2018 AHTA Conference Sessions

Planting with a Purpose: Engaging in Horticultural Therapy
October 5-6, 2018, Pre-tours October 4
Sheraton Denver West Hotel
Lakewood, Colorado

Conference Home | Registration | Sponsorships | Keynoter Speaker
Schedule | Sessions Pre-tours | Activities in Denver 

Thursday, October 4

8:30 am - 3:30 pm

Pre-tour #1 - Craig Hospital | Mental Health Center of Denver | Denver Botanic Gardens - via Charter Bus

  • Craig Hospital 
  • Mental Health Center of Denver
  • Denver Botanic Gardens

Pre-tour # 2 - Sprout City Farms at Mountain Park | EarthLinks | Denver Botanic Garden - via Public Transportation Tour with Local Guides

  • Sprout City Farms
  • Earthlinks 
  • Denver Botanic Gardens

9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Intern Supervisor's Workshop
Leigh Anne Starling, LCPC, CRC, HTR
Registration for the workshop is open to professionally registered horticultural therapists who are interested in supervising horticultural therapy interns. This 6-hour course will be facilitated by AHTA President Leigh Anne Starling and will cover: 

  • An overview of the AHTA Internship Guidelines
  • Enhancing and/or increasing your role as an intern supervisor
  • Providing an effective and rewarding supervision experience for the intern
  • Facilitating the goals and project requirement of an internship
  • Clinical and professional responsibilities of the supervisor
  • Intern project requirements with special emphasis on the case study requirement

Workshop content includes informational handouts about effective supervision, supervision strategies, case study examples, and the opportunity for group discussion. Pre-registration is required. A fee of $75 will cover handouts, lunch, and costs related to hosting this event. A certificate of attendance will be issued upon completion. 

You must be an HTR to attend this workshop.

Friday, October 5

7:45 am - 3:30 pm

AHTA Silent Auction
Join us for a bit of silent fun! Throughout the conference, we will have several items available for you to bid on for the Silent Auction. This is a great way to buy your souvenirs from the conference and help further support AHTA. We accept credit card and check payments only for these items. The Silent Auction Team will tally up the winners and follow the auction closing procedures. All items should be paid for and picked up by 4:30 pm. 

10:15 am - 11:15 am

Horticultural Therapy: Helping People with Intellectual Disabilities
Chung Fu-Wah, BA(Hon), RSW, RHT (HKATH)
A successful horticultural therapy program will be present to demonstrate that people with intellectual disabilities are able to achieve social inclusion within their living community.

Spreading the Word: Explaining Horticultural Therapy to our Communities
Sheila Taft, HTR
Community groups rarely understand the breadth of work done by horticultural therapists, or the importance of a lifelong connection to nature. Hear one HTR's efforts to educate her community.

Horticultural and Art Activities: Assessing Health Outcomes in a Randomized, Controlled Trial
Raymond Odeh, BS, MS 
Learn about an interdisciplinary study conducted at the University of Florida with a cohort of women assessing cardiovascular, psychological, and social effects of hands-on gardening compared with hands-on art activities.

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

The Benefits of the Parent-Child Horticultural Therapy Programs at a Local Primary School in Hong Kong 
Emily Tin Yuk Shum, Registered Horticultural Therapist (Supervisor)(Hong Kong Association of Therapeutic Horticulture)
Fion Yue Ling Chau, Registered Horticultural Therapist (Hong Kong Association of Therapeutic Horticulture)
Parent-child horticultural therapy program conducted for Primary 1-3 students at a local school in Hong Kong shows how horticultural therapy could enhance well-being and improve communication between parent and child.

Quantifying the Effects of a Therapeutic Horticulture Program on Veterans in Central New York
Daniel Collins, PhD Candidate, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY
This session presents preliminary data collected on a research project of a therapeutic horticulture program conducted through a partnership between SUNY ESF and the Syracuse VA Medical Center.

Planting Seeds of Hope: Therapeutic Gardening in a Crisis Stabilization Program
Kathleen K. Wellington, M.Ed LPC
Master Gardener volunteers collaborate with clinical staff in implementing and sustaining a therapeutic gardening program in an adult crisis stabilization program

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Shall We Overcome Plant Blindness?
Professor James H. Capshew
To have a sustainable relationship with the plant world which makes life on Earth possible, humanity needs to foster ethical regard and a better appreciation for these non-human other beings.

Roots: From Passion to Practice
Rebecca L. Haller, HTM
Karen L. Kennedy, HTR
Pam Catlin, HTR
Jay Stone Rice, PhD, LMFT
What is the foundation for your involvement in horticultural therapy practice? This session will discuss some of the necessary components for success: passion, expertise, resources, and attitude.

Charles Lewis Award Winner Presentation
Gardening May Repeatedly Activate the Frontal Pole
Masahiro Toyoda, PhD, HTR
Yuko Yokota, HTR
Susan Rodiek, PhD
The objective of this NIRS study was to investigate the effects of repeated gardening tasks on activation of the frontal pole (FP). This session will present findings that suggest that certain gardening tasks are especially effective in activating specific parts of the brain and inducing sustained activation, thus providing a clue to how daily gardening activities could become a useful tool in the prevention of dementia.

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Horticultural Therapy Interventions for Mental Health and Addictions Recovery
Carol LaRocque, LPC, HTR
Kristen Greenwald, LSW, AASW
The presenters will share two hands-on interventions for an individual, family, or group therapy; explore somatic, sensory, metaphorical, and emotional aspects; and brainstorm how to use these interventions to address treatment goals.

The Family Hortisculpture: Where Family Therapy and Horticultural Therapy Meet to Give a New Perspective on Family Dynamics
Jonathan Irish, MA, LPC, HTR
In this workshop participants will get to experience and practice combining family sculpting with horticultural therapy as a way to understand problematic relational patterns within the family.

Seeding Transformation, Harvesting Autonomy
Maria Victoria De la Cruz
James Jiler
Magi Pons
Anita Franchetti
The session explores ways to build self-sufficient lives after incarceration through horticulture therapy and the creation of garden-related industries. At the same time, it illustrates the fragile steps individuals take in connecting to their community.

Saturday, October 6

7:45 am - 2:15 pm

AHTA Silent Auction
Join us for a bit of silent fun! Throughout the conference, we will have several items available for you to bid on for the Silent Auction. This is a great way to buy your souvenirs from the conference and help further support AHTA. We accept credit card and check payments only for these items. The Silent Auction Team will tally up the winners and follow the auction closing procedures. 

9:45 - 10:45 am

The Development of Evidence-based Practice of Horticultural Therapy in Hong Kong: Intellectual Disability and Autism
Nicolson Yat-Fan SIU, BS Sc, PhD, RHT(HKATH)
Connie Yuen-Yee FUNG, HTR (AHTA, HKATH), RSW, President (HKATH)

The Hong Kong Association of Therapeutic Horticulture has taken an active role in promoting the evidence-based practice of horticultural therapy in Hong Kong. The speakers will present two forms of research as an example to illustrate their works.

Guidelines for Conducting Research on Horticultural Therapy with Psychiatric Populations
Jaime M. Ascencio, MS
Methods of conducting and publishing research are explained, including practical suggestions for each step of the research process (e.g., how to design a study, select measures, write for publication).

Consideration on Existence of a Key Plant in Horticultural Therapy Intervention in a Rehabilitation Hospital
Yuko Yokota, HTR
Masahiro Toyoda, PhD, HTR

A case report where a certain plant worked as a symbol for rapport and a visible temporal axis in the course of horticultural therapy intervention for a client with spinocerebellar degeneration. 

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

The Effects of Nature Imagery on Patient Perceptions of their Hospital Room
Matthew J. Wichrowski, MSW, HTR
This presentation explores current research on nature imagery and health outcomes, then outlines a project assessing patient perceptions of nature imagery in their hospital rooms. Findings are generalized to other work/home environments.

Grow Your Entrepreneurial Spirit
Jan Lane, HTR
Laura Rumpf, HTR; Anne Meore, HTR; Robbi Hursthouse, HTR; Catherine Crowder, HTR
A panel of horticultural therapy practitioners will discuss what constitutes a successful independent contractor practice, challenges to establishing their practice, and strategies they implemented to overcome those challenges.

Horticulture and People with Psychotic Disorders: Approaches for a Horticultural Therapist
Erin Lynn Backus, MS, CRC, HTR
How working in the garden and with therapeutic horticulture activities could help people diagnosed with psychotic disorders, through structured activities, goal setting, accomplishing tasks, learning new skills and breaking social isolation.

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

New Theoretical Support for the Power of Horticultural Therapy
Dr. Beverly Brown, PhD, HTR
Recent research shows why horticultural therapy is so effective. Ground your grant proposals and program descriptions with insights from architectural design, landscape design, evolution, and human physiology and development

Cognitive Deficits: What Brain Injury can Teach Us about Working with a Wide Variety of Cognitive Impairments
Susie Hall, HTR, CTRS
Your approach when working with individuals who have brain injuries or other cognitive impairments can either help or hinder their engagement and outcomes. Learning to be more effective in your planning and communication is a win-win for all involved. Tips and tools to use during horticultural therapy activities will be shared.

Trauma-Informed Horticultural Therapy Programming and Assessments for Adults and Adolescents in Behavioral Health
Melissa Bierman, MS, HTR
Learn trauma-informed care horticultural therapy interventions, assessments, and documentation in psychiatric emergency services; inpatient adult and adolescent behavioral health hospital setting. Recognize the prevalence of trauma and best practices.

2:15 pm - 3:45 pm

Cultivating the Moment
Jay Stone Rice, PhD, LMFT
Kathryn E. Grimes, MAT, HTR

This session will engage the practitioner in an awareness process to access his or her own ecological identity in order to germinate seeds of individual, community, and organizational growth through horticultural therapy.

Fractured But Not Broken; Using the Garden for Communities Healing
Kelvin Antonio Ramirez, PhD, ATR-BC, LCAT
Anne M. Meore, LMSW, HTR

Allied professionals emphasize collaboration. Commonalities between horticultural therapy and expressive therapies inspire new lenses, providing alternative perspectives of a garden as a place of healing, growth, and advocacy for our communities.

Growing Gardens, Growing Youth
Sarah E. Macovitz, BSW, LSW
The “Therapeutic Garden Program” is specially designed to be implemented at a community non-profit mental health agency. The purpose is to impact mental health, promote social justice, and change in the community with the use of plant-based activities with youth.

Back to top