Healing Landscapes seminar
Representatives from the horticulture, rehabilitation and medical care sectors are invited to attend a ‘Healing Landscapes’ conference in Latvia this summer to promote ways in which horticulture and forest therapy can support healthcare professionals.

The seminar, called ‘Healing Landscapes: how connecting with nature helps to survive’, will run for two days (August 27th-28th) in the Latvian capital, Riga. Speakers include Thrive’s Training, Education and Consultancy Manager, Damien Newman, who will discuss how therapeutic gardens and horticulture support health, community and the environment. He’ll be joined by psychiatrist and author, Sue Stuart-Smith, for two workshops on the second day of the conference which will take place in the Latvian State Forest.

The morning workshop will concentrate on the practice of horticulture therapy and how it can be integrated with other healthcare disciplines. In the afternoon delegates will learn about designing gardens to support mental health and recovery, with a special focus on biophilia and attention restoration theory.

Further keynote speeches will come from Inga Dreimane, psychologist and forest therapy practitioner in Latvia, and Elena Arova, psychotherapist, botanist and landscape designer in Kharkov, Ukraine.

Latvian seminar speakers
Line-up of speakers for the seminar

It’s hoped that by the end of the conference, participants will understand the different ways nature and horticulture have been evidenced to support different elements of holistic health and how to utilise its knowledge to support their approaches to healthcare.

A spokesperson for the event explained, “In this age of anxiety and change, there are many events that affect mental health, and we are looking for ways that the environment can heal. The seminars and workshops, as well as the translated book, ‘The Well Gardened Mind’ by Sue Stewart-Smith, will raise the topic of the importance of urban green structures and methods that promote people’s connection with nature in the context of mental and physical health and to continue the discussion in the professional and political sector.”

Organisers claim that mental and physical health are closely related to economic activity and will be encouraging city planners to create green environments and modern methods for improving and stabilising mental health.

More information about the Healing Landscapes seminar can be found here where you will also find details on how to register for the conference.

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Mark E