Horticultural therapy involves the use of plants and plant related activities in improving the body, mind, and spirits of people. Horticultural therapists are specially trained members of rehabilitation teams (with doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists and other) who are skilled at creating garden spaces that accommodate people with a wide range of abilities.
Research confirms that healthful benefits accrue when people connect with plants by viewing, planting, growing, and/or caring for them.
Benefits of Horticultural Therapy and Therapeutic Gardens:
Enhance cognitive functioning, improve concentration, stimulate memory, improve attentional capacity, reduce stress, improve mood, decrease anxiety, alleviate depression, improve immune response, decrease heart rate, improve fine and gross motor skills and eye-hand coordination
Professional horticultural therapists are now working in service programs within hospitals, clinics, and skilled nursing facilities, vocational, occupational, and rehabilitation programs, correctional facilities, psychiatric hospitals, alcohol rehabilitation centers, hospice and adult day care.
A horticultural therapist profession is growing rapidly, so If you enjoy working with plants and with people and if helping those who need help is important to you, then you should consider a career in horticultural therapy. Horticultural therapists and assistants work under the following job titles: Registered Horticultural Therapist, Horticultural Therapy Assistant, Therapeutic Garden/Horticulture Program Specialist, Therapeutic Garden/Horticulture Program Coordinator, Horticultural Activities Specialist, Community or Facility Garden Program Coordinator.
Horticultural therapy could also be an enhancement or one component of the following job titles: Occupational, Physical, or Recreation Therapist or Assistantm Psychologist, psychiatrist, physiotrist, and other medical and health professionals.
Salaried positions typically range from $30,000 to $50,000 per year.
Programming in horticultural therapy is growing daily, and is certain to continue doing so. The employment outlook is excellent!