Garden Therapy: The Health-Enabling Capacities of Nature Contact

Iva Pires, Dana Křivánková, Jana Dvořáčková

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We live in a world where new information and knowledge technologies and increased mobility simplify everyday life. However, at the same time, contact with the natural environment is shrinking. More than half of the world's population lives in urban areas with high population densities and, in many cases, with a little or no access to the quality green spaces. One of the consequences is that there is an increasing disconnection from nature and its sensory stimuli while the noise, air and visual pollution negatively affects
the health and reduces the quality of life in urban areas. The "healing" capacity of nature is being increasingly discussed as well as the need of reconnection with it and its therapeutic, spiritual and psychological benefits. The garden therapy defined as a treatment and relaxation through contact with nature
is attracting more and more attention, both, from academic field as well as from practitioners of different areas. Among others, a social care and health care, particularly in the case of the children with autism, hyperactivity, with lack of relational capital, psychiatrists (in the case of dementia) but also an architectural
landscaping (Which characteristics must the gardens have to fulfill these benefits?). An interdisciplinary approach is needed in order to discuss concepts, benefits, potentialities and ways to implement these therapies. We will be presenting the results of a research project - With Nature to Mutual Understanding - developed by a consortium of seven European countries, on the potentialities of garden therapies to develop communication, social and entrepreneurial skills of the target groups (e.g. minorities, people with learning
disabilities and physical and mental health problems, migrants and refugees).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication15th International RAIS Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
EditorsNadir Ali Kolachi, Nicoleta Elena
PublisherScientia Moralitas Research Institute
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-945298-25-7
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event15th International RAIS Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities - Johns Hopkins University, Rockville, United States
Duration: 6 Nov 20197 Nov 2019


Conference15th International RAIS Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Garden therapy
  • Green care
  • Reconnecting with nature
  • Well-being


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