Professional Standards in Forest Therapy

Forest Therapy is defined as an effective, innovative and affordable Public health practice. Forest Therapy as designed, publicly offered and monitored by INFTA and its international network of experts. As such, it is recognized by government and research institutions around the world. Still, more research is needed to underline and support the health benefits of Forest Therapy found so far.

Forest Therapy is based on research, science and professional structures. These structures are regularly evaluated and validated by an international network of experts under the auspices of INFTA as the international peak body. As of today, Forest Therapy has been advanced into a Public health practice built on well-established, evaluated and validated facts and evidence. One essential cornerstone in the development of Forest Therapy was the International Core Curriculum of Forest Therapy (ICCFT). The ICCFT was designed, evaluated and validated by 120+ experts from 20 countries. The ICCFT forms the international standard on which the training of Forest Therapy Guides is offered by INFTA.

This is reflected, for example, by the release of the International Core Curriculum of Forest Therapy (ICCFT) in 2017, the International Handbook of Forest Therapy (IHFT) in 2019 and the professional training offered in Asia, Australia and Europe. For INFTA, each guided Forest Therapy walk is carefully documented, monitored and evaluated. The ICCFT constitutes the comprehensive framework for the six-months training to become an INFTA-Certified and Accredited Forest Therapy Guide. Continuous Professional Development (CPD) forms the backbone of quality control of clinical and professional Forest Therapy. This, coupled with ongoing research in different countries is the focus and work of INFTA.

The International Handbook of Forest Therapy

The first International Handbook of Forest Therapy defines the scientific domain of this innovative, evidence-based and timely public health approach. More than 50 authors from around the world are brought together to offer their expertise and insights about forest therapy from a variety of research perspectives.

The theoretical discussion of the effects related to the biophilia hypothesis presented here is complemented by research results compiled across the last three decades in the fields of forest medicine and biochemistry from Asia. The book also highlights the latest developments with regards to forest therapy in a number of different countries, ranging from China and Australia to Germany and Austria.

The handbook constitutes a major milestone in research in this field. It sets the baseline for forest therapy to be implemented worldwide as a powerful and financially prudent public health practice.