Horticulture Therapy In Atlanta, GA
One of the keys to our children’s success at Hillside is the variety of therapeutic modalities we offer. Every child has his or her own set of unique strengths, difficulties, and interests, and our clinicians consider these needs and opportunities when implementing individual treatment plans. In recognition of the necessity of diverse and targeted programming, we introduced Horticulture Therapy to our campus in 2015.
What is Horticulture Therapy?
Horticultural Therapy is a formal practice that uses plants, horticultural activities, and the garden landscape to promote well-being for those engaging in the activities. Horticultural therapy is a time-proven practice and the cognitive and therapeutic benefits of garden environments for individuals with a mental illness have been documented since the early 19th century.
Horticulture Therapy sessions are administered by professionally trained Horticultural Therapists, like the certified Horticulture therapist we have on-site at Hillside. By participating in Horticulture Therapy, children enhance their self-esteem and self-worth through activities which engage exploration of nature, creative expression, and mindfulness. Horticultural Therapy instills positive metaphors for healing and reflection by witnessing the plant life-cycle with hands-on plant-related activities. It promotes socialization and provides purposeful activities that empower a sense of ownership and stewardship.
For instance, the children plant gardens throughout the campus. They grow vegetables and get to eat what they grow and share with family and staff. Making flower arrangements from flowers and greenery in the garden, propagating plants, composting, feeding birds and raising butterflies.
Horticulture Therapy for Children and Adolescents at Hillside
Horticulture Therapy is an integral part of Hillside’s residential treatment program and one of our clients’ favorite therapeutic engagements. Horticulture Therapy is built into the school day and is a part of each client’s weekly schedule. Activities during Horticultural Therapy include planting gardens throughout the campus, making flower arrangements from flowers and greenery in the garden, propagating plants, composting, feeding birds and raising butterflies.
Our clients learn to grow vegetables and get to enjoy and share what they grow with families and staff. They learn about pollinators and their role in the environment in the pollinator garden. Our clients are encouraged to engage therapeutically in creative ways with items collected in nature, connecting them to the natural world. Horticulture Therapy activities at Hillside give our clients the opportunity to work together as planners, builders, and landscapers in a miniature world they create, giving them a sense of accomplishment and pride.
“In the garden, we are free to experiment and to see that what we do actually makes a visible difference.”
Contact us to learn more about the Horticulture Therapy program at Hillside and how it can play an integral role to promote well-being and healing!
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