Ralph Waldo Emerson
Explore a connection with the more-than-human world like never before. You will experience, discover and connect with yourself and others as the forest serves as your therapist.
New Forest Therapy / Forest Bathing events coming soon!
Let's learn more about this impactful practice. Forest Therapy is, in part, a relaxed and mindful way of being in nature, which supports healing and wellness. On a walk, you would be guided through sensory activities and mindful meditations called “invitations” which will assist you in slowing down, relaxing, reconnecting with nature, awakening your senses, and being present. The word “invitation” is intentional: you are invited to do something, but you can make it your own. All is welcome! You will have time and space to experience and connect with the forest, with yourself, and with others. At the start of the walk, your guide will share information about what to expect and some safety tips. At the close of the session, there is a tea ceremony and a tasty bite. A walk usually covers no more than a quarter to a half a mile, and so it is welcoming and adaptable for all.
Forest Therapy is based on the Japanese practice of "shinrin yoku" which translates to "forest bathing". It basically is an immersion into nature with our senses. There are mental, physical and spiritual benefits from this practice which are discussed at the beginning of a walk.
I am a huge fan of therapy, but this is not technically medical therapy and I am not a psychotherapist — I am a guide. Some people describe this practice as “nature therapy,” “forest therapy,” or “eco-therapy,” but it is being used in the same spirit as “aromatherapy.” Nature connection has many benefits, but is not a substitute for psychotherapy. Many of us like to hike or bird watch or learn the names of wildflowers. However, the aim of this experience to really have a "see a whole world in a grain of sand" experience with beings in the more-than-human world. The Guide opens the door allowing Nature to become the therapist.
I have been training in the art of invitations specifically designed to gently guide you to open to your senses, yourself and your surroundings. Consider me akin to one who guides yoga or meditation rather than to a fitness coach or naturalist. A trained guide continually seeks a personal connection to Nature’s wisdom. I will engage you at a pace and a presence that can provide a sense of wellbeing for body, mind and soul. My goal is to allow you to move more deeply into what we call liminal space - that threshold where you’re more open to receive the therapy of the forest and the wonder of the natural world.
During a session, you will be walking, sitting, pausing, exploring... together on a short, gentle walk. One of the pieces of a Nature and Forest Therapy walk is to slow down and experience what is around you and this spot really speaks to me. We take our time, in a way that may be new to you.
The vast majority of the walks I've guided have resulted in people saying they wished it had lasted longer. Most walks are 2 1/2 hours long. Can you image wanting more?
If you would like more information about a private guided forest therapy/forest bathing walk, reach out to me via email or phone and I will be happy to discuss your needs so we can customize a walk for you or your group. Walks can also be done virtually for those unable to go to the forest.
"The experience of the forest with Jofa was both calming and invigorating. She helped me to connect to the forest in a way that I have never experienced before. She takes the time to explain everything and allows ample time for sharing. Highly recommend the forest therapy walk with Jofa!"
Jen, New Oxford, PA
"Enter into it as a self examination of health, mental and spiritual health."
B. Dossett, Tennessee
"This was one of the most unique experiences I've ever had in the forest. I connected in ways I couldn't imagine and the forest connected with me, too. I'm excited to do this again...and again...and again. Thanks, Jofa!"
R. Smith, Hanover, PA