Perspectives, news, and announcements from the Center that will ignite your passion for wellbeing.

Nature is for Everyone

March 26, 2019

Working with plants or animals can improve concentration, encourage relaxation, and improve self-esteem. Digging in rich, black soil feels good. That’s because the environment plays a critical role in your overall wellbeing - in fact, a growing number of researchers believe that many mental health issues - like depression, anxiety, and stress - are due, in part, to our separation from nature.
Jean Larson, PhD, HTR, CTRS, affirms the belief that nature is for everyone. Dr. Larson began her work for the University of Minnesota in 1992, where she developed the Nature-Based Therapeutic Services (NBT) partnership between the Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Now 27 years later, she is still teaching NBT courses and raising awareness for wellbeing and our environment. You can listen to Dr. Larson discuss NBT as a guest on the Take Five podcast.
The emerging field of NBT focuses on the healing power of nature through therapeutic horticulture, restorative environments, facilitated green exercise, care farming, healing gardens, and animal-assisted interactions. Nature-Based Therapeutics can be used across many other fields - from business to healthcare and more!
Learn more about the three topic areas covered by NBT - therapeutic horticulture, animal-assisted interactions and therapeutic landscape design - by watching their example videos. Students can apply courses towards the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Integrative Therapies and Healing Practices or as electives in their own degree programs. Learn more in courses like:
  • CSPH 1101 - Self, Society, and Environment: An Interconnected Worldview
  • CSPH 5522 - Intro to Therapeutic Horticulture: Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes
  • CSPH 5641 - Animals in Health Care: The Healing Dimensions of Human/Animal Relationships


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