Introduction…..“ In this section we celebrate the vast and diverse nature-based therapy projects and stories from across Australia and Aotearoa. We present a selection of typical target groups and situations where nature-based therapies are currently used and have proven beneficial. Harder to measure and infinitely more complex, the smiles, breakthroughs and transformation are the evidence of its success, as witnessed by those who do the work of nature-based therapies in often harsh and tough conditions. For each category, an example is provided by a nature-based or horticultural therapist currently working in Australia or Aotearoa. The stories in each chapter highlight the great value of the process and outcomes for the various groups, and serve as a useful evidence-base to support the growth of nature-based therapies.
The stories in Part 4 are offered to express the diversity of how nature-based therapies are taking place. For each story, an introduction provides a context for the group and setting of a nature-based therapy program. Each story is presented by a facilitator in their own words and from their personal experience. Specific considerations, goals and benefits for a particular group may include: people living with a developmental disability; physical disabilities; mental ill health (including substance abuse and PTSD); children; youth at risk; inmates; older persons, including dementia; refugees and other displaced persons; cultural groups; carers – grief and loss.
We salute their tenacity of hope, the commitment of each therapist, and their contribution to the evolution and development of nature-based therapies”.