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Sample Exercise:
Getting in Touch 
with your Roots

Garden Therapy

The "Roots" of Garden Therapy

I'm not only a flower farmer, producing dried lavender and DIY bridal flowers - I'm also a coach and garden therapist.


"What's that?", you say? "Garden Therapy" was developed by me as a method of empowering women to access their inner emotions and revise their current framework of limited thinking.  Garden Therapy pulls from many different healing modalities to get women in touch with who they are, retrieving any personal power lost over the years in order to integrate the Self.  It is somewhat shamanistic in nature and its roots can be found in hypnotherapy, Reiki, life coaching, Horticultural Therapy and Transpersonal Psychology.


Garden Therapy helps the client who has difficulty identifying with their emotions, needs or desires to connect with that aspect of themselves.  One tool I've developed for identifying the root of an imbalance is something called, "Botanical Modeling".  Botanical Modeling states that for every imbalance in the plant world, a similar imbalance can be seen in the human world - by way of metaphor - and once the imbalance is identified, the goal is to adopt whatever measures we would take in the plant kingdom to fix the imbalance.


In addition, any other number of approaches may be employed to move the client to a place of empowerment and healing. It may be straightforward coaching, it could be Reiki sessions, hypnosis, Journeying (a shamanism practice) or prescribed garden activities. Its many uses and applications defies explanation and simply must be experienced. Each session is as unique as the client.

The Advent of
Garden Therapy


Q.  What is Garden Therapy??


A.  Garden Therapy is a personal development method that blends the use of nature, energy work and holistic coaching to benefit individuals whose lives have become imbalanced. Through the use of garden imagery, metaphor and analogy, clients are encouraged to identify and correct these imbalances.  On occasion, a client will require deeper work at which time Depth Hypnosis may be used to bring the client to a deeper state of relaxation and reception.  As a result, clients become empowered and begin to make life choices in harmony with their true selves and their life’s purpose.


Garden Therapy should not be confused with Horticultural Therapy, which also may be employed during work with a client. Horticultural Therapy is a specific therapeutic modality utilizing plants, gardening activities, greenhouses and specially designed garden spaces to reach specific therapeutic goals. Horticultural Therapy is used in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice facilities and various mental health institutions by therapists to assist in patients’ individual care plans.


Q.  How does Garden Therapy work?


A.  The Garden Therapist first helps a client to identify their current condition to find the area of imbalance.  This is done through dialogue, collecting a history from the client and using a communication method called, "Botanical Modeling".  Botanical Modeling is a theory that states for every human condition, there is a similar condition in nature - specifically, the plant world.  Using that plant condition as a metaphor, dialogue is opened with the client, and whatever we would do to correct the imbalance in nature, we would use to correct the imbalance with the client.


Next, a course of correction will be discussed with the client which may include coaching, journal exercises, guided imagery, prescribed garden activities, releasing ceremonies, the custom design of a healing garden or any combination of the above.


Q.  How many sessions does it take before I see changes?


A.  Garden Therapy and Holistic Coaching is an ongoing process that has a natural beginning and end determined only by the progress of the client.  The willingness and level of participation of each client determines the amount of sessions needed.  In general, however, clients can expect to start to see results and feel real change after just a few sessions.


Q.  Is Garden Therapy or Holistic Coaching like counseling?


A.  No, not really.  Traditional counseling many times is based upon something called “brief therapy” which focuses on getting the client through a particular crisis.  It is concerned with identifying and overcoming pathology.  Garden Therapy and Holistic Life Coaching are based on the “what now?” or the “why not?” of a situation – it is holistic in its approach and focused on positivism, not pathology. It empowers clients with the tools to make long-term changes and maintain those changes. Ultimately, the goals of Garden Therapy are to inspire, empower and teach clients how to nurture themselves, transcend challenges, set and reach goals for themselves and to create lives of meaning and balance. 

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