October 10, 2012
What Is Horticultural Therapy?
Horticultural Therapy (HT) is a very rewarding career if you enjoy
helping people connect with nature as a way for them to heal. We are all interconnected and the results of
Horticultural Therapy affirm that people need a good relationship with nature to lead healthy lives. So why does HT
work? It all has to do with "Biophilia", a term coined by naturalist Edward O. Wilson to describe our innate
connection with nature. Think of a time when being in nature was able to change your perspective, calm your mind
and create space around a challenge. This phenomenon you experienced was a biophilic response.
Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association (CHTA) defines
Horticultural Therapy as:
"... a formal practice that uses plants,
horticultural activities, and the garden landscape to promote well-being for its participants. HT is a goal
oriented with defined outcomes and assessment procedures. HT sessions are administered by professionally trained
Horticultural Therapists" www.chta.ca
A Basic Overview of Horticultural
Horticultural therapy is provided by Registered Horticultural Therapists (HTR) and Horticultural Therapy
It is offered in hospitals, long term care facilities, community agencies and rehabilitation centres.
It is the use of gardening as a therapeutic tool to promote physical, cognitive, emotional and spiritual
Horticultural activities aid in the healing process; to help recover from illness and injury and used in
conjunction with physiotherapy, counselling and/or medication.
The Horticultural Therapist creates goals using an assessment and provides interventions to help achieve these
goals. Assessments include physical, cognitive, psychosocial abilities and medical history.
Based on Client-Centred Therapy to help participants achieve personal growth and encourage people to help
themselves. The Therapist facilitates HT sessions to help participants reach their goals.
Who Can Benefit From Horticultural
Therapy? People of all ages and abilities including families and
Horticultural Therapy can help those who feel:
HT can help those who live with:
HT can aid in the process of recovery from:
Those who participate in HT feel:
Written By: Trina Alix and Lea Tran