Nature and Forest Therapy Guides

Forest Therapy 
Guide Trainings

What is a Certified Forest Therapy Guide?

A Forest Therapy Guide facilitates safe gentle walks, providing “invitations”  for sensory opening activities along the way. These walks follow the ANFT Standard Sequence.

Forest therapy walks are not hikes in the traditional sense. An entire walk is typically 2 to 3 hours in duration and often covers no more than a quarter mile distance. In that short distance most people experience contact with nature in a much deeper way than they ever have prior to the walk. On Forest Therapy walks, people have a wide range of experiences, some of which they feel are significant, even profound.

"The Forest is the Therapist,
the Guide opens the Doors"
                                    - Amos Clifford


What You Will Learn

Certification Pathway

STEP 1
6-month remote training
STEP 2
4-day in-person immersion
STEP 3
Get your certification
STEP 1
You will start with a 6-month remote training, covering the content on live calls with your trainers and fellow students. As part of this program you will also be spending a lot of time exploring this practice through nature connection activities outside. After completing this training you will receive a provisional certification as a Certified Forest Therapy Guide.
STEP 2
After completing month 4 of the remote training, you may attend a 4-day in-person immersion. During this time you will have the opportunity to be guided on forest therapy walks by your trainers and to deepen into this practice. You have two years time to complete this step. To view the available immersions click here
STEP 3
After completing the 6-month remote training and the 4-day in- person immersion, you will receive your permanent certification as an ANFT Certified
Forest Therapy Guide
and be part of the largest Forest Therapy
Guide Community Worldwide.
Click here to see the guide´s map.

2021 Forest Therapy Guide Trainings

6 month Training Application Form

2022 Forest Therapy Guide Trainings

6 month Training Application Form


What you will get from your training

14 modules, over
120 lessons
Over 14 live calls with your trainers and cohort
Small group discussion calls with trainers
Downloadable manual
30+ short videos, recorded by different trainers
40+ assignments/ self exploration activities
20+ nature connection activities
Access to research papers and studies
Fun Facts and Reflections
Remote Forest Therapy walks guided by trainers
Guide your own walks and debrief them
Access to the largest forest therapy guide's community worldwide

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.

During a guided forest therapy walk, people experience the therapeutic power of the forest. The forest itself is the therapist. We don't train therapists; we train guides.

We help people slow down, notice where they are and what is around them, and make contact with the forest and with themselves through attention to their senses. This is how guides open the doorways through which the forest can accomplish its healing work.​​​

The practice of Forest Therapy clearly prioritizes sensory experience over intellectual understanding. Unlike more familiar approaches to nature education, Forest Therapy Guides are not primarily concerned with imparting naturalist knowledge. Nurturing curiosity and asking good questions is emphasized over imparting factual expertise.

When guides have developed baseline proficiency in the practice of Forest Therapy, they may begin to integrate Forest Therapy practices with other professional skills sets. For example, Forest Therapy can provide an excellent context for psychotherapy, professional life coaching, expressive arts, mindfulness meditation, PTSD recovery, and many more fields of professional endeavor. Individual guides bring their creativity and experience to the design of new and/or modified invitations, and are encouraged to share these with other guides via a private guides—only online forum maintained by the Association.
Note: Before you can be certified as a Forest Therapy Guide, you must possess a current Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certificate. This is obtained from third-party organizations like NOLS. The class is typically a two-day event that and costs $175-300 USD; online versions of the class may be less expensive. Being able to respond to minor first-aid emergencies is a critically important skill for all Forest Therapy Guides.
“I completed the training in June and recently started taking my clients on nature therapy walks. The feedback has been fantastic! What struck me was how well the training prepared me. I felt I had a plenty of tools and that I could adapt the therapy to any client. I know how to chose a location, talk about the process with clients, and deal with surprises. I feel so prepared. 

As a psychologist I find nature therapy an invaluable way to assist clients in accessing something healing that can't be accessed through talk therapy. Thank you!”

—Christa Smith, Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist