What is horticultural therapy?
Horticultural therapy is the use of gardens and plants as an intervention for individuals working toward improving physical, emotional, psychological, cognitive, or social goals. In horticultural therapy plants are used in planned activities to assist improvement of fine and gross motor skills, sensory stimulation, increased socialization, reduction of stress and anxiety, and to create meaningful experiences. Participants come from a wide range of populations including those with acute memory loss, PTSD, autism, brain injury, sensory disabilities, and spinal cord disorders. Horticultural therapy is often used in conjunction with occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling, palliative care, and other therapies.
How can horticultural therapy benefit me?
The benefits of horticultural therapy are available to everyone. We all understand the calming effect a walk in nature can have on us when life gets too busy or stressful. People with intellectual disabilities can feel more self-confident, Alzheimer’s disease clients can find meaning and self-esteem, those struggling with ADHD can work toward improving their focus and communication skills, and many other people can benefit from horticultural therapy. Grief work, substance abuse recovery and trauma recovery are also areas that can be helped with horticultural therapy. The nurturing of a plant is a small but powerful thing.
Lorraine Lee, Certified Horticultural Therapist
Combine psychology, art, gardens, and coffee, and you have Lorraine Lee. Lorraine specializes in program design for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and individuals with memory loss. She has given presentations and workshops on gardening, botanic decor, and horticultural therapy across the country. She takes on challenging responsibilities like training educators and counseling caregivers. She is a dedicated and active University of Rhode Island Master Gardener, Certified Activity Consultant, and Certified Dementia Practitioner, which means she’s spent several thousand hours designing and facilitating professional workshops, documenting and analyzing clinical data, and implementing special programs for low functioning residents. As a past chairman of horticultural therapy for Massachusetts State Garden Clubs, and a current member of the Massachusetts Landscape Design Council, Lorraine is dedicated to preserving historic gardens and sites and encouraging young people to be good stewards of our communities. Lorraine earned her Certificate in Horticultural Therapy from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her Master’s degree in Counseling and Education from Providence College, and her Bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame de Namur University. Lorraine is also certified as a support group facilitator for Alzheimer’s Association. When she’s not doing research and curriculum design, Lorraine likes to spend time exploring beaches and botanical gardens, kayaking, and spending time with her family.
Working with staff from your organization, our horticultural therapist will adapt, prepare, and lead a 90-minute session for up to 12 participants at either Tower Hill or your site. Additional instructor mileage fees apply for off-site programs more than 25 miles away from the Garden. Please contact us using our request form to inquire about scheduling a program. You will receive a reply within 7 business days. Thank you.
Instructor: Lorraine Lee
Class size: 1-12 people (1 staff person is required for every 5 class participants)
Length: 90 minutes
Group Fee: $150 + Materials Fee (mileage fees apply for off-site programs more than over 25 miles)
Programs are listed below: