Horticultural Therapy

Course CodeBHT341
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
  

Horticultural therapists use horticultural activities as a tool for helping disadvantaged people. The therapy may be focused on either:

  • Improving or maintaining muscle function, and other aspects of physical wellbeing
  • Psychological wellbeing (eg. helping elderly people stay active in their declining years, helping disabled people to have a sense of worth, providing an opportunity for social interaction, etc)
  • Providing people with impaired capabilities with an opportunity for employment (eg. In a sheltered workshop)
  • Providing a pathway to rehabilitation; or perhaps providing an alternative lifestyle.
  • Developing practical skills
  • Developing social skills
  • Rehabilitation of physically or psychologically damaged individuals

Sometimes programs are developed with a group focus, and at other times they are tailored for the needs of an individual.  The therapist may work with a small group, or they may work one on one with individuals. They often work closely with health care professionals or other service providers  (eg. A physiotherapist may better understand the physical needs and limitations of an accident victim. A horticultural therapist working with a physiotherapist can develop a program of horticultural activities for an individual, that is tailored to their needs and leads to effective rehabilitation. The benefit of this “joint” approach may be that the patient can be prescribed a pathway to recovery that does not seem like exercise, and which the patient is more motivated to adhere to).

A horticultural therapist needs to be part horticulturist, part health care worker, part counsellor, and sometimes other things beyond these.

They can work in medical or health care institutions (eg. Hospitals, Homes for Elderly), community centres, special schools (eg. for people with disabilities), Sheltered Workshop, Prisons, or any other relevant situation.

Horticultural therapy is used for people with a wide range of cognitive, physical and social skills, including those people: 

·         Suffering from stroke

·         Suffering from heart disease

·         With sight impairment (the blind and the partially sighted)

·         With dementia

·         With learning disabilities

·         With physical disabilities (including amputees)

·         With underdeveloped social skills

·         Chronically unemployed

·         Disengaged teenagers

·         In substance abuse recovery

·         Recovering from illness

·         Coming to terms with grief

·         Adjusting after personal difficulties in their lives

·         With terminal illness

·         Rehabilitating after a period in hospital

·         With physical restrictions  - such as the elderly

·         Children – in general.


Save

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and Nature of Horticultural Therapy
    • Why Horticultural Therapy?
    • Who uses Horticultural Therapy?
    • Where can we use Horticultural Therapy Programs?
    • What are the Benefits of Using Horticultural Therapy
    • General Benefits
    • Physical Benefits
    • Psychological Benefits
    • What do you need to be a Horticultural Therapist?
    • Typical Jobs or Career Paths
    • Liability
  2. Understanding Disabilities and Communicating with people with disabilities - Communication, Teaching and Counselling Skills
    • The significance of communication skills to interacting with clients in a horticultural therapy situation
    • What are Intellectual disabilities/ intellectually challenged/ learning?
    • What are mental illnesses /mental health issues/ mental disorders?
    • What is Communication?
    • Effective Communication Skills
    • Self-Awareness
    • Self-Esteem
    • Listening
    • Teaching Skills
    • Learning Principles - What is Learning?
    • Teaching Strategies
    • Teaching Models
    • Recognising Learner’s Needs
    • Writing a Program
    • Counselling Skills
  3. Risk Management - Hygiene for vulnerable people; what extra risks are to be considered in a therapy situation - chemical, physical
    • Identifying potential risks to participants within a horticultural therapy program
    • Developing risk minimisation procedures
    • Risk Management for Vulnerable People
    • Workplace Health and Safety Issues
    • Identifying Hazards
    • Assessing sites and operations for risk
    • Conducting a Safety Audit
    • Risk Control Methods
    • Safety Precautions for a Horticultural Therapy Program
    • Manual Lifting
    • Rules for Using Tools
    • Personal Protective Equipment
  4. Accessibility and Activities for people with Mobility issues
    • Determine solutions to improve accessibility for disabled people in horticultural situations
    • Ensuring that horticultural therapy is offered in a way that is accessible to clients and their particular needs
    • Help With Manual Tasks
    • Examples of Adaptations in Tools and Equipment
    • Physical Support
    • Understanding Ergonomics
    • Working with other Professionals
    • Protective Gear
  5. Enabling the Disabled - with restricted motor skills
    • Modify horticultural practices to be suitable for disabled people
    • Enabling Gardening Activities
    • Gardening in Raised Beds
    • Staged Therapies
    • Horticultural Therapy for Mental Disorders
    • Effectiveness of Horticultural Activities
  6. Producing Things – Vegetables, Propagation, Fruit, Herbs
    • The Garden - A Growing Place
    • Planning the Crop
    • What to Grow?
    • Planning the Cropping Program
    • Crop Rotation
    • No-Dig Techniques
    • Propagation
    • Sowing and Transplanting Guide
    • Transplanting Seedlings
    • Crowns, Offsets and Tubers
    • Cold Frames
    • Fruit
    • Herbs
    • Propagating Herbs
    • Culinary Herbs Directory
  7. Growing in Containers -Vertical gardens, pots, Hydroponics
    • Growing Plants in Containers
    • Problems that can occur with Pots
    • Growing Fruit Trees in a Container
    • Growing Strawberries in Containers
    • Growing Vegetables in Containers
    • Vertical gardens
    • Hydroponics
    • A Simple Hydroponic System
  8. Creating a Therapeutic Garden
    • Learn to create gardens that are appropriate for horticultural therapy situations
    • Creating a Therapeutic Garden
    • Consulting with other Professionals
    • Garden Retreats for Rest and Recuperation
    • Sensory Gardens
    • Some popular Plants for a therapeutic garden
    • Landscape Principles
    • Design Elements
    • Plants to Avoid or to use under Certain Conditions
  9. Generating Income
    • Explore ways that horticultural therapy can become a partial or fully funded activity by generating income
    • Working with Others
    • Work Hours & Pay
    • Sheltered Workshops
    • Therapeutic Farms
    • Small Business Opportunities for Disabled People
    • Certification & Registration

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING HORTICULTURAL THERAPY

There are many benefits to be gained from horticultural therapy. These benefits are both physical and psychological. 

General Benefits

People of any age can participate in horticultural therapy.

The horticultural therapist can individualise the work they do with a person, according to their abilities, so activities in horticultural therapy should be accessible for all.

For example, work areas can be made more accessible for people who have difficulties with their back or bending, so that they do not have to bend over work areas. Work areas can be lowered so people in wheelchairs can use them. They can also be lowered so that children can work on benches and so on. 

The location where horticultural therapy is carried out can also be individualised. For example, the area could be controlled so that children or vulnerable adults do not have access to dangerous plants or put plants in their mouths. Gardens can be made accessible for people with wheelchairs, mobility problems, sight difficulties and so on.

Physical Benefits

Horticultural therapy can help people to:

  •  Improve their fine motor skills. We have fine and gross motor skills Gross motor skills involve our larger muscle groups, such as when we dig, run or jump. Fine motor skills involve the use of our smaller bones and muscles, as we would in handling secateurs, sowing seeds, writing and so on.

  •  Increase muscular strength and muscle tone – being involved in gardening can help a person to increase their muscular strength. Even if they are not able to use some of their muscles, for example, if they are unable to use their legs, it can increase their muscle strength and tone in other areas, such as their arms, shoulders etc.

  •  Increase range of motion – Having to move around, dig, prune, sowing and so on can help increase the range of motion a person has.

  •  Improve coordination and balance – Being involved in gardening and horticultural therapy can help a person to improve their coordination and balance. Imagine digging, this requires the use of arms and legs, so requires a good range of coordination and balance. If a person cannot use their legs or arms, then the limbs that they do use will require increased strength and tone and also balance and coordination. 

    Therefore, horticultural therapy can increase a person’s physical health. 

Psychological Benefits

Horticultural therapy also has psychological benefits:

  • It can help increase a person’s self esteem. For example, a person who does not feel they are good at things, perhaps they have disabilities or learning disabilities, being able to be involved in gardening and horticulture, and do it well, can increase their self esteem.

  • It can help increase their independence – It can help a person to learn new tasks, to work on their own, to learn more about plants and gardening. It can also help with their independence if they are able to transfer these skills to other environments and their own home. For example, growing plants and vegetables in their own home. 
  • It can also increase the observation skills a person uses. They have to become aware of how plants grow, how seeds should be planted and so on.

  • Horticultural therapy can also allow a person to make choices. With some psychological conditions, such as some learning disabilities, a person may not have very much control over their own life, so being involved in horticultural therapy enables them to make choices and state their independence more than they have possibly in the past.

  • Horticultural therapy can increase a person’s problem solving skills – when to plant certain crops, how, how deep, what type of soil, what do they do in less than ideal situations and so on? It can also help them to consider more about their own abilities. People can show great initiative. What if they find digging hard? Or planting seeds hard? The person and the horticultural therapist can look at ways in which they can become more involved, so aiding their problem solving skills also.

  •  It can also increase a person’s creativity, help them to think of how they do things, how they plant a garden, where is the best place to plant a particular flower, what would look best and so on.

  • Gardening and horticulture can also be a place where a person can let out their emotions or stress or anger.   Exercise can be a good release of anger and emotion and there is obviously exercise involved in gardening. Also, thinking about the plants and soil and what you are doing can be a good distraction from a stressful situation.

  • Horticultural therapy can also have social benefits, allowing the person to interact socially with others, which can also increase their self esteem, social skills and speech and language skills.

  •  By showing a commitment to living things, a person is taking responsibility for that work, that garden and also to working with others as part of a team or group.

  •  It can also help a person to deal with success and failure. A person may have many failures in their life, but gardening can help them to find ways to overcome failures. Because a plant does not flower one year or a vegetable crop does not grow as well as planned, this can be used to help the person to look at what they did (problem solving again) and how things could be improved. Was it the wrong soil? The wrong location? Was the weather too cold for the plants to survive? What could they do about that?

  •  It enables a person to commune with nature and to feel the benefits of doing so.

  •  It also allows the person to be inspired by others, to learn more about nature and their environment.

     

How Can This Course Help Me?


Horticulture therapy is a relatively new area of work and study. However, it is one which is set to blossom. The benefits of horticulture therapy can be seen in different populations from those rehabilitating from surgery, to prison inmates, to people with mental health disorders. Horticulture therapy provides a means of helping people develop social skills, improve physical mobility, and regain confidence. It is slowly but surely becoming more widely recognised as an efficacious form of therapy.

This course will be of particular interest to people wishing to get involved in either the practical side of therapeutic garden design or in delivering therapy programs. It is suited to people working in:

Horticulture therapy
Landscape gardening
Garden design
Psychotherapy & counselling
Caring roles

Save

Credentials

ACS is an Organisational Member of the British Institute for Learning and Development
ACS is an Organisational Member of the British Institute for Learning and Development

ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association
ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

ACS is a Preferred Member Training Provider with the Australian Institute of Horticulture.  ACS students meeting AIH criteria can join AIH as a Category 2 student member. http://www.aih.org.au/
ACS is a Preferred Member Training Provider with the Australian Institute of Horticulture. ACS students meeting AIH criteria can join AIH as a Category 2 student member. http://www.aih.org.au/



Need assistance?



Start Now!


      


  Adriana Fraser

Over 30 years working in horticulture, as a gardener, propagator, landscape designer , teacher and consultant. Adriana has spent much of her life living on large properties, developing and maintaining her own gardens, and living a semi self sufficient lifestyle. She has decades of practical experience growing her own fruit, vegetables and herbs, and making her own preserves. She is well connected with horticulture professionals across Australia, and amongst other things, for a period, looked after Australia's national collection of Thymus. Advanced Diploma in Horticulture, Advanced Certificate in Horticulture.
  Maggi Brown

Maggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
  Diana Cole

B.A. (Hons), Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. Garden Design, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector), P.D.C. In addition to the qualifications listed above, Diana holds City & Guild construction qualifications and an NPTC pesticide spraying licence (PA1/PA6). Diana runs her own landscape gardening business (Arbella Gardens). Active in many organisations including the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
  Yvonne Sharpe

RHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt. Over 30 years experience in business, education, management and horticulture. Former department head at a UK government vocational college. Yvonne has traveled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.
  Organic Gardening
For decades farmers have relied upon chemicals to control pests and diseases in order to produce saleable crops. In the ornamental, vegetable and fruit gardens reliance on chemical controls has also been the mainstay for many gardeners.
  Starting a Nursery or Herb Farm
It's often amazing how much can be produced, and the profit that can be made from a few hundred square meters of land. To work efficiently and profitably, a nursery or herb farm must be both well organised and properly managed. As with any business, it is essential to be confident enough to make firm decisions as and when needed. This e-book is your ticket to a fragrant future.
  Commercial Hydroponics
Learn how to grow vegetables, fruit, cut flowers, herbs and other plants hydroponically. This classic is now re-published with new images, a new layout and revised text. A must have resource for anyone who wants to grow hydroponically.
  Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
Home grown produce somehow has a special quality. Some say it tastes better, others believe it is just healthier. And there is no doubt it is cheaper! Watching plants grow from seed to harvest and knowing that the armful of vegies and herbs you have just gathered for the evening meal will be on the table within an hour or two of harvest, can be an exciting and satisfying experience.