Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT)

Who We Are

The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy

The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT) Guides and Programs is the most experienced global leader in Forest Therapy Guide Training, and promoting the development and practice of Forest Therapy. Our Forest Therapy Guide Training draws on the latest medical research, new developments in the field of nature connection, and ancient traditions.

Our heart-based “Relational Forest Therapy™” approach focuses on rebuilding relationships with the More-Than-Human World as a foundation for healing people and planet.

We are a mission-driven Limited Liability Company founded in 2012 as a response to global warming and other environmental catastrophes.

Our mission: Support planetary health by nurturing heart-centered relationships between all peoples and the More-Than-Human World of Nature.

Our strategy: We train guides, teaching the pedagogy and methods of The Way of the Guide, and how to apply these in the context of Forest and Nature Therapy.

Administrative and Operations Team

Amos Clifford

Founder/CEO

Amos' current focus is on building scalable systems to support ANFT's training, membership, and trai...

Jackie Kuang

Business Director and Trainer

Jackie is the Business Director of ANFT.

Manuela Siegfried

Director of Training and Trainer

Manuela is responsible for the direction of all training activities for ANFT.

Mish Moore

Operations Manager

Mish started off as a part-time administrative assistant and now handles operations for ANFT.

Aaliyah Stilson

Administrative Assistant

Aaliyah fields phone calls and email inquiries and lends a hand wherever it's needed.

Geeta Stilwell

Extension Manager and Trainer

Geeta manages ANFT's trainee extension program.

Youmin Yap

Social Media Coordinator & Trainer

Youmin manages ANFT's Social Media presence.

Holly Jo Walters

Spaces & Places (TSP) Certification Program

Contact Holly Jo with any questions related to ANFT certified Forest Therapy trails, spaces, and pla...

Training Team

Training

Amos Clifford

Trainer

Amos' current focus is on building scalable systems to support ANFT's training, membership, and trai...

Arizona, USA
Jackie Kuang

Trainer

Jackie was trained in cohort 16 and has mentored and/or trained guides from the following cohorts: 2...

Arizona, USA
Manuela Siegfried

Trainer

Manuela is responsible for the direction of all training activities for ANFT.

Costa Rica
Ben Page

Trainer

Ben was trained in cohort 2 and has trained guides from the following cohorts: 5, 11, 16, 18, 19, 22...

California, USA
Tam Willey

Trainer

Tam has mentored and trained guides from cohorts 23, 29, 34, 41, 45, 50, Red Maple, Flying Squirrel,...

Massachusetts, USA
Nadine Mazzola

Trainer

In 2015 Nadine trained with Cohort 4 (before the cohorts had names) in North Carolina at Kanati Lodg...

Massachusetts, USA
Stana Luxford Oddie

Trainer

Stana (she/her) trained with ANFT in cohort 6 in 2016. In 2017 she took on a mentor role and in 2018...

Ontario, Canada
Geeta Stilwell

Trainer

Trained in Cohort 7 in Ireland, Assisted in Cohort 12 in France, Assisted in Cohort 19 in Costa Rica...

Portugal
Vicky Kyan

Trainer

Cohort 2 - CA/USA 2015, Cohort 9 - NZ 2016, Cohort 17 - Australia 2017, Cohort 22 - CA/USA 2018, Coh...

New Zealand
Ronna Schneberger

Trainer

I trained in cohort 5 and I have been on the training team for cohorts 11, 14, 20, 21, 37, 43, 47, R...

Alberta, Canada
Caitlin C. Williams

Trainer

Trained in Cohort 1. ANFT Mentor and Trainer since 2014. Upcoming Cohorts: Coyote, Yarrow, Swallow-t...

North Carolina, USA
Youmin Yap

Trainer

Youmin was trained in cohort 18. She has mentored and/or trained the following cohorts: cohort 52 (A...

Singapore
Darlene Rooney-Keller

Trainer

Darlene was trained in Cohort 22. She has mentored/ trained in Cohorts 35,43,46,50, River Otter, Win...

Colorado, USA
Amanda Yik

Trainer

Amanda’s deep connection with nature has supported her through life’s many challenges, including mul...

Hong Kong
Marcela Morales

Trainer

Participant in ANFT - ICT Immersion "Principles of Forest Bathing", Costa Rica, 2018. Trained in Coh...

Costa Rica
Ken Ouendag

Trainer

Ken Ouendag became the first certified Forest Therapy Guide in Vancouver, BC after training with ANF...

Carla Zorzanelli

Trainer

Trained in cohort 40 in Slovenia in 2018. Assisted in the trainings in Costa Rica in 2019 and in the...

The ANFT Difference

What Distinguishes ANFT: Our methods and scope of practice are based upon scientifically backed research in health science. We teach our forest therapy guides a standard sequence of techniques that assist participants in receiving the full health impacts of forest medicine. The standard sequence provides a strong framework that helps participants slow down, awaken their senses, and reconnect with the more than human world, and it is culturally adaptable so that it can be creatively adapted to working with an incredible diversity of populations. Our forest therapy practice operates within the paradigm of holistic healing; the medicine of the forest is a complex wellness experience, good for the body, the mind, and the spirit.

Our forest therapy guide training is more than a set of techniques, it is also a pathway to understand what it means to be back in relationship with the More-than-Human-World. A Forest Therapy Guide works with the forest as a partner, to support the wellness and healing of people and nature alike. The guide is not a therapist; the forest is the therapist. Guides help others open the doors of their senses and heartfelt presence, so they can enter completely into a healing relationship with the forest and other places in the more-than-human world.

ANFT Certified Forest Therapy Guides have gone on to found businesses in alternative health and eco-wellness tourism, work in the non-profit section for special populations, provide corporate wellness programs and retreats, incorporate our techniques in educational settings, and collaborate in wellness programs through botanical gardens, arboretums, and private and public land managers. What began as a dream from the Earth, to simply restore our relationship with the Forest, has become a global movement. We invite you to join us on this incredible path.

We are an international community of Forest Therapy Guides who have been trained by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. There are more than 2000 of us (growing each month), in over 60 countries on six continents, guiding in a dozen or more languages and in many cultures. We share our love of the more-than-human world and a passion to skillfully guide others toward remembering our deep relationship with all beings. We are energized by our shared commitment to establishing forest therapy as a high-quality, standards-based practice that is recognized throughout the world as an effective way to promote the well-being of people and the natural world.

The Association was founded by M. Amos Clifford in 2012. Amos was inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, literally translated as Forest Bathing. His four decades of experience in wilderness guiding, Zen meditation, psychotherapy, educational consulting, and nature connection supported him to create a framework for Forest Therapy that is now taught by many organizations.

The first training that ANFT provided for guides was held in California in 2014. By the end of 2022 we will have trained more than 100 cohorts. In September of 2018 a major milestone was providing our first guide training in a language other than English; we trained a cohort of guides in Spanish at a mountain retreat center in Spain. We are a truly global organization with a commitment to creating practices that are adaptable for every culture. Our training team consists of 15 trainers in 9 different countries and 4 continents.

What energizes our work is our love of nature; but also our sense of impending environmental catastrophe caused by global warming and Western Culture’s emphasis on unsustainable patterns of consumption. Our contribution to finding solutions to these problems is to help as many people as possible to develop meaningful relationships with nature.

The reality is that most people don’t spend much time in nature; and when we do, we are often distracted and don’t interact meaningfully with the plants and other inhabitants of the forest. We agree with Jacques Cousteau that “people protect what they love.” Love of nature arises naturally when we come into heartfelt, embodied relationship with it, a kind of relationship that is not characterized as much by “knowing the facts” as it is of our fundamental kinship with all beings.

Scroll to Top