Therapeutic Animals & Garden
Nature, sunlight, fresh air, movement of the physical body – such powerful tools for rejuvenation and lifting the human spirit! At 4thought we embrace holistic principles in therapy and acknowledge how environment and physical wellbeing can have a significant effect on mood and emotional health. Our practice incorporates these beautifully through our very special Therapeutic Animals and Interactive Garden.
Animals are a powerful vehicle in bringing kindness, compassion, safety, and grounding to the therapeutic space. Our clients, big and small, often tell us that the opportunity to engage with our fluffy friends is one of the most impactful experiences they have here at 4thought.
Simple interactions with animals have great capacity to promote human well-being. Connecting with animals has the potential to teach us much about ourselves and human behaviour. Incorporating them into therapeutic work offers a gentle, guided way for clients to explore social skills, attachments, traumas, and peer and family dynamics, as well as helping to calm, regulate mood and manage anxiety.
You can read more about our Animal Assisted Therapy here
Our garden is designed to engage clients, children especially, in a natural, relaxed way through exploration and play, creating experiences to learn and express themselves.
Spending time outside in this lovingly tended space offers us a reminder of how being present and connecting with nature grounds us. It provides a powerful metaphor in exploring how we grow as individuals, and what we may need to prune from our lives, to ensure we bloom and flourish.
Children are given opportunities to engage with the therapeutic garden either on the basketball court, in the cubby house or veggie patch, bouncing on the trampoline or spending time with our animal therapy friends. It creates an experience where they can safely explore aspects of the emotional world in non-threatening ways and express themselves naturally during play.
Children learn their most valuable life lessons through experience. Our garden and animals provide lush therapeutic opportunities for children to experience concepts of:
- Kindness and compassion
- Vulnerability and bravery
- Growth and change
- Expression of emotion through the physical body
- Reciprocation in relationships
- Succeeding and failing
- Persistence, resilience and grit
- Wisdom of being quiet, tuning in
- Rainbow of food to help the body grow