How to Become a Forest Bathing Guide


Welcome to the Adore Your Outdoors Nature Connection and Forest Bathing Guide Training Programme! This immersive 6-month hybrid learning experience is designed to equip you with all the knowledge, confidence, and skills needed to become a Shinrin Yoku guru so you can confidently guide others in this transformative wellbeing technique. Find out more about the practice here

Our hybrid learning approach blends theory, experiential learning, and coursework assignments to ensure you gain a well-rounded understanding of both Nature Connection and Forest Bathing and their powerful therapeutic benefits.

The first part of this blog covers the immersive experience of the training, the exciting opportunities that await those who take this path and the profound impact it can have on those you guide. This second part focuses more on the certification journey. 

Step into the Forest Bathing World

Your journey begins when your 135-page training manual drops through your letter box. This will happen just before the online weekend, which starts with a deep dive into the principles, ethics, science and best practices of Nature Connection and Forest Bathing.

Delve into the sensory awareness, elemental connections, and mindfulness practices that form the heart of Forest Bathing. Uncover the scientific evidence supporting the therapeutic effects of nature, particularly the profound wellbeing impact of spending slow and silent time with trees and forests. Learn about and discuss themes such as intrinsic worth, ancestral ways, animism, reciprocity, embodied responses, the beginner’s mind and the forest bathing model, process and invitations. Experience your first sacred circle and learn how to create and hold the therapeutic container yourself, what not to do and how to keep you and your participants safe.

We spend time on business planning, focusing on goals and strategies and looking at ideal customers and finish with a session on foraging and the tea ceremony – the traditional way to close every Forest Bathing experience. Before closing with a final sacred circle, you’ll learn all about the face-to-face training and monthly assignments to complete in order to qualify for the certification.

With a mixture of whole group discussion, scenario troubleshooting in break-out rooms and guided practical exercises, you’re soon feeling immersed and excited to learn more.

Master the Art of Guiding

Then we meet for a week in the woods so you can become a true Forest Bathing expert!

Engage in practical face-to-face training exercises to apply your newfound knowledge in real-world settings. Over the course of the week, you’ll learn to facilitate full-length Forest Bathing experiences, receiving valuable feedback from peers and experienced mentors along the way. By practising in small groups for longer every day, you’ll refine your skills in creating safe and nurturing environments, creating inclusive and welcoming spaces, nurturing the therapeutic container, and leading sacred circle ceremonies that touch the soul. Read about Tara’s experience on the training programme here.

With over 50 pages of invitations in the training manual, there is a lot to cover, and on the final day, you will co-create and deliver a full session with your peers. It is usually at this point that my tears flow, as I become overwhelmed with emotion – pride, excitement, relief and huge gratitude that I’ve found my true calling and am spreading Nature Connection love far and wide. I believe as more of us return to being deeply connected to nature and our worldviews change, the more chance we have of passing on a healthy planet to our younger family members.

I am aware of Forest Bathing Guide Training courses that are much shorter and do not include a face-to-face learning element. But I witness so much progress and deep connections made during the week when we’re together, for me it is a critical part of the training.

Coursework Assignments to Become a Forest Bathing Guide

The purpose of these is twofold – firstly to encourage your ongoing exploration and deeper connection with nature. In addition, the assignments will ensure that you cultivate the skills and expertise required to guide others.

The monthly packages act as a bridge between the theoretical learning and the practical application of guiding Forest Bathing sessions, allowing you to integrate your learning and knowledge from the online and face-to-face learning, reflect on your experiences, and refine your abilities over an extended period of time.

You submit your coursework in monthly buckets which include a variety of tasks such as sit spot diaries, walk preparation, delivery and write-up, and audio and video files showing delivery of specific invitations.

Ongoing Support

Through the nature of the work, each participant gets to know each other on a deep level. You often have profound experiences and share from the heart in sacred circles. For some, meeting and connecting deeply with fellow nature nerds 🙂 is a hugely welcome experience and brings with it a sense of ‘coming home’. This can be novel for those used to feeling lonely, isolated or misunderstood in life.

Clare said, ” As an introvert, the thought of meeting up with 6 almost strangers was a really daunting feeling. The nerves were on overdrive as I drove down the tree-lined road to my new office for the week, the woods. Those nerves instantly disappeared as I was greeted with the biggest hug from Sonya. As the week went on those ‘strangers’ became friends as we shared some really personal stories and feelings. I have never felt so calm and relaxed as I did that week in the woods.”. 

Each cohort remains connected through technology and comes together live online once a month. We operate a buddy system throughout the course with 1-1 mentoring from tutors available too. Following certification, the monthly calls continue.

A World of Opportunities

Upon completing this transformative programme, you’ll be equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to confidently guide others in the art of Shinrin-Yoku.

Janice said, “I feel really excited as to where this course might lead me, how I will hopefully grow into a competent guide that will offer others the chance to experience the amazing effects nature emersion can have and the opportunity to connect even further with nature in the very capable and patient hands of Sonya.”.

The impact of Forest Bathing reaches far and wide, benefiting individuals on physical, mental, and emotional levels. You’ll have personally experienced the healing potential of nature and be skilled in creating experiences for others that promote inner peace, vitality, and a profound connection with the natural world – an honour and a privilege like no other.

Since the practice is now prescribed on the NHS by GPs as a green social prescription, you will be able to help those with health inequalities and who would benefit most from the practice in a timely manner.

Calling All Therapists

For those skilled in 1-1 therapy, such as qualified and practising counsellors and coaches, the shorter, online 1-1 masterclass might be more suited. Although it doesn’t lead to a Forest Bathing guide certification, it equips you with powerful tools to integrate the healing power of nature into your practice, leading to greater insight, personal growth, and breakthroughs for your clients. Request more info about the masterclass here.

Are You Ready to Become a Forest Bathing Guide?

Becoming a Forest Bathing guide is a calling for those who are passionate about nature, wellbeing, and the interconnectedness of all living beings. It’s an invitation to embark on a transformative journey that not only benefits others but also enriches your own life in countless ways.

So, if you’re ready to step into the healing embrace of nature and share its wisdom with others, it’s your time. The world needs your guidance, and the forest is waiting to welcome you with open arms.

The first part of this blog covers the immersive experience of the training, the exciting opportunities that await those who take this path and the profound impact it can have on those you guide. Find out more about the course here and find out more about Sonya Dibbin from Adore Your Outdoors here.

Are you ready to embark on a transformative journey? Get in touch to book a Connection Call and I can answer any questions you might have.

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