*Dr. Stangline has discovered the incredible healing power of Horticulture Therapy / Flower Therapy / Garden Therapy for herself and now wants to share the journey she has taken so far. This page on Horticulture Therapy / Flower Therapy / Garden Therapy was written in April 2020 at the beginning of the Covid19 shutdown. Dr. Stangline was diagnosed with Covid19 in July of 2020. She has a new mission to share this wonderful therapy with others and promote the natural healing of Horticulture Therapy / Flower Therapy / Garden Therapy so everyone can experience it in someway, or another. Follow her journey from the beginning to the present day at Creative Counseling 101.com.
My deck garden where I started in March 2020, during the Covid19 Shutdown. I am growing cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, melons, sweet pea flowers, and cut and come again lettuce. This picture was taken in June 2020. My vacation money was spent on plant pots, dirt, seeds, and fertilizer this summer. I started this garden on the deck because I am still afraid of snakes... but I'm getting braver as I venture out into my yard.
The entire world has shut down after the Covid 19 virus took ahold of all of us. We were locked in our homes, and still are in many places. A few of us were lucky enough to already have nature in our backyards. Less than a few of us were enriched with the gift of a garden.
However, the gift given to many of us was that we learned how important it was to be connected to nature in some way. Those who took this gift began their own Horticulture Therapy, Flower Therapy, & Garden Therapy.
Most of the world was glued to the computer screen (causing mental fatigue, anxiety, and stress), and still is, during this terrible time in history. But, the ones who took some time out to experience Horticulture Therapy, Flower Therapy, & Garden Therapy fared much better in the area of mental health. The lucky ones who utilized this gift of Horticulture Therapy, Flower Therapy, & Garden Therapy had elevated mood, lower stress and anxiety levels, and an elevated mood.
Horticulture Therapy, Flower Therapy, & Garden Therapy (Basically the same therapy) has been around since mankind showed up on the map. Our ancestors had vast access to nature. Research has shown that when you allow prisoners, P.T.S.D. Veterans, Mental Health Patients, and At-Risk Youth access to a garden they are better able to find greater success in their therapies. Prisoners are less likely to offend again and at-risk youth stay in school. Mental Health Patients experience less symptoms. Veterans experience less stress and flashbacks and are able to move forward and live a healthier life.
When I started as a school counselor at a Catholic School in Atlanta I had access to a beautiful rose garden planted by the Catholic Church next door. I learned how to just be in this garden and truly listen to the student whom I was counseling. Looking back, I realize that this rose garden did as much counseling to the student, if not more, than I did. We would touch and smell the roses together. I learned how to be a more relaxed counselor which helped me be a better counselor to the student!
Unfortunately, when I was a mental health counselor at The Ridgeview Institute in Atlanta there was no access to nature for the patients. Being stuck inside a building for five to seven days was not very healthy for these patients. I was lucky enough to take a walk on the beautiful forest grounds during lunch and this would calm my mood and lower my stress and anxiety level. I would return from lunch in a better frame to do counseling to the suicidal and drug addicted patients.
See the next page by hitting the link below of Part Two of Horticulture-Garden-Therapy:
Try a little sand tray therapy with your garden therapy! Create a Zen Garden on paper, Sand Tray, or create a permanent Zen Garden in your own garden as part of your Horticulture Therapy!Sand Tray Therapy Warm Up: The Zen Garden
Disclaimer: This website and its content is intended for trained licensed mental health professionals and school certified mental health professionals to use for their clients / students at their own discretion.
*If you ignore the disclaimer above are using these techniques on yourself and you feel any discomfort or upset it is highly suggested that you seek out a licensed mental health professional immediately.
"Beyond Art Therapy" is the concept from Dr. Stangline that combines all creative fields in therapy. It is not the traditional "art therapy" but goes beyond to include sand tray therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, meditation, color therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a vast majority of other therapies.
For any other type of mental health emergency call your local 911 / Police Number immediately.
Dr. Stangline does not offer advice / suggestions to anyone who is not a professional mental health provider, or a student who is studying this field and has questions about mental health programs of study.
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