What is Horticultural Therapy (HT)?
Horticultural therapy (HT) is the engagement of a person in gardening-related activities, facilitated by a trained therapist, to achieve specific treatment goals. AHTA believes that horticultural therapy is an active process which occurs in the context of an established treatment plan. HT is an effective and beneficial treatment for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.
HT helps clients learn new skills and regain those lost. Improved memory, initiation of tasks and attention to detail are recognized HT benefits. Metaphors of HT are beneficial in relating people’s struggles to natural cycles of life and death. Social growth occurs: people caring for plants learn responsibility and experience hopeful and nurturing feelings. HT used in physical rehabilitation retrains muscles and improves coordination, balance and strength. In vocational HT settings, people learn to work independently, solve problems and follow directions.