Forest Therapy Guide Training
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.