Nature and Forest Therapy Guides

In-person Immersions

Guide Training Immersions

This four-day in-person immersion is the second part of the Forest Therapy Guide Training. An immersion is an opportunity to be guided by ANFT trainers, and to practice guiding with the most experienced Forest Therapy Guides in the world.

The tuition for the four-day immersion is $495. It does not include travel, lodging or meals. Wait to pay until you are ready to complete the immersion.  You will have two years from the completion of your core guide training to do the immersion.

Who is eligible to attend?
If you have completed at least module 4 and submitted the corresponding assignments, of the six-month remote Forest Therapy Guide Training you're eligible to apply. Completion of this immersion and the six-month training fulfills the requirements for full Certification.

When space is available, ANFT-trained guides who have completed training in any past cohort can also participate. If this is you, you will find it an ideal refresher course and an opportunity to meet new guides. Please note that priority goes to students who need to take the immersion to get fully certified. Therefore, when you apply, you'll be put on a waitlist until three weeks before the start of the immersion.

These immersions are not open to participants who are not on the six-month remote-training or or ​who are ​not already certified as Forest Therapy Guides. You can see the available six-month trainings here.

IMPORTANT: Please wait until you receive enrollment confirmation before booking travel and lodging. Please note the COVID 19 policy requirements vary between venues.

In-person Immersions 2024

Application for Immersions

In 2020 ANFT Changed the training format.
Now much of it is done online and remotely. Is it still as effective as the old training?

Based on the feedback we've had so far, we are confident that the quality of the learning is equivalent to what guides from the previous cohorts experienced. The bottom line is always this: do trainees learn the skills and concepts needed to guide effectively? Ours is a standards-based training program. The standards specify what guides need to know and be able to do. We have found that the remote learning model, combined with an in-person immersion, supports the necessary learning process.

Just as with the prior trainings, trainees of the new hybrid model continue to report that the experience for them is profound, and often transformative. The healing power of the forest is still strong and very present in this new approach. We are grateful that our team has found a way to continue growing this wonderful practice.

After you complete your 6 month remote Forest Therapy training, you will get a provisional certification for 2 years. Once you attend the 4 day in-person immersion, where you will have the opportunity to apply what you learned, experience in-person forest therapy walks and simply connect and share experiences and stories with other guides and 1-2 trainers, you will get the permanent certification.  

In this immersion, you will:

Get hands-on experience of what you learned in the remote training.
Get to know trainers personally.
Get to know and connect with other guides.
Learn from shared experiences with other guides.
Further develop your own practice of Forest Therapy.
Get the opportunity to ask specific questions that might come up

Once you complete this four-day immersion, your certification will be moved from provisional to permanent. You have  two years after you complete the six month core training course to complete an immersion. It will help to give you a sense of the community of guides that has grown and is active throughout the world.

Apply & Register
To begin the process of attending an immersion, please choose an immersion and submit an application. Once the office approves it, you will get an email with more information about the venue and how to make a reservation for accommodation and food.

These immersions are only meant for guides in training (after completing certain modules and guiding walks), guides that have completed their 6 month remote forest therapy training and for certified guides. These immersions are not stand alone trainings for people who don't have any training yet.

Application for Immersions

Human communities, like forests, thrive on diversity.
The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs is committed to creating and sustaining a welcoming, equitable, and inclusive environment for new guides, participants and contributors from all cultures and backgrounds. We strive to be a place of belonging for all people interested in cultivating healthy relationships within human communities and the natural world.

The Pathway to Training and Certification

Our Forest Therapy Guide Trainings are cohort-based and use many modalities of learning. They begin with a study program lasting six months, facilitated by our trainers, who are among the most experienced Forest Therapy Guides in the world, many having practiced and trained in forests in many countries. After this you will meet with trainers for a four day immersion to practice the skills you have learned and get feedback. Typically, you will be certified at the end of this immersion. Candidates who complete all steps of the training and certification process, and have demonstrated competency in all of the certification standards, will earn the status of Certified Forest Therapy Guide.

Beyond this, many participants report that this training profoundly affects many aspects of their lives. We don't make any promises of personal transformation; our aim is to train competent guides. But there is something about how the training experience deeply re-connects people to nature and themselves that can indeed be transformational. Many people experience forest therapy, including the training, as a kind of “spiritual experience that is not called a spiritual experience.” Perhaps you will also.

Note: 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 NOLS. The class is typically a two-day event that and costs $175-300 USD; online versions of the class may be less expensive. Being able to respond to minor first-aid emergencies is a critically important skill for all Forest Therapy Guides.