Horticultural Therapy

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Horticultural Therapy – Rehab South Florida

Botanical Therapy

Horitcultural Therapy

Horticultural therapy is one of the many therapeutic programs provided at Rehab South Florida to help patients achieve peace and mental healing through the practice of gardening.  The benefits derived from Horticultural therapy have been well-known since the 19th century when Dr. Benjamin Rush (known as the “Father of American Psychiatry”) publicly advocated that gardening provided mentally ill individuals with many positive mental effects.  Horticultural Therapy really began to grow in popularity back in the 1950’s era as a recovery and therapeutic solution for hospitalized war veterans.  Since then, Horticultural therapy has been more widely accepted, embraced, and used throughout the country to help individuals with Dual Diagnosis to recover (addiction accompanied with an underlying mental health disorder).

If you, a friend, or loved one would like to learn about admissions to Rehab South Florida and would benefit from joining our Horticultural Therapy Rehab program, please contact us 561-815-1036.

Through Horticultural therapy, participants are enabled to begin emotional and mental healing in addition to learning new skill sets.  Patients that opt in to our Horticultural therapy program will also be able to improve their cognitive abilities, task completion motives, memory, and physical strength.  Regularly socializing and improving communication skills are added benefits that patients receive in Horticultural therapy.

Skillset Development through Horticultural Therapy

vocational horticultural therapy

Rehab South Florida

In a vocational Horticultural therapy environment, patients are able to begin learning how to work independently and will learn problem solving skills and how to follow precise directions.  At Rehab South Florida, our professional and experienced Horticultural therapy therapists are specially trained and have received the education in the field of Horticultural therapy needed to help patients overcome emotional and cognitive battles.  Our highly credentialed therapists understand how Horticultural therapy and rehabilitation works together and how the correlation between the two can be used to help patients we treat to recover.

In this Horticultural Therapy Rehab guide, we’re going to introduce you to how the therapy works, what to expect during the therapy, and how it can help to provide the mental and emotional healing you need to overcome your struggles.

Therapy in Gardens – How it works

horticultural healing

Healing by Nature

In more recent times we have seen a significant increase in the interest of therapeutic gardens and Horticultural therapy.  Gardens that patients will use at Rehab South Florida are specially designed to address a many applications within the field of healthcare and rehabilitation. Horticultural therapy has become so widely depended on for the recovery of so many that the American Society of Landscape Architects actually has a professional network of specialists that specialize only in the designing of therapeutic gardens.

Horticultural therapy will allow those in recovery to become involved in a nature-dominated environment where the healing of nature can begin to benefit patients. Depending on the recovery needs of the patient there are many forms of Horticultural therapies including restorative gardens, rehabilitation gardens, enabling gardens, and healing gardens.

Horticultural Therapy at Rehab South Florida

therapeutic garden

Advantages of Horticultural Therapy

Horticultural therapy is provided to Rehab South Florida patients under the guidance of an experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable therapist that will help patients to achieve specific, personal, and document recovery goals.  Horticultural therapy can help patients to improve their well-being, mental health, and recovery potential.  For example, planting seeds effectively increases sensory stimulation while watering plants helps to improve motor skills.  At Rehab South Florida, in Horticultural therapy sessions, patients may be involved in group gardening as this helps to decrease both depression and isolation.

The Horticultural therapy program at Rehab South Florida is one of the many components of recovery care within out Rehabilitation and Therapy Department.  Our clinical team includes a registered Horticultural Therapist that works in both individual and group sessions.  Horticultural therapy sessions may take place in our residential living area, in the “general activity” space, in a therapeutic garden, or by bedside.  Patients attending our facility will engage in activities including sowing seeds, planting, and maintaining plants (trimming, watering).

Horticultural Therapy Benefits

Improved Mood

Some people, especially those who reside in the northern region of the United States, suffer from a condition known as Season Affective Disorder (SAD) during the winter months where residents aren’t subjected to much sun light (which is known to cause both depression and energy loss). One fact that most would agree with is that becoming isolated from nature can cause depressive effects. Studies on Horticultural therapy have been conducted and it has been shown that this form of therapy helps to improved mood while alleviating depression (for up to 3 months).

“I’ve been struggling with Anxiety and Manic Depression for nearly 10 years. To cope with symptoms I regularly found myself turning to the use of alcohol. Rehab South Florida gave me a 2nd chance. Through their Horticultural Therapy program I was able to find a healthy outlet for my symptoms and have been able to find peace and sobriety in my life once again”. – Mark J.

Risk Factor Decrease

Rehab South Florida understands that family history/genetics and age are contributors to dementia but so is cardiovascular health. A 2005 study conducted by NYU at a cardio-pulmonary rehab where Horticultural therapy was offered determined that patients, nearly immediately after a Horticultural session completed, experienced a decrease in heart rate. Furthermore, patients experienced an improved mood, felt accomplished, and overall were much happier. An improved spirit and outlook on life are also noteworthy benefits that patients in Horticultural therapy reported.

At Rehab South Florida, we want to ensure patients are provided all of the tools, support, and therapies needed to achieve recovery and Horticultural therapy is one of the many ways we accomplish this.

Improved Motor Skills

Rehab South Florida firmly believes that gardening provides patients with an outlet for not only emotional and mental healing but as a way to improve physical strength. Studies have shown that gardening improves the mineral density in bones and helps to improve dexterity.

Better Sense of Purpose

Horticultural Therapy – Additional Recovery Benefits

It has been shown time and time again that patients participating in Horticultural therapy begin to develop a better sense of purpose and self-worth.  Whether plants are grown for a chef or as a gift for a friend or loved one – Horticultural therapy affords patients the opportunity to have a sense of accomplishment and purpose and will help to improve their overall attitude while simultaneously helping to reduce stress and anxiety.

As a recovery intervention, there are many advantages to attending the Horticultural Therapy program at Rehab South Florida, including:

  • Due to the nature of this therapy program, it’s an effective and viable recovery form for a large range of developmental conditions, ages, psychological issues and disorders, and physical health complications.
  • It’s a unique yet traditional recovery approach that can provide much-needed relief from mental health and substance abuse symptoms (in a non-intensive manner).
  • Horticultural therapy is a hands-on therapy that directly promotes the development of growth in various areas of anindividual’s life that other therapies (such as talk therapy) could only do, at best, indirectly.
  • Horticultural therapy is time-tested form of recovery therapy.
  • Horticultural therapy addresses many psychological issues.
  • Unlike some other forms of experimental therapy, Horticultural therapy involves a multitude of enjoyable, fun, and laid-back activities (which makes it feel less like treatment and more of an engaging function with therapeutic side effects).
  • Patients in our Horticultural therapy program typically have better clinical and recovery outcomes as the dependence or reliance for medications begin to decline.
  • Garden therapy allows patients to become a caregiver(which helps to instill a sense of self-confidence, accomplishment, and purpose).
  • Patients aren’t the only ones that will benefit from our Horticultural therapy program. Patients, family members of patients, our therapists, and our treatment providers will all enjoy the beautiful landscape created by our clients.

Added benefits to be reaped from Horticultural therapy include:

  • Becoming more connected to nature
  • Reduction in stress
  • Increased sense of well-being
  • Increases feelings of purpose, self-worth, and value
  • Garden therapy helps to reduce stress and anxiety which is particularly useful for patients struggling with a mental health disorder
  • Helps patients to feel refreshed and energized
  • Improved mood
  • Decreases time spent isolated
  • Time spent in a tranquil garden/environment helps to alleviate anxiety
  • Greatly increases self-confidence
  • Allows individuals to learn how to work independently
  • Improves problem-solving abilities
  • Increases capabilities of following instructions
  • Improves memory function and cognitive health
  • Improves community skills
  • Improved sense of spiritual connection
  • Improved endurance
  • Strengthens immunity
  • Reinforces physical coordination/balance
  • Improved dexterity

Medical Condition that can be treated through Horticultural Therapy

The versatile nature of garden therapy makes it ideal in helping patient to recover from physical health condition/challenges and mental health issues.  It’s also beneficial in helping to treat other challenges such as:

  • Substance use disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Social iѕоlаtiоn
  • Stress
  • Pain issues
  • Dеvеlорmеntаldiѕоrdеrѕ
  • Social anxiety
  • Grief orlоѕѕ
  • Aging related issues
  • Lowѕеlf-еѕtееm
  • Lоwѕеlf-esteem
  • Chronic medical issues оr illnesses
  • ADHD / ADD

If you’re ready to begin your journey to recovering from mental or physical symptoms and/or ailments and are wanting to cure underlying causes of dependency – contact our friendly admissions staff at 561-815-1036 for more information.