A Forest Therapy Guide facilitates safe gentle walks, providing instructions—referred to as “invitations”—for sensory opening activities along the way. These walks follow a standard sequence. Each walk begins with establishing embodied contact with the present moment and place. Next come a series of connective invitations, often improvised in the moment and adapted to the needs of participants. These may be followed by wander time and/or sit spot. The walks end with a ceremony of sharing tea made from foraged local plants.
Forest therapy walks are not hikes in the traditional sense. An entire walk is typically 2 to 4 hours in duration and often covers no more than a quarter mile distance. In that short distance most people experience contact with nature in a much deeper way than they ever have prior to the walk. On Forest Therapy walks, people have a wide range of experiences, some of which they feel are significant, even profound. Guides are trained in the skills and perspectives needed to be supportive witnesses of these experiences.
During these walks people experience the therapeutic power of the forest. The forest itself is the therapist. We don't train therapists; we train guides. By slowing people down and facilitating sensory experiencing, guides open the doorways through which the forest can accomplish its healing work.
Our trainers are among the most experienced guides in the world and each one undergoes a rigorous training process beyond their certification as guides. The trainers listed below on this page are subject to change based on trainer availability; no matter which trainers you work with, you will be taught by the best in the field.
In this training, you will learn:
- The Standard Sequence of Guided Forest Therapy Walks
- Professional standards and competencies: what a Forest Therapy Guide should know and be able to do
- The pedagogy and fundamentals of nature connection
- Nature and forest therapy research and effects on health care and well-being
- Our framework for the Way of the Guide, wisdom on the inner aspects of the art gained through decades of experience
- The leadership skills and style of the Guide archetype
- Creating space for others to find their own authentic nature connection
- Accelerating connection to deep mindfulness and bodyfulness through simple sensory invitations
- What makes a good setting for forest therapy
- How to facilitate restorative human connection through storytelling and witnessing
- Our theoretical framework of deep nature connection through embodiment, liminality, reciprocity and relationship
- Sequencing forest therapy invitations for maximum impact and benefit
- Expressive arts activities for forest therapy
- Somatic techniques for embodied awareness
- Our aim is simple: to train competent guides. However, many participants report that this training profoundly affects many aspects of their lives.
Farmhouse Inn Georgia
Nestled in beautiful Madison Georgia, the Farmhouse Inn is just an hour's drive from Atlanta. Accomodations in the Farmhouse, Red Barn and Cottage include five private guestrooms, a two-bedroom cottage and a four-bedroom farmhouse for a cozy getaway for two or a family celebration for up to 30. Spacious guestrooms offer vintage-themed decoration and garden views. The Red Barn meeting room, terrace and adjacent lawns can be used for weddings, parties, day meetings and events. Hundred Acre Farm offers barnyard animals, nature trails, fishing, canoeing and a community garden and orchard. Groups can enjoy seasonal bonfires, hayrides, guided nature walks and trail breakfasts. One hour from Atlanta and minutes from Georgia's Lake Country with award-winning golf courses, Madison will entice you with its antebellum homes, shops and restaurants.
We offer many rooms of all sizes to host you at our farm whether you are passing through or here for an event. All of our rooms and suites include free Wi-Fi, a private TV, farm-to-table breakfast, and access to a bathroom. There is a common room available, a public garden, nature paths, and several free on-site activities.
Orchard Loft and the Hay Loft come with a king-sized bed and a private bathroom.
Americana Room has an American theme with a king bed, pull-out couch, and a sizable private bathroom.
The River Room is a cozy retreat that includes a queen bed, a pull out couch, and a private bathroom.
The Garden Room includes a queen bedroom, pull out sofa located separately from the main bed for privacy or lounging, and one private bathroom.
Hillside Cottagea sleeps up to six people and is complete with a full kitchen with cooking supplies, a dining room, a living room with one pull out sofa, one bedroom with a queen bed and a private bathroom, one bedroom with a king bed and a private bathroom, and one laundry room for guest use.
The Farmhouse sleeps up to 12 and must be booked altogether. Perfect for families or groups as there is a full kitchen including cookies supplies, laundry room available for guest use, a dining area, living room, and five bedrooms totaling three queen beds, six twin beds and three bathrooms.
From Atlanta take I-20 East to exit 114. Then north onto 441/129. Take the business route into Madison’s historic square. Go through the square and past the Ford dealership to the Madison bypass intersection. Go straight through and 5 1/2 miles to Greenboro. The sign for the Inn is on the left.
The Farmhouse is able to work with any and all dietary restrictions. Breakfast is included with lodging. Lunches will be ordered for each day and will cost $15. Dinners will be ordered for each day and will cost $18.50.
Tuition for the six-month Guide Training and Certification Program is $3410 USD. This includes the week-long intensive training and six months of mentored practicum. It does not include travel, lodging, ground transportation, or meals. The Farmhouse Inn offers various accommodations and meal plans. To arrange your accommodations and meals, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Please check current exchange rates for conversion to USD or other currencies.
Farmhouse Inn Georgia
Nadine Mazzola is the Director of Practicum and Certification. She is author of “Forest Bathing with your Dog,” due out in August 2019, and founder of New England Nature and Forest Therapy Consulting through which she does work as a Certified Forest Therapy Guide, speaking and corporate wellness consulting. She has been guiding forest therapy walks since 2015. Nadine has been featured on PBS, ABC’s Chronicle and in the Boston Globe and Boston Magazine among others. As a cancer survivor, practicing good self-care is Nadine's most important guiding principle for herself. She has come to know the healing and support that nature can offer us through her own personal wellness journey. Nadine has a business and marketing background and was formerly a world professional pocket billiards player competing on the Women's Professional Billiard Tour. Also, an artist, she facilitates expressive arts classes often incorporating elements of forest therapy throughout.