The Association was founded by M. Amos Clifford in 2012. Amos combined descriptions of Shinrin-Yoku practice in Japan with his four decades of experience in wilderness guiding, Zen meditation, psychotherapy, and nature connection to begin creating a framework for Forest Therapy.
Besides guiding forest therapy walks, the Association continues to develop and disseminate techniques of forest therapy. The main emphasis is on training, certifying, and supporting Forest Therapy Guides worldwide.The Association also works with healing and outdoor educational centers to develop forest bathing programs, and certify qualifying trails for Spas and Retreat Centers. The Forest Therapy Trail Certification program for nature centers, parks, and other areas will be launched in 2016.
- Provide a standards-based Forest Therapy Training and Certification program for Guides to insure high quality, science-based programs, practices and referral systems.
- Inspire physicians and other healthcare providers to prescribe and refer to Forest Therapy Programs as an accepted psychological or medical prescription for human health when appropriate.
- Create partnerships with participating conservation organizations who lead guided nature connection experiences as a strategy for gaining support and funding for the protection of wild nature.
- Provide opportunities for the public, health care professionals, educators, and managers of natural lands to experience and understand the wellness benefits of nature through walks, presentations, workshops and retreats facilitated by knowledgeable certified guides.
- Raise public and professional awareness of, and support for, Nature and Forest Therapy through research documenting its benefits.
Find out more at: http://www.natureandforesttherapy.org/