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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 790: VIII International People-Plant Symposium on Exploring Therapeutic Powers of Flowers, Greenery and Nature

SOME THERAPEUTIC ASPECTS OF GARDENING IN PSYCHIATRY

Author:   K. Neuberger
Keywords:   horticultural therapy, psychiatry, user evaluation, developing consciousness, physical restoration, improved communication
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2008.790.9
Abstract:
The purpose of this paper is to show by examples how gardening in a therapeutic setting can restore awareness, communicational skills and body functioning. A user questionnaire gives additional information. Gardens show us how to cope with the world around us in a natural and creative way. Through gardening, psychiatric patients are affecting body and mind. They may become aware of themselves within their environment. They can learn to coordinate important functions of their being – capacities which have been disturbed by illness, poor upbringing, and other negative factors. Patients regain a feeling for their ability to cope with daily tasks and their present and future. Their negative self image and their experiences are positively influenced by working with living things. They become conscious of their role within their personal environment. Gardening helps psychiatric patients to restore their interest in the world. Communication skills are developed by reflecting about one’s work in a group setting. Gardening also helps with physical restoration and recovery. A user evaluation form completed by 201 patients helps to understand how patients profit from garden work. These findings can be used as a basis for the development of an instrument (including statistical validation).
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