Forest Therapy Guide Training

|

Costa Rica - Cohort 33

Jouvence Lodge in Winter
The world's most experienced forest therapy guide trainers invite you join a growing global movement and an activist community that is making a difference--by rebuilding the relationships between people and the more-than-human-world of nature.
Week-long Intensive: 13 - 20 Jan 2019 | Practicum ends: 13 Jul 2019
Vida Mountain Resort & Spa
|
San Ramon, Costa Rica

Relax in the Costa Rican mountains overlooking the sea...

​Our Costa Rica  location is located at Vida Mountain Resort and Spa, in the Alajuela Province near San Ramon. This location is one of our premium destinations to visit and attend our Forest Therapy Guide Training program.

According to National Geographic’s article “The World’s Happiest Places” from November 2017, Costa Rica is ranked one of the three happiest countries in the world. Looking at its natural beauty and its vibrant culture, this really comes at no surprise. Vida Mountain Retreat Center is a luxury spa sitting upon a mountain top with breathtaking views. To the left you can watch a video made during a yoga retreat to get an idea of what it is like to study at this majestic location.

https://youtu.be/2gXSy9ogZu8

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.
About the Venue:

Vida Mountain Resort & Spa

​Our Costa Rica  location is located at Vida Mountain Resort and Spa, in the Alajuela Province near San Ramon. This location is one of our premium destinations to visit and attend our Forest Therapy Guide Training program.

According to National Geographic’s article “The World’s Happiest Places” from November 2017, Costa Rica is ranked one of the three happiest countries in the world. Looking at its natural beauty and its vibrant culture, this really comes at no surprise. Vida Mountain Retreat Center is a luxury spa sitting upon a mountain top with breathtaking views. To the left you can watch a video made during a yoga retreat to get an idea of what it is like to study at this majestic location.

https://youtu.be/2gXSy9ogZu8


Lodging

Double occupancy rooms have 2 single beds and a private bathroom. They cost $124.99, including tax, per night per person.

Single occupancy rooms have 1 queen sized bed and a private bathroom. They cost $174.99, including tax, per night. Couples can share a single occupancy room, the total cost per night will be $224.99, including tax.

Deluxe single rooms have 1 queen sized bed, a private bathroom, and floor to ceiling windows with views of the mountains, valleys, sky, and Pacific Ocean. They cost $224.99, including tax.

All rates include meals, access to the grounds, linens, towels, and ground transportation to/from the airport. Included amenities include a steam sauna, yoga studio, tea room/library, medicinal garden, outdoor hot tub, an indoor salt water pool, and hiking trails. Extra spa services are not included with these prices.

Accommodation is booked directly through the venue by contacting Silvia Rojas at reservations@vidamountain.com.

Please note: this is a venue to book early. Discounts will be given on accommodation prices based on the month of reservation. Participants will receive a 15% discount for booking in September, 10% discount for those who book in October or November, and 5% discount for those who book in December.

Transportation

Vida Mountain will provide a shuttle service for participants from the airport to the Spa.


Please make sure you talk to Silvia about the specific shuttle times on the day of arrival and the day of departure before booking your flights so that they will work with your travel arrangements or you are able to ask Silvia for guidance about making other arrangements if necessary.

Meals

Organic, seasonal local produce will be prepared by the executive chef at Vida Mountain. They can accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meals. All dietary restrictions should be communicated to reservations@vidamountain.com. Meals are included in the price of accommodations.

Tuition and Continuing Education: 
Continuing Education Hours for Certified Forest Therapy Guides:
60

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 Vida Mountain, you must make your own arrangements; the cost is not included in the tuition. Please check current exchange rates for conversion to CRC or other currencies.


I am inspired to show other people how to connect to nature and have the appropriate tools to do so. My whole life I have been connecting to nature in a very intimate and close way. Becoming a Certified Forest Therapy Guide and then a Trainer with ANFT has given me the formal tools to show other people how to feel as part of nature as I do.

I graduated from German speaking school in Costa Rica. After school I worked as a naturalist tour guide, throughout the whole country on 2 week duration roundtrips. Through my work as a guide and a trainer I can make a real contribution to conservation because one protects the things we love the

most, and if I get people to reconnect to nature and learn to love it again, they will also protect it.

Stana Luxford Oddie

Forest Therapy Guide, Mentor and Trainer

Stana has been working for the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) for over twenty years as the Senior Conservation Educator.  Inspired by Earth Education, the Coyote’s Guide to Nature Connection and Forest schools, Stana aims to connect people with their head, heart and hands to nature.  Through the CRCA, Stana brings Forest Therapy walk experiences to the community, private and public organizations and continues to pilot Forest Therapy to elementary and secondary school aged children and youth.  The CRCA was the first conservation authority in Ontario to offer Forest Therapy which is now rapidly spreading to other CAs.

Stana received her BA from the University of Waterloo in 1998, in the Applied Studies Co-op program with Honours History. She earned her Bachelor of Education at Queen’s in 1999 from the Specialized Outdoor and Experiential Education Program.

Her work related to Forest Therapy continues to open her heart and deepen her relationship with all beings.