Gardening is an activity that requires you to stop, think, and focus. In horticulture therapy, a person is encouraged to take a break from the daily stresses of life and focus only on what’s in front of them. This can serve as an important step in a person’s addiction recovery program.
The benefits of horticultural therapy gained more attention in the 1950s, when it was used to help hospitalized war veterans improve physical and mental health. Since then, it has been more closely studied and applied to various healing programs. The focus on specific skills and goals in gardening has shown to be very beneficial for many people recovering from addiction.
Gardening & Addiction Treatment
Some important goals in addiction treatment include improving self-esteem, increasing attention and focus, and learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety. When gardening, you have to focus only on the thing in front of you to do it successfully. Many of these activities promote tranquility, like planting and tending to plants. Others, such as digging and clipping hedges, can serve as a valuable outlet for strong emotions.
During horticulture sessions at Silver Ridge, a licensed horticulture therapist teaches the basics of gardening while helping clients make a more personal connection between caring for plants and themselves.