Forest Therapy Guide Training

United Kingdom - Cohort 24

In the heart of the Devon countryside...

Weeklong Intensive: 19-27 May 2018 | Practicum Ends: 27 Nov 2018

Dartington Hall is the largest medieval manor in western England. With over 800 acres of verdant forests, abundant wildlife, and clear rivers, it serves as a wonderful backdrop for Forest Therapy Guide training. The training will be held on the Dartington Estate and no commuting will be necessary unless you are staying off-site. There may be one day when the group travels to a nearby location.

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
Dartington Hall UK
Devon, England, United Kingdom
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.

Shirley Gleeson

Shirley Gleeson is a certified Forest Therapy Guide and Mentor with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. She was an assistant trainer for the Forest Therapy training in Ireland in 2016 and completed the Council of Water and Trees training with the association. She has been facilitating Forest Therapy walks nationally and internationally since 2014 after completing her training in Sonoma County, US. Her work has featured in the Irish Times, A Lust for Life and Wellfest as well as giving workshops and conference presentations for the Institute of Public Health Ireland, Environmental Education Ireland, GMIT Outdoor Education Conference and the International Conference on Landscape and Human Health. 

Shirley has facilitated Forest Therapy walks for a number of community mental health groups as well as local authority areas. She trained as a Nature Guide with Ecotraining in South Africa in 2008 and undertook an internship with the People and Conservation Departments of the South African National Parks in 2010. She has trained in ecotherapy in the UK.

She is also a qualified social worker with over 15 years’ experience working in the public, private and voluntary sector in Ireland. She received her Bachelor of Social Science from UCD (University College Dublin) and Masters of Social Work from UCC (University College Cork).  As well as her Forest Therapy work, Shirley also works as a Senior Social Worker in adult mental health.

She has extensive postgraduate training in expressive arts therapy, counselling, stress management, therapeutic play, dialectical behavioural therapy skills, behavioural family therapy and therapeutic use of mindfulness. She is also a WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Planning) facilitator.

She has recently completed an MA in Health Promotion in NUIG (National University of Ireland Galway) and designed, implemented and evaluated a Forest Intervention for adults who were experiencing stress for her thesis.