The Purpose of Certification
Our certification program is building a growing network of professional forest therapy guides who:
- Create consistently high-quality, safe and healthy experiences for clients
- Inspire the confidence of physicians and other health care system referrers
- Contribute in a positive way to the public and policy maker perceptions of Shinrin-yoku, forest therapy, and other forms of nature-based therapy and eco-therapy.
- Increase public awareness of the connective and healing power of nature
- Help establish certified forest therapy trails, areas for mindful walking and sensory opening activities on private & public lands
- Are information and advocacy resources for forest therapy and nature connection
- Work on the front lines to help transform our cultural relationships to forests through fostering deeper relationships and positive experiences with forested areas
An organic and engaging learning process and community
Once your cohort has had its online first meeting with your training team, you will return every two weeks for another online meeting. In these meetings you will receive information from your trainers and participate in group discussion. There are 16 of these meetings in the course. They are recorded and made available to you in a private Facebook group for your cohort only. 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.
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 from 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.
ANFT certified guides can now be found in 55 countries. These local guides are a resource for trainees to experience being guided.
After you complete the online course and the assignments with it, you will attend a four-day immersion and graduation event. This will be organized by local trainers. Dates and locations will be set as the time for the immersion 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.