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When mental health therapy starts in the garden

Did you see this recent article on Seattle Times? 

When mental health therapy starts in the garden

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Rhea R. McCandliss 1967 Speech

A reflection on our past, a glimpse into the future.

Submitted by: Derrick Stowell, AHTA Immediate Past President

In October 1967, Rhea R. McCandliss gave a talk at the professional staff meeting of Menninger Memorial Hospital located at the time in Topeka, KS. Rhea was instrumental in the development of the horticultural therapy profession. She was instrumental in the founding of the National Council for Therapy and Rehabilitation through Horticulture in 1973, now called the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA). She also conducted a valuable national study of hospitals using horticulture as therapy 1968 (Relf, 2019). Over the years the AHTA has collected publications and writings of those in the profession. I recently read McCandliss’ essay, I felt that the words spoken in 1967 are still important for our profession today. One statement in this speech clarified the difference between simply gardening and horticultural therapy:

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World Therapeutic Horticulture Day

World Therapeutic Horticulture Day

Thanks to the efforts of a collaboration of international organizations focused on horticulture as therapy, the inaugural World Therapeutic Horticulture Day will be held on May 18, 2023. Thank you to Fiona Thackeray from Trellis Scotland for taking the leadership on this project.

It is our goal to raise awareness about the therapeutic benefits of horticulture throughout the world. It is our hope that this day will continue to grow in the years to come. Be sure to tag AHTA in any of your social media posts for this day!

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Important AHTA Updates

Important AHTA Updates

Internships

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the AHTA made some adjustments to our internship requirements. These included extending the time for students to complete internships that were affected by the pandemic.

Internship Extension

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Houseplants and Health Benefits

Read the latest article from Time magazine about the health benefits of houseplants.

Read the article

MLK Day of Service

AHTA member, Jeanne Schultz, spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day planting trees for the Dunwoody community. Watch the video to learn more about the amazing experience!

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Veteran Shares the Healing Power of Flowers

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Applications Now Open for Therapeutic Garden Grants

Learn More and Submit an Application

Celebrating Horticultural Champions

Congratulations to AHTA member Perla Sofia Curbelo for the B.Y. Morrison Communication Award. AHTA also congratulates Dr. Naomi A. Sachs for her contributions to the therapeutic garden design field.

2021 AHS Great American Gardeners Awards

The Blooming Effects of Flowers on Mind and Body

The Blooming Effects of Flowers on Mind and Body

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AHTA President Honored with Award

AHTA President, Derrick Stowell, receives the Horticultural Therapy Award from The American Horticultural Society (AHS).

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Cheri Larsen, HTR - News from Cincinnati

Cheri Larsen, HTR talks about new horticultural project.

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Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Irene Brady-Barber, HTR talks about the horticultural therapy program at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, in Boothbay, Maine. 

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9/11 Legacy Garden Program

How gardens can create hope and wellbeing in uncertain times.

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Additional Pictures

New HERD Research Paper: Effects of Biophilic Nature Imagery

Effects of Biophilic Nature Imagery on Indexes of Satisfaction in Medically Complex Physical Rehabilitation Patients: An Exploratory Study

Recent research concludes that the presence of biophilic nature imagery has a significant effect on a patient's experience during hospital stays. These findings have implications in settings where real nature is prohibited by logistics or infection protocols and support the benefits of nature exposure for those who might not have the opportunity due to their medical situation. 

Matthew J. Wichrowski, MSW, HTR | John R. Corcoran, DPT | Francois Haas, Ph.D. | Greg Sweeney, DPT | Arlene Mcgee, RN, MA, MS

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