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image-14Planting seeds, tending the soil, and enjoying the fruits of labor, both literally and figuratively, makes horticulture therapy a rewarding addition to Wayside House’s multi-faceted treatment program. Our programs offer a variety of therapies, including equine therapy, yoga and meditation, art therapy and individual counseling. Horticulture therapy is just one of the unique treatments we offer our residents.

Horticulture therapy is essentially gardening and gardening- related activities used in a therapeutic manner. The therapeutic benefits of gardening have been documented for centuries. In more recent times, it has been used and facilitated by educated professionals to treat patients. Combat veterans in hospitals were some of the first official recipients of horticulture therapy, and the value of this therapy as a means to reduce stress and increase overall well-being has been well-documented in recent years.

Horticulture therapy is used in a variety of settings and has been shown to benefit individuals suffering from trauma and PTSD, mental illness, behavioral issues and other chronic conditions. It has also been used in physical therapy settings to improve coordination, strength, and endurance. It has also been found to improve cognitive function, restore memory and improve problem-solving skills.

Horticulture Therapy For Addiction

There are many reasons horticulture therapy works for addiction. The very act of planting seeds and plants, digging in the dirt, watering and tending the garden is meditative. It can lower blood pressure and relieve stress.

But there is more. Seeing something you have planted grow and thrive is a good feeling. Many women come into treatment with low self-esteem, low self-worth, and no confidence. Many women have had a lack of nurturing in their own lives, or have lost the ability to nurture themselves and others.

This basic act of nurturing has a way of restoring a sense of self-esteem. Women who participate in the program receive a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Planting vegetables and fruits and harvesting and eating them is such a simple, almost primal act of self-care and is very healing. It builds confidence and pride. When done as a group, gardening fosters a sense of community and shared responsibility. When done alone, it is a relaxing, meditative and healing activity.

Wayside House’s Horticulture Therapy Program For Addiction in Floridaimage-5

Our horticulture program for addicts is lead by former Wayside House resident and certified horticultural therapist Paula Broughton. With over 20 years of sobriety, Paula has chosen to give back by offering her program here at Wayside House.

On the Wayside House grounds, you will find an extensive garden brimming with native tropical plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs. There are pathways and a gazebo and the grounds are a feast for the eyes and senses. The women at Wayside House help to nurture these gardens and often harvest vegetables and herbs for house meals. This helps teach nutrition and valuable life skills to clients.

Plant The Seeds Of Recovery At Wayside House

If you are a woman with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, Wayside House can offer you hope for a better future. We provide residential and outpatient treatment for women 18 and over in our beautiful, secluded setting. Call 561-278-0055 today to learn more about our program and how it can help you grow and thrive.