Council of Waters and Trees and Way of the Guide

Jouvence Lodge in Winter
A Forest Therapy Immersion Incorporating Restorative Practices for healing our relationships with nature

Enrollment Open

14 - 18 Jan 2019
Jouvence, Quebec
Quebec, Canada

In this session of the Council of Waters and Trees we will have an extended exploration of the Guide Archetype and the Liminal Journey. Guides who participate in this event will also increase headroom for guiding in winter and cold conditions. We anticipate having rich group discussions on the topic of guiding nature connection experiences in cold and snowy conditions.

In this program we enter the liminal space of renewed possibility for deepening our connection with the more-than-human world through Forest Therapy and The Way of Council.

​Forest Therapy
is the practice of sensory connection to come into intimate relationship with the more-than-human world and with each other. A series of guided invitations bring us into the present moment, opening the doors of communication with the forest, waters, and landscapes we explore. We encounter not just the forest, but through the many mirrors of nature, we also encounter ourselves.

The Way of Council is a process of communication with ourselves and each other that supports deepening into our experience. Through council we can discover the meaning of our emerging stories through sharing and being witnessed in circle. Council invites us to become more intimate with our own lives, and support each other as we move through our processes of learning, growing, grieving, and healing. Because it invites authentic expression, council can be quite intimate. Your facilitators will show how the form of Council can create space that is both vulnerable and safe.

Restorative Practices build on the Way of Council to create opportunities for exploring and healing harms in relationships. In the Council of Waters and Trees we introduce "Aloha Ropes," a restorative practice developed by Amos Clifford. Inspired by the Hawaiian tradition of Ho'oponopono and other sources, we will use this practice to deepen our relationship with the more-than-human world of nature. Through Aloha Ropes we will discover how the land can listen and speak to us, and through us give voice to its longings, wisdom, and needs.  Like Council, Aloha Ropes is a method that can be readily transferred into other settings such as schools and communities.

This journey will allow us to sink deeply into the medicine of the forest. Mornings will be spent immersing ourselves in the experiential practices of Forest Therapy.  Afternoon Council meetings support the deep rooting of the medicine the forest has offered us. We will experience the brief "light touch" council as it is used in Forest Therapy as well as diving into the deeper practice and learning-by-doing the core skills of council leadership.

Who should attend
Who the Council of Waters and Trees is for: We recommend this if you are interested in ecotherapy, forest therapy, and experiencing the Council format. It will emphasize deep nature connection as a practice of connecting with our own wisdom, personal and group insights, and pathways to wellness. ​​ You are curious about Council and/or Forest Therapy and would like to learn more about these powerful connective practices. You are a therapist or helping professional who would like to learn powerful techniques of eco-therapy. You have a desire to deeply immerse yourself and be held by the healing power of the forest, making time for both self-reflection and community sharing. You are a Forest Therapy Guide/Guide-in-training and wish to deepen your understanding of Council Practice. You are interested in how Council and Forest Therapy work together as a deeply restorative practice supporting wellness of people and the many other species and places upon which we depend. You are considering becoming a Forest Therapy Guide and want to know more about it before committing to the training.
Schedule Overview

This immersion will include an in-depth exploration of the main themes of The Way of the Guide, as developed by M. Amos Clifford and taught by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. Our exploration will include looking at the Guide archetype in relationship to archetypes of place and process. We will also learn the differences between the archetypes of Guide, Mentor, and Healer, and how those three work together to support people on their journeys toward wholeness and authenticity.
The Way of the Guide is also about supporting people as they approach and then break through the ways in which they are tamed by the trances of culture, trauma, patriarchy and other influences. We will experience how boundaries become edges at the thresholds of liminal experiences, and how the journey through liminatity can help to expand our sense what is possible in our lives.

About the Venue:

Jouvence, Quebec

A non-profit organization, Jouvence is located on a 194-acre site on Lake Stukely, in Mont-Orford National Park. Renowned for its hospitality and well-stocked table, Jouvence has been a jewel in the Eastern Townships for more than 45 years. By taking advantage of its all-inclusive formula, including overnight stay, meals and access to outdoor activities and equipment, you will leave conquered and out of the ordinary. Our 125 cozy rooms, many with wood burning stove, are spread out in small private cottages, large pavilions or a charming inn. Do you prefer the rustic side? Our two refuges located within a few minutes of hiking will offer you a privileged experience with nature.

Organisme à but non lucratif, Jouvence est situé sur un site de 194 acres en bordure du lac Stukely, dans le parc national du Mont-Orford. Renommé pour son accueil et sa table bien garnie, Jouvence est un joyau des Cantons-de-l’Est depuis plus de 45 ans. En profitant de sa formule tout inclus, comprenant la nuitée, les repas ainsi que l’accès aux activités et équipements de plein air, vous en repartirez conquis et dépaysé. Nos 125 chambres chaleureuses, dont plusieurs avec poêle à bois, sont réparties dans de petits chalets privés, de grands pavillons ou encore une charmante auberge. Vous préférez le côté rustique? Nos deux refuges situés à quelques minutes de randonnée vous offriront une expérience privilégiée avec la nature.


Lodging and meal costs are not included in the tuition price.
Single, double, and triple occupancy available.


The closest international airport is Montréal Pierre-Elliott Trudeau International Airport *(YUL), about 140 km west of Orford. Local travelers may also arrive and depart from the Burlington Airport (BTV) in Vermont (USA) and the Plattsburgh Airport (PBG) in New York (USA). Travel from YUL to Orford is approximately 1.5 hours by car, whereas from BTV and PBG is 2 hours. Note that if you do fly to Burlington, you must pass through Canadian customs at the Canada-USA border.

*Some ticketing agencies might use 'YMQ' as the Montreal area airport code (in case you did not find 'YUL' while searching for flights)

From Motréal Trudeau Airport to Jouvence: Aeronavette, 24/7 shared shuttle service. The cost for round-trip per person is approximately 120$CAD (not yet included: taxes and applicable fees for the ride to Centre Jouvence directly).


Jouvence can accomodate all food preferences. We will be eating at the dining hall, just minutes from our living quarters.


$795 USD tuition (10% discount for ANFT Members) Does not include lodging and meals. Canadians may convert to CDN at the conversion rate applicable on the day you pay, however please pay the converted amount in USD.

About the Venue:

Jouvence, Quebec

Amos Clifford is the founder of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs and author of the best selling Your Guide to Forest Bathing (Conari Press 2018). 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. Amos has been the primary developer of ANFT's acclaimed training programs.

Christy is a Certified Forest Therapy Guide and Mentor. Her forest therapy practice works primarily through local organizations: counseling services, local and state parks, and ACRES landtrust. Indiana's beautiful deciduous forests are wonderful, all four seasons. She also guides walks for the Western Dupage Special Recreation Association. She is currently in school studying Environmental Science, with a minor in Religious Studies. Besides her interest in indigenous people's use of plant medicine and the translation of that in to modern herbal medicine, Christy is deeply involved in a personal inquiry around the intersection of faith traditions and forest therapy, and she leads quarterly discussions with guides on this topic. She 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.