Horticultural therapists use horticultural activities to improve health. It’s a relatively new area of work and study – but one set to blossom! This horticultural therapy course is ideal for those keen to explore the practical side of therapeutic garden design or deliver therapy programs. This course is ideal for you whether you plan to work in teaching, caring, counselling or psychotherapy roles or even as a garden or landscape designer.
Our Certificate of Horticultural Therapy is an online program that will enable you to assist people in developing their social skills, improve physical mobility, regain their confidence and more!
Outcomes achieved when you study our horticultural therapy course include:
- Scope and Nature of Horticultural Therapy
- Why Horticultural Therapy?
- Who uses Horticultural Therapy?
- Where can we use Horticultural Therapy Programs?
- What are the Benefits of Using Horticultural Therapy?
- General Benefits
- Physical Benefits
- Psychological Benefits
- What do you need to be a Horticultural Therapist?
- Typical Jobs or Career Paths
- Understanding Disabilities and Communicating with people with disabilities – Communication, Teaching and Counselling Skills
- The significance of communication skills to interacting with clients in a horticultural therapy situation
- What are Intellectual disabilities/ intellectually challenged/ learning?
- Mental illnesses /mental health issues/ mental disorders?
- What is Communication?
- Effective Communication Skills
- Teaching Skills
- Learning Principles – What is Learning?
- Teaching Strategies
- Teaching Models
- Recognising Learner’s Needs
- Writing a Program
- Counselling Skills
- Risk Management – Hygiene for vulnerable people; what extra risks are to be considered in a therapy situation – chemical, physical
- Identifying potential risks to participants within a horticultural therapy program
- Developing risk minimisation procedures
- Risk Management for Vulnerable People
- Workplace Health and Safety Issues
- Identifying Hazards
- Assessing sites and operations for risk
- Conducting a Safety Audit
- Risk Control Methods
- Safety Precautions for a Horticultural Therapy Program
- Manual Lifting
- Rules for Using Tools
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Accessibility and Activities for people with Mobility issues
- Determine solutions to improve accessibility for disabled people in horticultural situations
- Ensuring that horticultural therapy is offered in a way that is accessible to clients and their particular needs
- Help with Manual Tasks
- Examples of Adaptations in Tools and Equipment
- Physical Support
… And more!
What is Horticultural Therapy?
Horticultural therapy is a process that aims to improve a person’s mental, emotional and physical wellbeing through programs that involve gardening and plant-based activities.
The caregiving role of tending garden has a therapeutic effect that improves self-esteem, encourages social interaction, enhances motor skills and promotes calm and relaxation.
What is a Therapeutic Garden?
Therapeutic gardens are plant-based environments designed to facilitate an immersive experience in nature through gardening. These gardens are specifically designed to maximise health benefits and wellbeing.
A garden is considered therapeutic if the space is accessible to accommodate people with a wide range of abilities. Another feature of a therapeutic garden is selecting sensory-orientated plants that have various colours, textures, and fragrances.
A successful therapeutic garden will operate in partnership with a horticultural therapy program designed by a horticultural therapist.
Types of Therapeutic Gardens
There are many varieties of therapeutic gardens that can be designed to meet the needs of individuals or organisations. These gardens can enhance treatment programs, from occupational therapy to physical therapy and mental health.
These gardens encourage gardening for people with limited mobility and range of motion. They are therapeutic, easy to access – often feature raised garden beds, vertical gardens, sensory plants and pathways that are easily navigated on foot or via wheelchair or other mobility aids.
A rehabilitation garden encourages functional therapeutic outcomes for those who are recovering from injury. These gardens provide an environment that promotes movement, mild exercise and rehabilitation.
A restorative garden (also known as a healing garden) is simply a place of relaxation in nature. It provides rejuvenation by being at one with nature and often incorporates water features, seating, wildlife, meditative statues and spaces and gardening activities.
Designed to specifically meet the needs of people living with dementia, these gardens improve emotional wellbeing through socialisation and meaningful activity. They are well laid out to minimise disorientation and distress and have high accessibility, balancing safety with independence.
A sensory garden provides maximum and appropriate sensory stimulation. The purpose of a sensory garden is to engage all five senses – sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. Groups who most benefit from sensory gardens include those living with dementia, autism spectrum disorder, post-traumatic stress, ADHD, sensory processing disorder and those with impaired vision and brain injury.
Herbs, seeds, veggies, fruits and flowers are all part of the wonderful variety that can make up an edible garden. These gardens offer therapeutic benefits, but they can also encourage cooking, healthy eating and further social interaction. People with a disability, older people and children, find it rewarding to tend to this type of garden and grow their own food.
Woodland therapy, also known as ‘wild’ horticultural therapy, is linked with ‘forest bathing’ (a Japanese term promoting the natural healing power of nature). This type of therapy can include forest walks, mindfulness, yoga, woodwork, storytelling, craft and breathing exercises.
Benefits of Horticultural Therapy
Therapeutic horticulture is a growing area of interest worldwide. In fact, research shows that the flexible nature of horticultural therapy allows people to feel empowered in a non-threatening space. Therapeutic gardens also help people develop nurturing skills, boost mindfulness, and increase serotonin and dopamine levels, which are crucial to happiness and relaxation.
Therapeutic Gardens Australia reports that therapeutic gardens can provide the following benefits:
- Improve wellbeing and positivity
- Psychological comfort
- Offer distraction
- Improved air quality (fewer respiratory ailments)
- Faster healing
- Reduce pain (and reliance on pain medication)
- Fewer post-surgical complications
- Decreased stress and anxiety
- Lowered blood pressure
- Increase productivity and focus
Understand the benefits of horticultural therapy and how it can become a partial or fully funded activity that generates income with a horticultural therapy course, such as our Certificate of Horticultural Therapy.