17th April | WEBINAR | Nature’s Impact on the Brain: The Science behind Therapeutic Horticulture


What’s going on in your brain when you’re gardening

Quite a lot, according to the science! Understanding our brains’ responses to nature and gardening helps us understand what drives our TH/HT clients’ reactions and behaviours in the garden and to the activities we design for them.  

This webinar will introduce you to the essentials of these responses. No prior knowledge necessary and we’ll keep the science engaging and provide examples and a live [virtual!] activity for you to experience and unpack your own neurological responses to nature. 

Business and life partners Phillip Hartin and Leigh McGaghey, as psychologist and landscape architect respectively, will guide you through the brain’s garden path, with plenty of time for Q & A. 

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Event Details

Why is this topic important? 

The principles of TH/HT are evidence-based and developing an understanding of how our brains respond to the process of gardening, or being in a natural setting, will help you: 

  • create HT/TH activities that are based on current evidence and theories 
  • design HT/TH programs with confidence 
  • deepen the experience of your participants as you share the brain-based benefits of gardening 

Who is this for? 

  • TH/HT practitioners, horticulturists/landscape designers/landscape architects, allied health professionals, students 
  • anyone interested in how our brain responds when in nature and/or when gardening 

Program outline: 

  1. Why it helps your TH/HT professional practice to understand the neuroscience of nature connection. 
  1. Brief overview of the evolution of our brains and how that shaped behaviour through sensory inputs [sight, sound, smell, taste, taste, circadian rhythms, proprioceptors]. 
  1. Case study – unpacking a simple potting-up activity to demonstrate our brains’ neurological responses and how you can apply this understanding to other TH activities. 
  1. Live activity – a virtual TH activity in the webinar which we will do together, with discussions of what’s happening in the brain.  
  1. Important disclaimers, limitations, opportunities. Where to learn more. 
  1. Q & A  

About the Presenters: 

Phillip Hartin is a registered psychologist and educator; Leigh McGaghey is a landscape architect with qualifications in adult education and recreational therapy.  

As life and business partners they provide consultancy, education and workshop services in brain-based nature-connection strategies to organisations and individuals. Leigh is President at THA, Phillip is a THA Associate member. 

Date: April 17, 2024

Start time: 19:30 AEST

End time: 20:30 AEST

Venue: ZOOM

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