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Has anyone heard of, or tried, Horticultural-Therapy?

By August 26, 2008 - 1:13pm
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I have heard of pet-therapy, music-therapy, equine-therapy (in addition to all of the more "traditional" or "well-known" therapy and counseling), but have you ever heard of horticultural-therapy? Does it work? How does it work?

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EmpowHER Guest

Yes. It is real. Go to www.ahta.org

I am a HTR and work with recovering addicts and alcoholics. I have a less than traditional type of HT as my program is a work based program. What that means is that I work with individuals that have working in the community as a potential goal in their future. In the summer I landscape a medical facility and run a flowershop and greenhouse in the fall through late spring.

November 1, 2008 - 7:08pm
EmpowHER Guest

Great question, and yes, horticultural therapy is an "official" therapy, and horticultural therapists should be trained and certified in it. I tried it with my son who has Asperger's Syndrome, a form of high-functioning Autism. He experienced an entire year (all four seasons) of this type of therapy and it made a big difference. At the time, he was about 9 years old and was doing the horticultural therapy along with physical therapy. It was really cool to see the way he connected with the plants and vegetables he grew. The therapy impacted both his fine and gross motor skills as he worked with tiny seeds and big tools (wheel barrow, shovels, etc.), as well as his sensory integration issues (walking on uneven ground, getting wet, dirty, muddy, etc.). Plus there was just the basic sense of pride and accomplishment that came from growing something that he could then eat and share with others (adding a human/social element).

From my perspective, I found it therapeutic simply to watch the joy he experienced in growing a garden.

So, yes, I'd say it's a great form of therapy. Were you thinking of trying it yourself or for a child?

August 28, 2008 - 10:23pm
HERWriter Guide

I didn't know it was an 'official' therapy but most avid gardeners I know feel that it's very therapeutic.

So maybe it has some merit there!

August 27, 2008 - 2:49pm
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