When you begin your journey, you will take a core training course that lasts six months. Your cohort of up to 30 trainees will be people who live in the same or a nearby time zone. This geographic and time zone way of gathering as a group makes it convenient to connect with your trainers and each other via remote technologies like Zoom.
In this training, you will learn:
You will be supported in live calls by some of the worlds most experienced forest therapy guides and trainers. The learning platform is very user-friendly with many types of content, including videos, reading, field assignments, live discussions, and more.
If you wish, you will also be added to the Forest Therapy Facebook Group, a private group for ANFT trained guides from throughout the world. This group is a remarkable and very active resource for exchanging information and supporting ongoing learning. ANFT certified guides can now be found in 55 countries. These local guides are a resource for trainees to experience being guided. You can harvest a lot of practical wisdom from them. They love to help new trainees!
You will also have access to a growing library of ANFT training materials such as videos. To further support your learning, you will be invited to join a “pod” of three to five others in your cohort. Many pods develop interesting and fun ways to deepen their learning process. Often lifetime friendships grow.To the extent possible, we will try to organize pods based on your proximity to each other; this will maximize your ability to meet in person and explore forest trails and forest therapy methods together.
When you complete the core six-month training you will be an ANFT-Certified Forest Therapy Guide. This certification is valid for two years, or until you complete a four-day immersion. This must be completed sometime within two years after you complete the six month core training course. This will move your certification from provisional to permanent status. Immersions are organized by local trainers. Dates and locations will be set as the time for the intensive draws near. We’ll be looking at the weather and other factors when we choose dates. It is quite likely that you will meet trainees from other cohorts at your immersion. This will help to give you a sense of the community of guides that has grown and is active throughout the world.
The tuition for the six month core guide training program is $2995 USD.
The tuition for the four-day immersion is $495*. Wait to pay until you are ready to register for a specific immersion. You will have two years from the completion of your core guide training to do the immersion.
Other costs include payment for Wilderness First Aid training, which is required for Certification, and is provided by third parties. Prices range from $100 to $300. Lodging or camping fees and food for the four-day immersion are the responsibility of the trainee.
Tuition figures are current as of January 1 2021 and are subject to change.
*Note: immersion tuition for trainees in cohorts starting in 2020 will remain at the 2020 $389 USD rate.
Jackie is a trainer and business consultant with the Association of Nature and ForestTherapy Guides and Programs. She’s a certified forest therapy guide trained in 2017 at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, and has been guiding regularly in her community ever since. She’s one of the first guides to pioneer guiding walks remotely via Zoom when the pandemic made guiding in-person unsafe for many months in 2020. Born and raised in China, Jackie came to the United States in 1990 to pursue her PhD in American Literature. She has had a diverse background in various fields such as teaching, translating, marketing, and practicing as a Certified Public Accountant. One of her greatest joys in guiding is witnessing the positive impact on participants’ well-being, including that of her own autistic son.
Ben ‘Crow’ Page is the Director of Training for the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy as well as a trainer of guides. He is the founder of Shinrin Yoku LA and has been guiding Forest Therapy walks since 2016. Since his practice began, Ben has been featured in such publications as Women’s Health, USA TODAY, Good Morning America, The Washington Post, and WebMD. Ben is also a co-founder of The Open School, Southern California’s only free democratic school. He holds a B.A. in religious studies from Carleton College and an M.A. in human development and social change from Pacific Oaks College. Ben’s primary interest is to live the question of what it feels like to be alive.