Online Nature Therapy Certification

You can Help Others Reconnect with Nature’s Healing Power

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  • Actionable tools to engage positive nature contact with clients
  • Flexible distance program can be completed on your own schedule
  • Quality: since 2013, the Academy has graduates around the globe
  • Hit-the-ground-running curriculum focused on key success skills
  • Training individualized to your region and interests
  • Among industry’s lowest tuition, plus flexible payment options
  • All required materials included
  • No overnight or extended travel required
  • Eligible for 18 NBHWC continuing education credits

“Having a lot of fun reading the materials and working on the assignments. Love a program that puts so much of my knowledge and interests together. Big thumps up.” ~ Graduate

One-time tuition payment includes all materials.
Curriculum | FAQs | Our Approach | Instructors
Current students, click here to log in.

Meet the Instructors

The Academy prides itself on its mentorship. From enrollment to graduation, your instructors will be accessible and responsive to your needs and growth.

Cortney Cameron, an earth scientist and nature therapy practitioner, holds a B.A. in earth and ocean sciences from Duke University, an M.S. in earth science from North Carolina Central University (where she was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow), an M.B.A. from the Quantic School of Business and Technology, and a certificate in wetlands and water resources from the University of Florida. The co-author of Nature Therapy Walks, popular with many professional therapists, she developed her practical approach to nature therapy after using nature immersion to heal from an eating disorder and the early deaths of her parents, leading numerous nature walks for others, and using her scientific background to digest and synthesize the research in the field. A lifelong nature lover who grew up in the wilds of the Appalachian Foothills, she is currently a hydrogeologist working in water resources and environmental protection in the state of Florida, has served as Secretary and Treasurer for the Southeastern Geological Society, and is a member of the Religious Naturalist Association. She has published several creative and scientific presentations and publications, including the Catians comic book and the Geologist in Love poetry collection​.

LindaJoy Rose, PhD is a therapist, author, professional speaker, international trainer, and Academy founder with over 25 years of experience. The author of eight books, Dr. Rose has been featured in The Huffington Post, eHow.com, Tampa NBC affiliate Daytime TV, Yahoo! Lifestyle, Instyle, and more. As a former director for the American Board of Hypnotherapy, she is a pioneer in subconscious dynamics and clinical hypnotherapy. She also spearheaded a healthy lifestyle retraining program with an Astra-Zeneca Foundation grant at one of the nation’s largest clinics. The daughter of two Holocaust survivors, Dr. Rose serves as a volunteer docent at the Florida Holocaust Museum. Dr. Rose developed her practical and delicious eating philosophy to overcome a debilitating auto-immune disorder, which she combined with her background in psychology to launch the Academy’s coaching program.

“The module workbooks are captivating. The experiences are like being transported into another dimension. I had the greatest mentor.” ~ Graduate

Curriculum & Materials

The program runs 40 hours (60 hours for the optional advanced track – no additional cost) and can be completed in 1-6 months. The 6-module multidimensional curriculum is customized to your needs and balances naturalism, spirituality, and practical skills for successful nature walks. Each module includes several small projects to help you master key concepts.

Nature Therapy Certification Materials Sample
A small sample of some of our course materials.

“Doing these activities has helped me to remember the connection with the energies of nature that I had forgotten and greatly missed.” ~ Student

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Define nature therapy and provide examples.
  2. Summarize evidence- and research-based benefits of nature therapy.
  3. Discuss hypotheses on why nature therapy exerts positive effects.
  4. List barriers to nature access and propose methods to overcome them.
  5. Distinguish between the roles of the Guide and the licensed clinician.
  6. Identify the Guide’s most important role.

Materials included: Nature Therapy Walks: 22 Sensory Activities to Enjoy in Nature for Wellbeing book, Module 1 Workbook, About Nature Therapy Infographic, Types of Nature Therapy Infographic, Using Science to Evaluate Claims Handout, Licensing Considerations Handout, 10 Peer-Reviewed Scientific Articles on Nature Therapy, Social Justice and Nature Therapy Handout, Nature as a Guide e-book, Various Video Resources


Module 1A (optional) Lesson Objectives:

  1. Compare and contrast nature therapy approaches for children versus adults.
  2. List the essential elements of nature play.
  3. Describe components of effective nature play spaces.
  4. Discuss how to work with parents to facilitate nature access.
  5. Identify techniques to help children overcome fears of nature.

Materials included: Module 1A Workbook, Addressing Fears of Nature Chapter, Children’s Nature Play Ideas Handbook, Children & Nature Report, Various Reports, Various Video Resources

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Identify your region’s biome and eco-region.
  2. List your region’s prominent natural features and discuss their natural and cultural histories.
  3. Identify the region’s most common, characteristic, or iconic flora and fauna.
  4. Explain how the region’s natural history influences its culture and economy.
  5. List techniques for effective and respectful wildlife viewing.

Materials included: Module 2 Workbook, Wildlife Viewing Tips Infographic, Nature Yearbook Template, Ecological Regions of North America Article, Resources on Your Ecoregion, Various Video Resources

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Develop an individual definition of “spiritual” and discuss how nature can be incorporated therein.
  2. Describe mindfulness and its relationship to nature therapy.
  3. Describe how to navigate multicultural beliefs regarding nature and spirituality.
  4. Define “archetypes” and list nature-specific examples for application in nature therapy.
  5. Discuss spiritual or cultural principles or beliefs associated with your region’s key flora and fauna, including interpretations from mythology, folklore, religion, tradition, or your own experiences.
  6. Describe spiritual associations with your region’s prominent natural features.
  7. List key pathways to nature connectedness.
  8. Identify options for conducting nature therapy sessions indoors.
  9. Discuss reasons and processes for building nature shrines.

Materials included: Module 3 Workbook, Spiritual Nature Infographic, Mindfulness in Nature Infographic, Meditation Music, Animal Speak Excerpt, Archetypes Handouts, Indoor Nature Therapy Handout, Building a Nature Shrine Handout, 2 Guided Meditations, 31 Nature Poems, 3 Peer Reviewed Scientific Articles on Mindfulness, Peer Reviewed Scientific Article on Nature Connection, Example of Interpretation of Geologic Features, Various Video Resources

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Describe interpretation and list interpretative techniques that can be used in nature therapy.
  2. Differentiate between ecophilia and ecophobia.
  3. Identify common natural hazards in your region and discuss risk management techniques.
  4. Discuss group dynamics and illustrate basic techniques to manage groups.
  5. Explain how to utilize “Leave No Trace” principles during Nature Therapy Walks.
  6. Locate and select appropriate settings to hold nature therapy sessions.
  7. Describe the “sales funnel” and how you can utilize it to attract participants and companies.
  8. List options for integrating nature therapy into a career.
  9. Describe approaches for working with clinicians to help clients achieve goals using nature.

Materials included: Module 4 Workbook, Practical Aspects Infographic (Selecting a Trail; Trail Safety; Marketing), Trail Etiquette Infographic, Working with Clients and Clinicians to Achieve Goals Using Nature Handout, Nature Therapy for Workplace Wellness Handout, Interpretive Techniques Handouts, Sample Waiver, Making a Difference Excerpt, Business Worksheet, Sample Walk Announcement and Follow-up Email Templates, Managing Groups Handout, Environmental Education in Urban Areas Handout, Various Video Resources

Lesson Objectives:

  1. List key features of the Nature Therapy Walk Template.
  2. Explain how the setup can translate into a positive experience for participants.
  3. Develop specific nature therapy activities.

Materials included: Module 5 Workbook, Nature Therapy Walks Template Worksheet, Survey and Debriefing Worksheet, Tea and Nature Ceremonies Infographic, Nature Arts and Crafts Infographic, Custom Guided Activity Worksheet, Various Video Resources

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Demonstrate core competencies by designing, conducting, and analyzing a Nature Therapy Walk.

Materials included: Module 6 Workbook, Nature Spirit Walks Guide Business Cards, Graduation Certificate (upon graduation)

Our Approach

The last time you ventured into nature, how did it make you feel? If you’re like most people, you came away feeling uplifted, all-around better. After all, research shows that spending time in nature (also known as nature therapy, ecotherapy, and forest bathing) makes people happier and healthier. Yet, people are spending less time in nature than ever before.

What if you had actionable tools to help effectively share nature experiences with others? As a Certified Nature Therapy Guide, you’ll help your clients reconnect with nature in ways that work for them, with all of the benefits that entails.

Nature Therapy Walks can be completed in as little as half an hour at minimal cost and physical exertion, while still providing an intensive and uplifting experiential and spiritual interaction with nature. You facilitate the process by providing structure and comfort, sharing contextual information about local nature, identifying and interpreting key features, and leading specific mindfulness activities. We also provide tips on hosting nature therapy sessions in non-traditional settings, such as the home or yard, so you can achieve a wider reach.

The program features among lowest tuition in the industry, requires no extended travel, and includes all the materials you need, saving you time and money. Plus, the Natural Wellness Academy has certified wellness coaches all over the world, so you can trust you’re receiving a quality education.

The comprehensive curriculum weaves together aspects of naturalism, spirituality, the science of nature therapy, and practical skills such as trail leadership and interpretation and business basics. You’ll master a flexible framework for facilitating safe and positive nature experiences for your participants.

If you love nature and enjoy spending time in nature, you already have the most important traits of a successful nature therapy guide. Our program can take you the rest of the way, sharing proven tools and techniques for growing your business and helping your clients rekindle their nature bonds.

We feel this work is important for improving well-being for people and nature, so we hope you’ll join us on this journey. Please reach out with any questions.

Learn more about the Academy.

Chat With Us

Chat with one of our instructors for a free consultation about our certifications, and what financing or discount* programs might be available for you, and get a free Nature Therapy Infographic and a Guided Nature Meditation! 

“This is definitely where I’m supposed to be!” ~ Student

*Partial discounts may be available. We’ll never sell or share your information outside of the Academy.

FAQs

We define “nature therapy” as an approach to wellbeing that emphasizes emphasizes meaningful exposure to nature. For further reading, we recommend checking out our blog posts on nature therapy and its benefits, and of course, our program covers this in more detail. Additionally, nature therapy serves to benefit nature, as research shows positive contact with nature is associated with pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors in both children and adults.
A nature therapy guide’s central role is to use their skills and knowledge to cultivate safe, enjoyable, and mutually respectful nature experiences for participants. Frequently, guides develop and lead participants on nature-focused walks, meditations, or activities. Guides may share information on local natural history and interpret natural features. Guides may support participants in processing spiritual experiences by contextualizing relationships to nature through the lenses of participants’ own faith and spiritual beliefs.

As an example, graduates of our program have successfully launched full-service nature wellness retreats, led outstanding nature walks for groups, enhanced their life coaching practices with nature walks, developed nature play spaces for children, guided intimate one-on-one nature experiences, and more.

Nature therapy can be successfully offered as a standalone service, but it also integrates nicely with careers geared toward aiding overall wellbeing, including holistic health paraprofessionals (such as health coaches, yoga instructors, mindfulness coaches, and spiritual advisors) and licensed healthcare and mental health professionals (such as nurses and psychotherapists). Our graduates have successfully launched full-service nature wellness retreats, led outstanding nature walks for groups, enhanced their life coaching practices with nature walks, developed nature play spaces for children, guided intimate one-on-one nature experiences, and more. Several common ways nature therapy guides earn a living are listed below.

  • Most frequently, nature therapy guides host nature walks or meditations, typically thirty minutes to three hours in length, and may opt to charge a fee commensurate with length, materials supplied, and demand (usually between $10 and $50 per person for group walks, more for a private walk).
  • Some guides offer multi-day nature-based retreats, charging accordingly higher fees (ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the retreat).
  • Others work with local businesses, parks, and wellness centers to provide nature-based experiences to employees, visitors, and patients, which may involve per-person fees or billing the facility a flat charge.
  • Guides can work with clinicians hand-in-hand to help clients achieve clinician-recommended goals using nature-based activities.
  • Guides may teach nature therapy classes for continuing education or personal enrichment at local community colleges, museums, parks, wellness centers, or educational institutions.
  • Another option is to consult with clients and businesses on incorporating more nature into their homes and premises, for example by implementing gardens, nature-friendly landscaping, bird feeders, indoor plants, and nature artwork.
  • Guides sometimes publish and sell books or develop other creative materials, including social media channels, based on their unique approach to nature therapy, covering things such as their philosophy and activities.
  • Guides can offer nature-based spirituality services, such as at religious and healing institutions.
  • Guides may further specialize in environmental education and related fields, for example, offering nature-based play and learning experiences to parents, schools, parks, and other groups.
  • Guides may lead green exercise sessions, such as yoga in the forest.
  • Many other possibilities exist depending on the guide’s interests, experience, education, and specializations. Many guides choose to give back by offering occasional gratis services to environmental nonprofits, underserved groups, or by donating a portion of proceeds to worthwhile causes.
In designing the program, we specifically worked to keep tuition at a level that would allow the widest reach. Our philosophy is that nature is the best teacher, and we provide structure and foundational knowledge to the student to supplement that relationship; students sufficiently document their progress (through the program assignments) to demonstrate achievement of key competencies that merit certification as a guide. We keep costs low by minimizing travel (which significantly reduces overhead), using custom course materials (all included), maintaining a small network of qualified instructors who agree to work with the program, and through special arrangement with the Academy.

We truly believe our low tuition provides value to our students by minimizing the financial burden created by course fees, without any sacrifice of quality. A review of our syllabus demonstrates the breadth and comprehensiveness of our program, including a smorgasbord of custom-made and curated course materials specifically designed to help you succeed. Since 2013, the Natural Wellness Academy has helped graduates around the globe to launch successful wellness careers in numerous subspecialities. Graduates of the nature therapy program have successfully launched full-service nature wellness retreats, led outstanding nature walks for groups, enhanced their life coaching practices with nature walks, developed nature play spaces for children, guided intimate one-on-one nature experiences, and more. We are also an Approved Continuing Education Provider for the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching.

All required course materials are included with tuition. In addition to the main course text (which is provided as both hard copy and digitally), we provide a mix of digital (but printable) workbooks, worksheets, and infographics created specifically for this course, as well as curated collections of scientific articles, book excerpts, and articles (comprising hundreds of pages of relevant materials for you to peruse), plus hand-selected video resources. Tuition also covers printing and mailing of your graduation certificate. The screenshot provides a sample of some of our materials.

Please see the syllabus for a full list of materials included.

Additionally, students receive access to the Natural Wellness Academy student Facebook Group (our “virtual campus”) , plus the Nature Therapy Walks class forum, where instructors share and analyze recent news and research articles roughly once a month.

We develop guides who can craft and lead nature experiences designed to facilitate positive connections between nature and people. We equip guides with tools to build their own customized nature therapy programs, on a foundation of key theoretical and practical knowledge, through the lenses of their own expertise and backgrounds. Please see the syllabus for a full list of concepts and competencies that the program covers, as well as how we assess them. For examples of final projects, click here.

Our general philosophy is that nature is the best teacher of nature therapy. So, in developing assignments/projects and in assessing student work, we emphasize doing and feeling over knowing (but students will get plenty of exposure to all three!). This approach also allows us to offer the certification as a distance program: your love and experience with nature is your fundamental asset as a guide, then we help you go the rest of the way by sharing key information and skills that will help you be effective and successful. But just because miles may separate you and your instructor, doesn’t mean that you’ll be on your own! In addition to a treasure trove of specially-developed course materials that make self-study seamless, you’ll have access to a qualified instructor who will provide uplifting and useful feedback and help.

The format of the course is largely self-guided using our custom course materials with experiential projects, combined with regular instructor feedback and guidance following each module and on an as-needed basis per student request. It’s somewhat akin to the “flipped classroom” approach becoming popular at universities, where students view the lecture materials in advance, then time with the professor is focused on hashing out specific student questions. This style of teaching recognizes that students enter our program with varying levels of interest and expertise in our target knowledge areas, and it allows students to customize their learning according to their needs, schedule, and preferred level of interaction. Already know something? Skim through it. Need help with a topic or want to explore it in more detail? Talk about it with your instructor!

In developing our materials, our goal is to identify the most important concepts needed to be a successful and effective nature therapy guide, then we condense those essentials into an accessible format, organized via modules into a logical structure that progressively and seamlessly builds skills. Students frequently compliment us on how easy and fun our materials are to digest, including infographics (plus several that can be shared with your clients!), hand-outs, and worksheets, augmented by numerous resources for those wanting to take deeper dives into specific nature therapy sub-topics.

To top it off, our friendly instructors are just a phone call or email away, ready to bounce ideas, provide feedback, and delve farther into your areas of interest to help you succeed.

We recommend checking out the syllabus for more details!

We are an Approved Continuing Education Provider for the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching, for which this certification offers 18 hours of continuing education credit. You may also be able to petition other certifying bodies to accept Academy courses for credit.
Upon successful completion of the program, graduates receive certification as a Certified Nature Therapy Guide through the Natural Wellness Academy and the Nature Spirit Walks Institute. In addition to a hard copy diploma mailed to them, graduates have access to a printable “e-certificate” in their account.

Our program is not designed to meet any licensing requirements for any jurisdiction. Please contact a licensed attorney and/or your state’s relevant licensing bodies to determine whether or not your services require any forms of licensing and what forms of training are acceptable. Please read this document for more details.
At the time of writing, there are no widely-accepted accredited or licensing bodies that deal specifically with nature therapy training programs. However, we have received external validation as an Approved Continuing Education Provider for the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching, as well as recognition from the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Note that as a non-degree offering institution, the Academy is not accredited by an agency listed by the United States Department of Education and therefore cannot administer federal student aid. However, accreditation is not necessary to practice as a guide and coach, and the goal of certification programs at the Academy, which has operated since 2013, is to tie the benefits of our education directly to the job market. Many of our graduates have used the practical skills and experience they gained from our certification to augment or launch successful careers and practices as wellness specialists. Specifically, graduates have successfully launched full-service nature wellness retreats, led outstanding nature walks for groups, enhanced their life coaching practices with nature walks, developed nature play spaces for children, guided intimate one-on-one nature experiences, and more.
Many students entering our program already have experience with nature and its healing power but would like deeper exposure to the science and language of nature therapy and/or want help building specific nature therapy programs and activities. Basically, they usually already have most of the building blocks but need help refining them and putting them together. In working through the structured guidance of the modules and assignments/projects, implementing our flexible step-by-step template for walks and activities, as well as collaborating with instructors for feedback and ideas, all of our graduates have been able to crystallize specific programs and walks — with their own unique flair. As we say, if you love nature and enjoy spending time in nature, you already have the most important traits of a successful nature therapy guide! We can help you go the rest of the way. Finally, many of our graduates appreciate that a respected third-party credential demonstrates the guide’s professionalism and competency, which inspires client confidence. It feels good to have that certificate on your wall! Feel free to check out the syllabus or reach out to us to help determine if the program is right for you!
Each of the first 5 modules includes an assignment featuring some combination of essay response questions and small projects, while the 6th module consists of practicals and an exam. All assignments are assessed by an instructor, who will mark the assignment as either satisfactory or unsatisfactory and provide appropriate feedback. Students may reattempt unsatisfactory assignments. The practicum final report should provide compelling evidence of the student’s competence in designing and facilitating safe and positive nature encounters with participants. Students must satisfactorily pass all assignments to graduate from the program.
Our program is self-paced, so you can work your studies around your life and schedule. While a standard timeline has students graduating within 1 to 6 months (depending on their prior knowledge and their time availability), we do not enforce a “cutoff date” for graduation.
Our philosophy is that your local nature is the greatest teacher of nature therapy, so no extended or overnight travel is required as part of the program. However, students will need to access local nature settings in their area appropriate for hosting a Nature Therapy Walk.
An optional advanced track is included with the course at no additional cost. The advanced track forces the student to grapple with concepts more in-depth and therefore requires a higher time investment of the student. Advanced track learning experiences are listed at the end of Modules 1 through 4; students wishing to complete the advanced track should include responses to the advanced questions in their learning experience submissions for those modules. (Students who do not wish to complete the advanced track do not need to respond to the advanced questions.) Additionally, advanced students are expected to review most or all of the optional resources, such as journal articles. Finally, the practicum report will be assessed more stringently to ensure the student meets the higher standards required of the advanced track. Advanced track learners will receive a special designation on their graduation certificate.
You will meet your main instructor/mentor during the onboarding process. At minimum, you will interact with your instructor after the submission of each assignment, when they provide feedback on your submissions, as well as before starting Module 2, when they will help you locate free resources about your ecoregion. Additionally, your instructor will be available to answer questions or bounce ideas via phone or email. Some students prefer regular check-ins, while others prefer less contact — the frequency of communication is up to you. Please review our instructor qualifications here.
We’d love to hear from you. Please contact us using the “Request More Information” form on this page, or email support@naturalwellnessacademy.org.

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“A very personalized experience. This is GREAT!” ~ Graduate

One-time tuition payment includes all materials.
Email support@naturalwellnessacademy.org with any questions!

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