Meet Your Guide
Your guide, Alana, is an experienced and trained therapist as well as a registered forest therapy guide. Learn more about their journey.
My journey towards becoming a forest therapy guide began during the pandemic and prolonged lockdowns. Feeling stuck, heading towards burn out and dreading another day of back to back zoom meetings and of only being able to socialise behind a screen. Climate anxiety was also something I was feeling increasingly weighed down by as a young person, new therapist; feeling too much uncertainty in the world and a lack of connection to support me through.
During this period my daily walks became mine and many others main survival tool to keep pushing on. However, I would notice how refreshing and restorative this time spent in nature was. After my back to back zoom meeting my senses felt as if they had been "blurred" or "numbed" by technology and light eminating from a screen I had to look at all day and the stuffy air from the inside of my house where I was forced to spend too much time in. After my walks I felt like my senses has been restored. Nature's peaceful slowness would provide me more moments of stability and acceptance. With my walking rituals I felt more connected to a positive energy within me and more ability to cope through uncertain times.
Feeling like, "there must be something therapuetically important" about connecting with nature, I started a group for Art Therapist's to share ideas about how to encorporate more nature connectedness in their work to help our clients. I engaged in some training and practice with using nature-based Art Therapy. Then one day someone shared with me information with me about a course in "Forest Therapy". I had no idea what this approach was at the time but already beginning to become excited by the growing body of research on natures health benefits I immediately knew that was something I wanted to learn about and offer.
I started a course on Forest Therapy Guiding in 2021 through the International Nature and Forest Therapy Alliance and learned how to practice being more connected with nature, about what the current science says, and how to facilitate a positive connecting nature experience for others. Now I am pleased to offer this service to others to help them and their wellbeing.
Accredited Forest Therapy Guide (INFTA)
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)
Masters of Art Therapy
Professional Member of ANZACATA (Registered Art Therapist)