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.
Eco-Kamp Koren is a place of discovery, adventure, and reconnection with the beautiful world around us. It is the first campsite in Slovenia to be awarded the EU Ecolabel as an environmentally friendly campsite in 2011, and has existed in harmony with its beautiful surroundings ever since. This campsite is devoted to both the environment and the adventurers who live in it, and offers a range of affordable accommodations for those who want to stay by the aquamarine waters of Soča River. It sits atop a canyon formed by the river and offers beautiful views of the rushing river with white gravel banks.
While Eco-Kamp Koren is our most affordable location to attend this training, it certainly doesn’t lack in comfort. There are both campsites and chalets available for rent, and they can easily accommodate anyone with a campervan.
There are both chalets and campsites that have been reserved and are available to participants.
Each chalet has two bedrooms, which both have two single beds. These can serve as double rooms or the beds can be pushed together to serve as a single. Each chalet also has a living room, a tv, free wi-fi, a dining area, and a small equipped kitchen.
Single rooms cost 40 euro a night and double rooms cost 35 euro a night. There is a small tourist tax per night of 1-2 euro depending on the number of people sharing a space, as well as a cleaning fee for each chalet of 40 euro to be split between the rooms of each chalet. The rooms in chalets are expected to go quickly, so we recommend that once you confirm your enrollment, you promptly book your accommodations which you can do through the campsite directly. You will need to pay a deposit to the venue to reserve your space.
There are also campsites reserved which offer access to electric hook-ups and bbqs. Campsites cost 12.5 euro a night per person, which, again, does not include a small tourist tax of 1-2 euro. Electrical hookups cost 4 euro a day. Campers have access to multiple clean bathrooms, warm showers, a washer and dryer, and wi-fi.
Tents can be rented for 10 euro a day and can fit 3 people each.
ANFT will be coordinating a shuttle to and from Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport to Kamp Koren that will cost 15 euro per person each way. The trip takes approximately 2 hours.
There are kitchens in each chalet and barbecues at the campsites. There is a supermarket within a 5-minute walk, and a small store in the campsite that carries food for lunch and dinner as well, so there should be an abundance of options for mealtime.
Participants are responsible for the coordination of their own meals. Often times, participants will coordinate and share meals together when there isn’t catering, but those arrangements will not be arranged by ANFT for this training.
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, transportation, or meals.