How to become a Horticultural Therapist
What does a Horticultural Therapist do?
Horticultural therapists use horticultural activities and
environments as a means of positively influencing well-
being, emotions, health and behaviour.
Horticultural therapists work with specific groups,
such as those with physical disabilities, mental health
problems and learning difficulties, those recovering from
major injuries or illnesses, and elderly people. Some
Horticultural therapists develop programmes for the
rehabilitation of offenders or those suffering from drug
or alcohol abuse. This often involves liaising with other
professionals such as psychologists and social workers.
Horticultural therapists programmes are
tailored to the needs of individual clients, and could be
- developing confidence, self-esteem,
practical or social skills
- encouraging social
- learning or re-learning basic skills
including numeracy and literacy
- providing supportive outdoor
activity and exercise to restore strength and mobility
after an accident or illness
- providing tranquil,
for support clients, encouraging them to achieve their
objectives and monitoring their progress.
Some clients may be supported in gaining horticultural
qualifications or going on to open or supported
Horticultural therapists may also
manage staff and volunteers, secure funding, draw up
detailed proposals for developing projects, and promote
their work to other professionals.
What's the working environment like working as a Horticultural Therapist?
Working hours vary, and may include weekends and
evenings. Part-time hours may be available.
may be opportunities to work abroad, especially in the USA,
where horticultural therapy is well-established.
What does it take to become a Horticultural Therapist?
To be a horticultural therapist you need:
- enthusiasm and a keen interest in horticulture
- patience, tolerance and understanding
ability to relate positively and respectfully to all kinds of
- the ability to encourage and
- the ability to teach various skills
- the ability to make the most of limited budgets
- awareness of health and safety issues.
Horticultural Therapist Career Opportunities
Horticultural therapy is a fairly new area and relatively
few posts are advertised.
Therapists work in a
variety of settings including day services/community
based projects, residential care, rehabilitation units,
hospitals, prisons, charitable and voluntary
organisations, schools and specialist colleges.
Thrive employs therapists in four gardens around
Some organisations may offer relevant
posts under alternative job titles such as project worker
or horticultural trainer.
If you would like to know anything about Horticultural Therapist that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.Thrive
The Geoffrey Udall Centre
Tel:0118 988 5688
www.thrive.org.ukNottingham Trent University
School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Tel: 01636 817099
Tel: 024 7688 7688
Tel: 01995 642211
www.myerscough.ac.uk University of Reading
PO Box 217
Tel: 0118 987 5123
www.rdg.ac.uk Royal Horticultural Society
Horticultural Training Officer
www.rhs.org.uk Institute of Horticulture
14-15 Belgrave Square
Tel: 0845 707 8007
Lantra career advice sites:www.ajobin.comwww.afuturein.com