What is Forest Bathing Training?

Forest Bathing Guide Training in the woods in Hampshire

Forest Bathing training is learning the skills to become a Forest Bathing guide or instructor.

Forest Bathing is a wonderful way to connect with nature and has many health benefits too.

To lead others in the practice and give them the opportunity to benefit in this way is truly an exceptional and profound experience. Let me tell you why this may be the perfect new career path or side hustle for you.

What is Forest Bathing?

Forest Bathing, also known as Forest Therapy, comes from the Japanese term Shinrin Yoku (森林 浴). This translates as ‘bathing your senses in the atmosphere of the forest’. This is why we use the term Forest Bathing.

Forest Bathing is about focussing on the immersion of your senses in the natural world. I often use the terms “Nature-based Mindfulness” or “Nature Immersion” to define the practice, too. I think that should give you a real sense of what you can achieve when you do a Forest Bathing session.

🌿 Related: Forest Bathing and its origins 

A group Forest Bathing experience in Hampshire

The Benefits of Forest Bathing include:

  • reduced stress
  • a stronger immune system
  • increased antioxidants
  • boosted serotonin production
  • lowering high blood pressure
  • improvements in energy, concentration and creativity
  • reducing anxiety
  • better sleep
  • a deeper connection to the natural world

🌿 Related: Discover more about the benefits of Forest Bathing

Group of women Forest Bathing in Hampshire

Now, imagine not only benefitting in this way yourself but also guiding others towards these benefits too. Forest Bathing sessions include a series of group, pair and individual nature-based mindfulness exercises (known as invitations). It truly is a wonderful experience.

🌿 Related: What happens in a Forest Bathing session

If you have not experienced one of my sessions yourself, then I highly recommend this is where you start, to get a real feel for what being a guide involves, as well as how a session is run.

You can view upcoming events here.

How Can I Train to be a Forest Bathing Guide?

There are several different courses around the country. However, I am proud of the extensive support I offer to those who do Forest Bathing training with me. I also truly believe in training as a group.

Those within each cohort have offered incredible support to each other, because of the opportunities to interact and learn from one another, as part of my training, both online and in person.

🌿Related A previous trainee’s story.

Forest Bathing training learning together

I do include a significant in-person element to my training as I believe strongly that this gives you the best opportunity to truly feel confident in your abilities to take forward what you have learnt and to set up your own Forest Bathing sessions (and to run a successful business, should you wish). This is what you need to become an Expert Level 2 Forest Bathing Guide. The online-only training leads to certification as a Level 1 Forest Bathing Guide Practitioner, which will still qualify you to lead groups, but is more suited to those wanting to run occasional events rather than develop an entire business with Forest Therapy at its heart.

What is Involved with Forest Bathing Training?

To become a Forest Bathing guide or instructor, my specialist course includes  – home study, online discussion, role play and learning, in-person week in the woods (optional), personal practice to deepen your connection to nature and practical coursework activities to become a competent Forest Bathing guide.

🌿 Related: How do you train in Forest Bathing?

I have pooled all my knowledge and compiled a unique training manual which offers you a strong foundation from which to start your training. The manual includes lots of background and information, as well as over 50 ‘invitations’ for you to use. These include foraging, creative, meditative, reflective, group and solo activities.

You are not left to self-study with my training, however, as we also have online sessions, via video call, where you will have lots of opportunities to discuss theory and practices, both with me and the others in your training cohort.

There is also some follow-up coursework, which simply allows you to try out elements of becoming a forest training guide – it’s to build confidence not to test or trick you.

Finally, my course involves a one-week in-person ‘in the woods’ training where you will get lots of opportunities, alongside others training to be a Forest Bathing guide, to run sessions and meet fellow mentors and experienced Forest Bathing guides. This is the epitome of transformation if you are serious about becoming an Expert Level 2 Forest Bathing Guide.

If you are completely unable to do the in-person element due to a clash of dates or location, then we can approach the training slightly differently. Do get in touch with me to explore this option. However, being together in the woods is such an amazing opportunity if you can make that commitment to your Forest Bathing Guide Training.

Your future self will thank you!

Forest Bathing Guide Training participants smilingHow Long Does the Certification Take?

There are many different routes for Forest Bathing training so the time can be variable.

For my standard Forest Bathing training, I allow six months for training. This allows self-study, two online sessions, followed approximately 3-4 weeks later by the in-person, in the woods week.

You then have 4-5 months to complete the coursework, alongside the monthly online calls and any further 1:1 mentoring you may require to support you to do this.

I commit to a completion date within 6 months for all participants to ensure you have a clear end date and goal for when you will be a certified Forest Bathing guide and you can get going running events!

Online wellbeing programme to strengthen relationships
Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

What Do Other People Say About Forest Bathing Training?

The programme taught me far more than I ever imagined, on both a professional basis and a personal basis. I found attending the session run by Sonya with real clients really rewarding. A bit like the theory of learning to drive vs seeing how it is really done! | learnt so much about putting it all together for the benefit of the individuals attending. I feel I am a better person for doing this and the impact of Forest Bathing and Nature Connection has been life-changing.

As an introvert, the thought of meeting up with 6 ‘strangers’ was a 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 personal stories and feelings. I have never felt so calm and relaxed as I did that week in the woods.

At the start of the week, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and worried that I wouldn’t be able to remember everything. I needn’t have worried though because Sonya set up the training in such a way that we were able to build our knowledge and skills gradually over the week. By the final day, we had led a forest bathing session together. This felt like such an achievement – we had grown into fledgling guides over the course of the week.

Can Qualified Therapists Train to Become a Forest Bathing Guide?

Yes of course. However, for those already qualified and skilled in 1:1 therapy, such as counsellors and coaches, you may also be interested in a shorter online live 1:1 masterclass, that I offer.

Two people walking in distance

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. It leads to greater insight, personal growth, and breakthroughs for your clients. Get in touch to find out more about this.

How Much Does the Training Cost?

Because there are so many variables, including existing experience and the type of course chosen, I recommend you get in touch to discuss the investment and payment plans available.

When does the Next Certification Programme Start? …Sign Me Up!

Sonya Dibbin holding her FSB award and smiling to cameraI aim to run three Forest Bathing training courses per year, in Spring, Early Summer and Late Summer. You can find out more about training in Forest Bathing with me and the dates of our courses here.

Any questions? Please contact me. I’d be happy to answer your queries at any time.

Email: sonya@adoreyouroutdoors.co.uk




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