Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT)

Certification Process

Certification Pathway

STEP 1:
6-month remote training

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:
4-day in-person immersion

Step 2

After completing at least module 4 and submitting the corresponding assignments, of the six-month remote Forest Therapy Guide Training you're eligible to apply to 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:
Get your certification

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 directory.

The Purpose of Certification

Our certification program is building a growing network of professional forest therapy guides who: ​

  • Create consistently high-quality, safe and healthy experiences for clients
  • Inspire the confidence of physicians and other health care system referrers
  • Contribute in a positive way to the public and policy maker perceptions of Shinrin-yoku, forest therapy, and other forms of nature-based therapy and eco-therapy.
  • Increase public awareness of the connective and healing power of nature
  • Help establish certified forest therapy trails, areas for mindful walking and sensory-opening activities on private & public lands
  • Are information and advocacy resources for forest therapy and nature connection
  • Work on the front lines to help transform our cultural relationships to forests through fostering deeper relationships and positive experiences with forested areas

An organic and engaging learning process and community

Once your cohort has had its online first meeting with your training team, you will return every two weeks for another online meeting. In these meetings you will receive information from your trainers and participate in group discussion. Meetings are recorded and made available to you in a private Facebook group for your cohort only. You will also be added to the Forest Therapy Facebook Group, a private group for ANFT trained guides from throughout the world. This group is a remarkable and very active resource for exchanging information and supporting ongoing learning.
 
ANFT certified guides can now be found in 62 countries. These local guides are a resource for trainees to experience being guided. You can harvest a lot of practical wisdom from them. They love to help new trainees!
 
After you complete the online course and the assignments with it, you will attend a four-day immersion and graduation event. This will be organized by local trainers. Dates and locations will be set as the time for the immersion draws near. We’ll be looking at the weather and other factors when we choose dates. It is quite likely that you will meet trainees from other cohorts at your immersion. This will help to give you a sense of the community of guides that has grown and is active throughout the world. When you begin your journey, you will join with others who live in the same or a nearby time zone. This geographic and time zone way of gathering as a group makes it convenient to connect with your trainers and each other via remote technologies like Zoom.

Certification is a fun, engaging and challenging process

  • Forest Therapy Trail Exploration
  • Tea Plant Exploration
  • Exploring the Web of Interbeing
  • Learn the Language of Invitation
  • Encounter your learning “edges” and develop greater “headroom” for successful guiding.
  • The Way of the Guide
  • Building your Deck of Forest Therapy Invitations
  • Reading for Professional Growth

First Aid Certification Requirement

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 National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), and many other organizations. The class is typically a two-day event, and tuition is usually in the range of $175-300 USD.

Post Certification: Professional Development Courses

After receiving your certification, we encourage guides to deepen their skills and knowledge through practice, continued education and self-reflection. Professional Development Courses such as  Embodiment for Forest Therapy Guides, Guiding Children, Guiding in Winter, Story Weaving and others offered by ANFT are a potent opportunity to strengthen your connection to and knowledge of this work. You may also choose related courses provided by other organizations or create your own learning experience.

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