Nature-Based Therapeutics

How does your environment affect your overall wellbeing? Did you know that being in nature not only reduces stress, but can also boost immune activity? Additionally, a growing number of researchers and human service professionals believe that many issues facing people today - issues that include depression, anxiety and stress - are due, in part, to our separation from nature.

Nature-Based Therapeutics, or NBT, focuses on the healing power of nature through interactions with plants, animals and natural landscapes. Through research, courses and products, the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing is working to advance this emerging field.

As this field expands, the Center will play an important role in convening leading experts and researchers. Hospital patients recover faster when they can view nature. Working with plants or animals can improve concentration, encourage relaxation, and improve self-esteem. Digging in rich, black soil just feels good. But why? The emerging field called Nature-Based Therapeutics (NBT), which includes, but isn’t limited to, therapeutic horticulture, restorative environments, facilitated green exercise, care farming, healing gardens, and animal-assisted interactions, focuses on the healing power of nature. The environment plays a critical role in your overall wellbeing, and a growing number of researchers and human service professionals believe that many issues facing people today - issues that include depression, anxiety and stress - are due, in part, to our separation from nature. 

Nature-Based Therapeutics Fall 2020 Student Testimonial


Our nature-based theraputics courses are divided into three areas: therapeutic horticulture, animal-assisted interactions and therapeutic landscape design. Students can apply courses towards the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Integrative Therapies and Healing Practices or towards another degree. 


The Center for Spirituality & Healing and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum partner to offer exciting courses in Nature-Based Therapeutics. 

Our partnership with the Arboretum provides a broader range of opportunities, better understanding, and wider skill base to ensure students will have access to the most current research and philosophies in the field. Our unique partnership recognizes the strengths and expertise to make the best use of resources from both integrative medicine and nature-based science.

Learn more about Nature-Based Therapeutic Services at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum on their website.

How can nature help people heal?

Stories adapted from The Healing Earth and Nature-Guided Therapy have been shared on our Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing site.