A Forest Therapy Immersion

The Council of Waters and Trees is a Forest Therapy Immersion that incorporates Restorative Practices to heal our relationships with nature. In this four-day program, we enter the liminal space of renewed possibility for deepening our connection with the more-than-human world through Forest Therapy and The Way of Council.​

This workshop will be guided by FTI founder M. Amos Clifford. It weaves together the strands of Forest Therapy, Restorative Dialogue, and Council into a powerful practice for deepening connection to nature, others, and self.

Where: Hollyhock Retreat Center, Cortes Island, British Columbia

When: August 20-24, 2018

Tuition: $495; lodging and food not included

Group Size: 20

Accommodations: Reservations are available at Hollyhock:

Forest Therapy is the practice of sensory connection to come into intimate relationship with the more-than-human world and with each other. A series of guided invitations bring us into the present moment, opening the doors of communication with the forest, waters, and landscapes we explore. We encounter not just the forest, but through the many mirrors of nature, we also encounter ourselves.

The Way of Council is a process of communication with ourselves and each other that supports deepening into our experience. Through council we can discover the meaning of our emerging stories through sharing and being witnessed in circle. Council invites us to become more intimate with our own lives, and support each other as we move through our processes of learning, growing, grieving, and healing. Because it invites authentic expression, council can be quite intimate. Your facilitators will show how the form of Council can create space that is both vulnerable and safe. 

Restorative Practices build on the Way of Council to create opportunities for exploring and healing harms in relationships. In the Council of Waters and Trees we introduce "Aloha Ropes," a restorative practice developed by Amos Clifford. Inspired by the Hawaiian tradition of Ho'oponopono and other sources, we will use this practice to deepen our relationship with the more-than-human world of nature. Through Aloha Ropes we will discover how the land can listen and speak to us, and through us give voice to its longings, wisdom, and needs. Like Council, Aloha Ropes is a method that can be readily transferred into other settings such as schools and communities.

This four-day journey will allow us to sink deeply into the medicine of the forest. Mornings will be spent immersing ourselves in the experiential practices of Forest Therapy.  Afternoon Council meetings support the deep rooting of the medicine the forest has offered us. We will experience the brief "light touch" council as it is used in Forest Therapy as well as diving into the deeper practice and learning-by-doing the core skills of council leadership. 

Who the Immersion is for:

This immersion is recommended for people who are interested in eco-therapy, forest therapy, and experiencing the Council format. It will emphasize deep nature connection as a practice of connecting with our own wisdom, personal and group insights, and pathways to wellness.​​

You are curious about Council and/or Forest Therapy and would like to learn more about these powerful connective practices.

You would like to become a Forest Therapy Guide.

You are a therapist or helping professional who would like to learn powerful techniques of eco-therapy.

You have a desire to deeply immerse yourself and be held by the healing power of the forest, making time for both self-reflection and community sharing.You are interested in becoming a Forest Therapy Guide and would like to more fully experience thepractice as a way of informing your work.

You are a Forest Therapy Guide/Guide-in-training and wish to deepen your understanding of Council Practice. This course is available to you at a discounted rate ($500; you save $90)You are interested in how Council and Forest Therapy work together as a deeply restorative practice supporting wellness of people and the many other species and places upon which we depend.

''We need acts of restoration, not only for polluted waters and degraded lands, but also for our relationship to the world. We need to restore honour to the way we live, so that when we walk through the world we don’t have to avert our eyes with shame, so that we can hold our heads up high and receive the respectful acknowledgment of the rest of the Earth’s beings."

—Robin Wall Kimmerer (Botanist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation)

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