online course - learn to be a horticultural therapist, get a qualification to work with horticulture to offer therapy for people with disabilities, elderly, aged care, offenders, mental health, depression, and more.
Horticultural therapists use horticultural activities as a tool for helping disadvantaged people. The therapy may be focused on either:
- improving or maintaining muscle function, and other aspects of physical wellbeing
- psychological wellbeing (eg. helping elderly people stay active in their declining years, helping disabled people to have a sense of worth, providing an opportunity for social interaction, etc)
- providing people with impaired capabilities with an opportunity for employment (eg. In a sheltered workshop
- providing a pathway to rehabilitation; or perhaps providing an alternative lifestyle.
- developing practical skills
- developing social skills
- rehabilitation of physically or psychologically damaged individuals
Sometimes programs are developed with a group focus, and at other times they are tailored for the needs of an individual. The therapist may work with a small group, or they may work one on one with individuals. They often work closely with health care professionals or other service providers (eg. A physiotherapist may better understand the physical needs and limitations of an accident victim. A horticultural therapist working with a physiotherapist can develop a program of horticultural activities for an individual, that is tailored to their needs and leads to effective rehabilitation. The benefit of this “joint” approach may be that the patient can be prescribed a pathway to recovery that does not seem like exercise, and which the patient is more motivated to adhere to).
A horticultural therapist needs to be part horticulturist, part health care worker, part counsellor, and sometimes other things beyond these.
They can work in medical or health care institutions (eg. Hospitals, Homes for Elderly), community centres, special schools (eg. for people with disabilities), Sheltered Workshop, Prisons, or any other relevant situation.
Horticultural therapy is used for people with a wide range of cognitive, physical and social skills, including those people:
· Suffering from stroke
· Suffering from heart disease
· With sight impairment (the blind and the partially sighted)
· With dementia
· With learning disabilities
· With physical disabilities (including amputees)
· With underdeveloped social skills
· Chronically unemployed
· Disengaged teenagers
· In substance abuse recovery
· Recovering from illness
· Coming to terms with grief
· Adjusting after personal difficulties in their lives
· With terminal illness
· Rehabilitating after a period in hospital
· With physical restrictions - such as the elderly
· Children – in general.
There are 9 lessons in this course:
- Scope and Nature of Horticultural Therapy
- Why Horticultural Therapy?
- Who uses Horticultural Therapy?
- Where can we use Horticultural Therapy Programs?
- What are the Benefits of Using Horticultural Therapy
- General Benefits
- Physical Benefits
- Psychological Benefits
- What do you need to be a Horticultural Therapist?
- Typical Jobs or Career Paths
- Understanding Disabilities and Communicating with people with disabilities - Communication, Teaching and Counselling Skills
- The significance of communication skills to interacting with clients in a horticultural therapy situation
- What are Intellectual disabilities/ intellectually challenged/ learning?
- What are mental illnesses /mental health issues/ mental disorders?
- What is Communication?
- Effective Communication Skills
- Teaching Skills
- Learning Principles - What is Learning?
- Teaching Strategies
- Teaching Models
- Recognising Learner’s Needs
- Writing a Program
- Counselling Skills
- Risk Management - Hygiene for vulnerable people; what extra risks are to be considered in a therapy situation - chemical, physical
- Identifying potential risks to participants within a horticultural therapy program
- Developing risk minimisation procedures
- Risk Management for Vulnerable People
- Workplace Health and Safety Issues
- Identifying Hazards
- Assessing sites and operations for risk
- Conducting a Safety Audit
- Risk Control Methods
- Safety Precautions for a Horticultural Therapy Program
- Manual Lifting
- Rules for Using Tools
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Accessibility and Activities for people with Mobility issues
- Determine solutions to improve accessibility for disabled people in horticultural situations
- Ensuring that horticultural therapy is offered in a way that is accessible to clients and their particular needs
- Help With Manual Tasks
- Examples of Adaptations in Tools and Equipment
- Physical Support
- Understanding Ergonomics
- Working with other Professionals
- Protective Gear
- Enabling the Disabled - with restricted motor skills
- Modify horticultural practices to be suitable for disabled people
- Enabling Gardening Activities
- Gardening in Raised Beds
- Staged Therapies
- Horticultural Therapy for Mental Disorders
- Effectiveness of Horticultural Activities
- Producing Things – Vegetables, Propagation, Fruit, Herbs
- The Garden - A Growing Place
- Planning the Crop
- What to Grow?
- Planning the Cropping Program
- Crop Rotation
- No-Dig Techniques
- Sowing and Transplanting Guide
- Transplanting Seedlings
- Crowns, Offsets and Tubers
- Cold Frames
- Propagating Herbs
- Culinary Herbs Directory
- Growing in Containers -Vertical gardens, pots, Hydroponics
- Growing Plants in Containers
- Problems that can occur with Pots
- Growing Fruit Trees in a Container
- Growing Strawberries in Containers
- Growing Vegetables in Containers
- Vertical gardens
- A Simple Hydroponic System
- Creating a Therapeutic Garden
- Learn to create gardens that are appropriate for horticultural therapy situations
- Creating a Therapeutic Garden
- Consulting with other Professionals
- Garden Retreats for Rest and Recuperation
- Sensory Gardens
- Some popular Plants for a therapeutic garden
- Landscape Principles
- Design Elements
- Plants to Avoid or to use under Certain Conditions
- Generating Income
- Explore ways that horticultural therapy can become a partial or fully funded activity by generating income
- Working with Others
- Work Hours & Pay
- Sheltered Workshops
- Therapeutic Farms
- Small Business Opportunities for Disabled People
- Certification & Registration
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.