Nature-based (use and) treatment – University of Copenhagen

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Nature-based (use and) treatment

The research group is developing a mindfulness-inspired nature-based treatment program. It has a salutogenic (health creative) perspective, which means that emphasis is on what is strong and healthy within each client, and the aim being to enable the clients to restore their physical and psychological balance. The focus is on developing and strengthening the clients’ capacities as a means to overcoming the illness and enhancing their overall quality of life. It is also important that the clients develop and establish healthy stress preparedness so they can prevent new negative stress from occurring in the future.

Image© 2012-2015 John Vanges.

The mindfulness activities are used to bring the clients’ attention to and acceptance of the present moment by paying non-judgmental attention to their thoughts and feelings. The clients’ experiences, perceptions, nature-based activities, and the surrounding garden are essential parts of the therapeutic process.

The treatment is a ten-week program during which the patients receive three hours of therapy in the morning, for three days a week. The treatment is offered year-round and the therapy is conducted in a group of eight clients who are led by two trained horticultural therapists and an assistant gardener.