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.
You will learn:
- The Standard Sequence of Guided Forest Therapy Walks
- Competency standards: what a Forest Therapy Guide should know and be able to do
- The pedagogy and fundamentals of nature connection mentoring
- 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
- Accelerating connection to deep mindfulness through simple sensory invitations
- What makes a good setting for forest therapy
- How to facilitate social connection, to strengthen nature connection
- 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.
Bethel Farm is set on 50 acres of private, quiet land and is surrounded by several hundred acres more of forest and meadows. At its core, it is an organic farm, but has become a place for people to meditate, practice yoga, find peace, and reconnect to the land.
The farm has winding trails throughout the surrounding forests and gardens. There are small nooks to be explored -- some with ponds and waterfalls, as well as trails that can be explored while barefoot. The rooms are minimalist and humble, but offer purity in simplicity and comfort.
Contact Stephen at Bethel Farm to arrange lodging. Phone: 603-464-5985; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are 3 double rooms, a 5 person dorm, a 10 person dorm, and 7 tent platforms that can fit 11people, (there are no single rooms). There are both indoor and outdoor bathroom facilities forpeople staying both inside and outside. There is also a cabin with two floors, which is up a short hillfrom the rest of the farm. One mattress is on the ground floor and the other is in the loft.Rooms cost $100/night per person, which includes the price of food, linens, pillows, and towels.Camping is available for $85/night per person and will also include the price of food. It’s possible thatnights can be cold, so campers should be well equipped. The venue does not supply sleeping pads,bedding or towels to campers.There are three 8’ x 8’ platforms appropriate for 2 person tents, and four 8’ x 10’ platforms appropriatefor 4 person tents.There are tents available for rent: $5/night for a two-person tent (which will actually fit one person), and$10/night for a four-person tent (which will actually fit two people).People can also bring their own equipment.For people who aren't staying on site, there is a day use fee of $35 per person per day.Rooms and tent platforms will be assigned in the order in which requests are received by the venue.Requests by participants should be emailed directly to bethelfarmyoga@gmail, not as part of athread.
Bethel Farm is a 50 minute drive from Manchester, NH and an hour and 45 minute drive from Boston, MA.
Meal prices are built into the price of accommodations, which includes camping as well. This is a vegetarian venue, and no meat or fish is allowed on the premises. If you have other dietary restrictions, you should notify Bethel Farm as soon as possible so that they have adequate notice to accommodate them.
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. If you wish to book with Bethel Farm, you must make your own arrangements; the cost is not included in the tuition. Please check current exchange rates for conversion to USD or other currencies.