Help patients recover from physical illnesses, injuries, or surgeries.
A Horticultural Therapist is part Gardener, part Therapist, helping people overcome physical, mental, and emotional problems by way of gardening. It’s true: Gardening can be super soothing and extremely enriching — especially when it’s done under the guidance of a Horticultural Therapist.
When you’re a Horticultural Therapist, your patients include people with physical conditions like arthritis, who use gardening as physical therapy, as well as elderly people, or people with physical handicaps, who use gardening as a form of gentle exercise. They also include people with social disorders, who use gardening as a means of socialization, as well as people who suffer from mental illness or emotional trauma, who use gardening as a way to focus, relax, and de-stress.
Basically, it’s your job to spend time with these people in the garden, teaching them not only how to grow and care for plants but also how to work through their physical and mental issues by doing manual labor and connecting with the environment. You might also be involved with creating and managing community gardens, or working with inmates in prison gardens.
You’re part of a team that designs and executes rehabilitation programs. Instead of pills or talk therapy, however, your prescription of choice is planting!