Meet your guide…
COME BACK TO YOUR TREES The Welsh people have a saying: “dod yn ôl at fy nghoed.” Translated it means, “to return to a balanced state of mind.” Lovely! The literal translation of the Welsh is, “to return to my trees.” Earthy! I'd like to invite you “to come back to your trees” by joining me on a Forest Bathing walk.
Forest Bathing/Forest Therapy offers the opportunity for a guided sensory immersion in nature. On this walk, you’ll be invited to slow down and focus on your sensory connection with the beings in nature — the sights, sounds, textures, smells, and even tastes of the land, the trees, the water, the rocks, etc. This is not a fitness walk or a naturalist walk. Walks are typically less than half a mile, and may take two to two-and-a-half hours.
This slow, sensory immersion in nature will allow you to access the physical, psychological, and personal restoration available when spending time in nature. Doesn't it sound relaxing already? Among the many benefits of Forest Bathing are boosted immune function, reduced stress, anxiety, and depression, improved concentration and creativity, increased relaxation, and soothing experiences of awe. Many Forest Bathers have reported that their walks enhanced and deepened their relationships with others and with the more-than-human world.
I've practiced as a psychologist for over thirty years in the Greater Pittsburgh area, both in private practice and as a consultant to several independent, public and charter schools. I am a Certified Forest Therapy Guide, having received my training from the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. Coupled with my lifetime of wild tending and vacationing in the woods and lakes of northwestern Michigan, my background as a psychotherapist, prepares me well to accompany and support others on Forest Therapy walks.
Pittsburgh’s city parks, and parks in surrounding communities offer wonderful venues for Forest Bathing walks. A recent participant had this to say about her Forest Therapy walk with me: “The walk was very carefully designed and expertly guided, which resulted in all of us experiencing something extremely personal and beneficial. I especially enjoyed how we were given guidance and direction - but also invited to explore and discover on our own.”
Feel free to "come back to your trees" and “to return to a balanced state of mind!” Use this app to join a walk, or use the contact link to inquire about scheduling a custom walk for your family, friends, colleagues or staff. I am regularly guiding walks at the Pittsburgh Botanic Gardens, Frick Park, Walker Park, and Knob Hill Community Park. I look forward to partnering with you and nature on a Forest Bathing walk in the Pittsburgh area soon!
And, in the summer of 2022, I will also be guiding walks in the Good Harbor Bay/LIttle Traverse Lake area of Leelanau County!
Pittsburgh Botanic Garden
799 Pinkerton Run Road, Oakdale, PA, USAIf you’ve made it to this posting, then you have an idea of what a Forest Bathing walk is. If you want more information, check out my “About Me” page, or check blogs from other guides here on FBF.com. You can also check out natureandforesttherapy.earth. Let me tell you about the walk planned at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. PBG is a well-loved natural landscape of over 400 acres, 60 acres of which are groomed and tended as gardens, meadow, woodland, and grassy areas around a vibrant pond. The terrain is rolling, but there are no worrisome steep areas. We will be walking on just a few of the trails during our journey of less than half a mile. Depending on the day, we will end our walk with tea and a snack at the pond or meadow. Numerous long-time members of PBG have said that although they have visited the Garden many times, they have never experienced it in the way they did on the Forest Bathing walk. Whether this is your first time at PBG, or your fifteenth, it will be a new experience! I hope to see you!
Women's Adventure Club - Western PA. Forest Therapy Walk at Walker Park, Shelter #2
Walker Park, Sewickley, PA, USAJoin the Women's Adventure Club - Sewickley for this immersive forest experience where you consciously take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest. It’s not about doing anything strenuous or getting your heart rate up — rather, the point is to slow down and fully experience in your own individual way what the forest has to offer. Settled and centered, experience for yourself the evening golden hour in the forest! Our walk will last from two to two and a half hours. With Certified Forest Therapy Guide Doug Jones’ guidance, we’ll wander along the path and banks of Little Sewickley Creek, stopping every so often for invitations designed to maximize being present and deepen your connection with nature. Maybe the best thing about Forest Bathing is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Just come as you are. No advance preparation is needed other than arriving ten minutes early for the walk and dressing appropriately for the weather. On our walk, we will be crossing the Creek on blocks designed for the crossing. This is not a hilly trail, but may be muddy and uneven in spots. If you have mobility issues, please contact Doug in advance.