Nature and Forest Therapy Guides
Frequently Asked Questions About the Forest Therapy Guide Certification Training
How much does the training cost?
The tuition for the six-month core guide training program is $2995 USD.

The tuition for the four-day immersion is $495. It does not include travel, lodging or meals. Wait to pay until you are ready to complete the immersion.  You will have two years from the completion of your core guide training to do the immersion.

Tuition figures are current as of most recent update on 30 October 2020 and are subject to change.

In addition ANFT has other online and in-person programs. They are not part of the Guide Training and Certification Course, but many guides come to them to gather with other guides, learn new skills, and experience new and advanced techniques of forest therapy. We hope to see you there!

Certification requires a Wilderness First Aid Certification(or equivalent in regions where Wilderness First Aid training is not available). This 16-hour course is provided by several different organizations and costs range from $125 USD to $250 USD. We provide resources for you to find a course near you during your practicum.
Are scholarships or work trade offered?
Currently we do not have scholarships or work-trade opportunities available.
Updated July 2021
Why do I have to complete an application before I can be accepted into a training?
We feel it is important to get to know people before they register for a training to make sure this is a good fit. We consider applications based on a variety of factors, but ultimately we're looking for individuals whom we believe will make good forest therapy guides. Being a good forest therapy guide does not require a background in forestry, psychotherapy or medicine; more often than not, the most desirable qualities in a guide are connected to how they tend relationships.

Once your application is received, our admissions team will review it, and if you are accepted into the program, send an acceptance letter within three weeks. This letter will contain all the information for next steps, including a link to the training registration page.
Updated May 2020
Am I required to complete the four-day immersion after I've completed the six-month core training program?
We are committed to the integrity of the practice. We've learned that every element of the training is essential for people to become fully confident, skillful and effective guides. This is true even for people who have had prior deep nature connection experience, leadership backgrounds, and so on. Your prior qualifications will be helpful, but our training is centered around The Way of the Guide, which is a different way of working that takes some getting used to.

Therefore, the immersion is required for permanent certification. Through the six-month core program you will earn the provisional right to identify as an ANFT Certified Forest Therapy Guide. The provisional status will be removed after you complete the four-day immersion.
Updated 26 May 2020
Do I have to be a hiker to apply? A naturalist? A therapist? 
The only prerequisite for this training is a personal connection with nature, a willingness to deepen that connection, and the desire to guide others. Many of our applicants work in the wellness industry or are therapists, social workers, and teachers. However, none of these careers paths are necessary to train or become a great forest therapy guide.
How can becoming a Certified Forest Therapy Guide support my career?
Certified Forest Therapy Guide is a new job category. It has been rapidly gaining recognition, but has not yet achieved the status of, say, Certified Yoga Instructor. We're getting there. Meanwhile, most guides are not able to make a full livelihood exclusively from guiding, although a small but growing number are succeeding at doing so. We think this will become easier to accomplish in the near future, as the this rapidly-growing practice becomes more widely known.

There are many ways that guides are successfully incorporating Forest Therapy into their careers. The examples below are all from active guides, but our guides are always finding creative ways to incorporate Forest Therapy into all kinds of fields:
Where can I guide forest therapy walks during my training?
You will be required to successfully organize and guide at least four walks during your training. You do not have to have a formal internship to do this; however, we do require that you secure permission from the managers of the land where the trail you use is located. The training will include information and examples to support you with this.

You’ll begin by exploring your area to find a suitable trail (we’ll teach you what to look for), and then review the trail with your mentor via Zoom or phone. Many trainees develop relationships with parks, botanic gardens, arboretums, and similar places during their practicum. For some trainees, these relationships have blossomed, and they continue to guide on those same trails. Some trainees work at nature education centers or other places where there are suitable trails; if this is the case for you, it’s possible that you will be able to guide where you work and hopefully introduce forest therapy into the programs offered there.
6-month Training Application Form

Human communities, like forests, thrive on diversity.
The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs is committed to creating and sustaining a welcoming, equitable, and inclusive environment for new guides, participants and contributors from all cultures and backgrounds. We strive to be a place of belonging for all people interested in cultivating healthy relationships within human communities and the natural world.