Select Page

Would you like to offer Nature Based Therapies to your clients? Would you like to learn how to harness and maximise the therapeutic benefits of gardens and gardening? Would you like to become a Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Practitioner to benefit others? If this sounds interesting then Festina Lente have just the workshops for you!

Social and therapeutic horticulture (STH) or Nature Based Therapies involve the use of plants, horticultural activities and the garden landscape to promote well-being for its participants. STH is particularly relevant for the promotion of independence, health and well-being amongst individuals and groups.

Our practitioner workshops are for anyone interested in using Social and Therapeutic horticulture who want to add to their understanding and personal and professional development.

Our 2019 workshops are:

  • An introduction into Social and Therapeutic Horticulture – Saturday 16th February 2019
  • Nature Assisted Practice (NAP) for people working in dementia care – Saturday 11th May and Sunday 12th May 2019
  • An introduction into Social and Therapeutic Horticulture – Saturday 15th June 2019
  • Seeds of Wellbeing (S.O.W.) for Stress Management – Saturday 21st and 22nd September 2019
  • Nature Assisted Practice (NAP) for people working in the field of addiction – Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October 2019
  • Nature Assisted Practice (NAP) for people working in dementia care – Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th November 2019

scroll down for more details including agendas

Social and therapeutic horticultural benefits people with many different disabilities, including those recovering from stroke and heart disease, blind and partially sighted people, those in the early stages of dementia, and people with physical, mental health and learning disabilities.

Organised therapeutic horticulture programmes have been shown to increase self-esteem and self-confidence, develop social and work skills, improve literacy and numeracy skills, increase general well-being and promote social interaction.

STH Garden projects can be in small informal places, perhaps organised and run by volunteers, or they can be in more formal, larger organisations and charities, run by permanent staff. Projects may have their own site on their organisations premises or they may share facilities, perhaps within an allotment, garden centre or nursery. People also benefit by gardening at home or in an organisation’s premises, perhaps by starting with a simple idea like planting a small container or window box, or growing some herbs on a sunny window sill. 

Social and therapeutic horticulture (STH) can benefit people in a number of ways:

  • Better physical health through exercise and learning how to use or strengthen muscles to improve mobility
  • Improved mental health through a sense of purpose and achievement
  • It can be part of a person’s rehabilitation process, to help them recover and ‘find their feet again’ after an illness or a difficult time in their lives
  • It can help people recover from a wide range of conditions
  • It can help people to learn new skills
  • Can help slow down the deterioration seen when someone has a degenerative illness.
  • The opportunity to connect with others – reducing feelings of isolation or exclusion
  • Just feeling better for being outside, in touch with nature and in the ‘great outdoors’

We have more information on Social and Therapeutic Horticulture on https://festinalente.ie/walled-gardens/social-and-therapeutic-horticulture-practitioner-workshops/information-on-social-therapeutic-horticulture/

Our workshops will be interactive throughout and will include a theoretical approach and a practical element with lots of group chat and Q&A. 

Festina Lente in conjunction with Siobhán Nolan and Joyce Fitzpatrick are delighted to announce a series of 2019 workshops on social and therapeutic horticulture. 

An introduction into Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Workshops

Dates:
Saturday 16th February 2019
or
Saturday 15th June 2019

Time:
9:30am to 4:30pm

Aims: An Overview of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) & Nature Based Therapies

Defining Social and Therapeutic Horticulture: “Social and Therapeutic Horticulture can be described as the participation, for the purpose of promoting health and well being in groups and communities whose activities are centred on horticulture and gardening” (Sempik & Spurgeon 2006)

Benefits: Hands on experience in the use of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture and can be implemented in a professional or personal environment

  • Who can benefit from Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (Client groups, etc.)?
  • What are the benefits of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (Physical, Mental and Spiritual)?
  • What are the limitations to Social and Therapeutic Horticulture?

Workshop fee is €115 and we have a limit of 18 spaces.

Seeds of Wellbeing (S.O.W.) for Stress Management

Dates:
Saturday 21st and 22nd September 2019

Time:
9:30am to 4:30pm

Overall Aim:  This workshop aims to give participants an understanding of the benefits of nature-based activities to help manage stress. This workshop contains a combination of both theoretical components and practical activities and exercises.

Benefits who: This workshop are suitable for practitioners working in mental health and well being or anyone who wishes to learn more about managing their own stress using horticulture and gardening.

The workshop will address the following:

  • Defining Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) & Stress.
  • Understanding the use of social and therapeutic in conjunction with stress management.       
  • What current nature-based therapies are available for stress management:
  • Ecotherapy
  • Nature Therapy
  • Green Care
  • Attention Restoration Theory
  • Nature Assisted Practice

Practical workshop:Hands on experience in the use of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) that can be implemented in a professional or personal environment.

Workshop fee is €230 and we have a limit of 18 spaces. 

Nature Assisted Practice (NAP) for people working in the field of addiction

Dates:
Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October 2019

Time:
9:30am to 4:30pm

Benefits who: This workshop is for people working in the field of addiction or for those who wish to learn more about the subject. 

Overall Aim: This workshop aims to give participants an understanding of the benefits of nature-based activities working in the area of addiction.

This workshop contains a combination of both theoretical components and practical activities and exercises. 

  • The workshop will address the following:
  • Defining Nature Assisted Practice & Addiction.
  • The benefits NAP in the field of addiction.
  • Developing NAP programmes for client presenting with addiction
  • Goal Setting using NAP with Clients
  • The use of Metaphors: Carl Jung (1960) perceived that the human soul was similar to nature. The life cycle of a human and a plant have a parallel view, from birth, growth to death and rebirth.

Practical workshop: Hands on experience in the use of NAP that can be implemented in a professional or personal environment.

Workshop fee is €230 and we have a limit of 18 spaces. 

Nature Assisted Practice (NAP) for people working in dementia care

Dates:
Saturday 11th May and Sunday 12th May 2019
or
Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th November 2019

Time:
9:30am to 4:30pm

Benefits who: These courses are suitable for people working in the area of dementia care or for those who wish to learn more about the subject.


Overall Aim: This workshop aims to give participants an understanding of the benefits of nature-based activities working in dementia care. This workshop contains a combination of both theoretical components and practical activities and exercises. 

The workshop will address the following:

  • Defining Nature Assisted Practice & Dementia.
  • The benefits NAP in dementia care.
  • Developing NAP programmes for people living with dementia
  • Creating spaces such as gardens that can benefit the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of people living with dementia.
  • Bringing Nature indoors to enhance the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of people living with dementia

Practical workshop: Hands on experience in the use of NAP that can be implemented in a professional or personal environment.

Workshop fee is €230 and we have a limit of 18 spaces. 

Workshop tutors are Siobhan Nolan and Joyce Fitzpatrick.

Siobhán Nolan

Siobhán has a BSc in Horticulture, a Diploma in Advance Yoga, a BA in Psychotherapy and Integrated Counselling and is completing a Masters in Social Therapeutic Horticulture. (STH).  After qualifying in Horticulture from the Botanic Gardens, over 25 years ago, Siobhán began teaching horticulture to early school leavers and then moved to working in adult’s education. While also spending many years working in a gardening centre.  Her work with adults lead her to explore the therapeutic application of horticultural practice and she undertook a degree in Psychotherapy and Integrated Counselling. This in turn brought her to where she is now in relation to studying Social Therapeutic Horticulture.

Siobhán combines her love for Horticulture, Yoga and Psychotherapy in her work in Education, and she also works in a drug & alcohol treatment centre where clients respond enthusiastically to, and benefit from, STH. Clients describe STH as a new experience and share that they never knew that gardening could be so rewarding. STH is a powerful pathway to hope, enabling clients to make better choices and empowering them to live better lives.
Siobhán has taught and continues to teach many personal development courses such as stress management, women and health, mindfulness, yoga to name but a few. She is a member of IACP and The Teaching Council.

Siobhán’s approach is personal centred and uses all her skills and experience, including psychotherapy, yoga, meditation and therapeutic gardening, to facilitate clients engaging with their true nature in Nature

Joyce Fitzpatrick. 

Joyce has a BSc. from U.C.D. in Botany and Biochemistry. She has studied Environmental Science, including Horticulture and Biodiversity,and has just completed a Plants person’s course with Jimi Blake of Hunting Brook Gardens. She is currently studying Social and Therapeutic Horticulture at Coventry University.

She was an Education Guide in Airfield Farm, Dundrum,Co. Dublin, for 10 years. She has extensive experience in education, having worked both in the Primary system and in the VEC where she introduced the first landscaping project in Ireland with school leavers in the Dart Station Killester in the 1980s.

Joyce, after having been primary carer for her mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, studied Dementia Training; Dementia Care Mapping; Setting up Activities for Older Adults (DIT), level 8, and Train the Trainer.  She has 14 years’experience as an Activity Coordinator for a facility with 150 residents and her commitment to this field is not only professional, but personal.She has designed and implemented many social and therapeutic activities both outdoor and indoor, which respond to the residents’ need for occupation,intellectual and sensory  stimulation while maintaining skills. She believes that honesty and sincerity are essential, as is a sense of humour.

Joyce is constantly experimenting with better ways of improving the quality of life of those with social isolation and  compromised cognitive function, and over the past 4 years she developed a series of 7 courses to this end, entitled ‘Engaging Activities’. All are accredited by Skillnet for the provision of training  nurses,occupational therapists and carers throughout Ireland.They include seasonal activities, virtual tours, life story boards, gardening activities and floral art.

Joyce grew vegetables and flowers from age 8 and is happiest when in the garden. Her interests include, the biodiversity of the Burren, collecting driftwood, community planting, birdwatching, and the spirituality of trees.

Cancellation Policy

  • All courses must be 100% paid in advance to secure your place.
  • Cancellations 4 weeks or greater before start date – Full refund
  • Cancellations 3 weeks before start date – €25 administration fee.
  • Cancellations 2 weeks before start date – €75 administration fee.
  • Cancellations 1 weeks before start date – no refunds.

Please note lunch is not provided in the price.

GIY in Waterford is also a host centre for Thrive Social and Therapeutic Horticulture courses.

GIY supports a global movement of people who grow some of their own food at home, at work, at school, or in the community. In 2017 we supported 500,000 people and 8,000 groups to grow some food through campaigns, events, online and in groups.
Our mission is to change the world, one GIYer at a time, by inspiring Food Empathy; a deeper understanding of food that comes from growing some of it yourself.
We are all about building a healthier, happier, more sustainable world.

More details about GIY on their website https://giy.ie

Click here to view the GIY courses