Jean Larson

Jean Larson walking her dog in the woods during in autumn

Jean Larsen, PhD, HTR, CTRS

CSH Staff

Dr. Jean Larson began her work for the University of Minnesota in 1992, where she developed the Nature-Based Therapeutic Services (NBT) a partnership between the Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. NBT provides a range of services including direct programming, training, education, research and outreach in the fields of therapeutic horticulture, animal-assisted interventions, facilitated green exercise, and therapeutic landscapes. The partnership provides opportunities to better understand and ensure students, professionals and general public will have access to the most current research and practices. The unique partnership recognizes the strengths and expertise to make the best use of resources from both integrative medicine and nature-based science.

Jean has a Ph.D. in Education (emphasis in therapeutic recreation) with a minor in integrative medicine from the University of MN. Jean teaches six graduate courses: Introduction to Therapeutic Horticulture, Introduction to Therapeutic Landscape Design, Applications in Therapeutic Horticulture, Animals in Healthcare, Introduction to Nature-Based Therapeutics, and Horse as Teacher: Equine Facilitated Education and Psychotherapy. She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, a Registered Horticultural Therapist, and has a certificate in Disability Services and Administration, with a specialization in serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, from the Institute of Community Integration.

Jean's work has taken her around the world - from Japan, England, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Taiwan, to Israel. When not working for the University, Jean is at home enjoying her family farm north of the Twin Cities along with her husband, dogs, cats, goats, chickens and horses or unplugged at their little cabin along the North Shore.

December 19, 2018
Water is fundamental to survival - it is one of the most important shared resources for and by all and relies on our collective care. Water is elemental. It is made up of one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms bonded together. It comes in three forms (gas, solid and liquid) all mutually supporting the other. Expressed another way, it comes from the air (gas) and returns to the earth (solid) and in-between it drenches (liquid).
May 30, 2018
What is the science behind equine assisted activities and therapy (EAAT)? That is the question we try to answer in the CSpH 5643 "Horse as Teacher" course. This blended (six weeks online with one week face-to-face) class highlights the science behind EAAT and how partnering with the horse can help the brain and body work together to bring about measurable positive outcomes.
January 23, 2018
Nature-based therapies bring kids outside to interact with nature while virtual reality therapy uses technology to help them experience nature from within the hospital. Nature-based therapy isn’t always accessible for patients with compromised immune systems, limited mobility or other medical issues that prevent them from leaving the hospital. In those instances, virtual reality can provide “the next best thing.”