care journey and this life experience is the foundation for her work.

She is trained in Forest Therapy, Embodied Mindfulness and Conscious Resting and in the field of Healthcare as a Pharmacist. She is trained in Council and Active Meditation Techniques and is currently training to be a Life Coach. She holds a Masters in Business Management and is fluent in Portuguese, English, Spanish and French.