Advancing Skills in Therapeutic Horticulture Course - CTHP™

Course Summary

Elevate your expertise with our advanced certification course in Therapeutic Horticulture. Building upon the foundation laid in our introductory course, this course offers a comprehensive exploration of advanced techniques, specialized applications, and diverse approaches within the field of therapeutic horticulture.

Taught by Katie McGillivray, HTR, alongside guest speakers at the forefront of the field, this course combines self-paced learning with two interactive virtual live sessions. Participants have the flexibility to complete the course over their preferred one-month period.

Leveraging real-world scenarios and utilizing examples from the Root in Nature’s Activity Database, this course is designed to provide participants with tangible experience and practical insights that are directly applicable to their professional goals. Upon fulfilling all requirements, graduates will be awarded the title of Certified Therapeutic Horticulture Practitioner -CTHP™.

Course Details

  • Prerequisite: Completion of Introduction to Therapeutic Horticulture or Introduction to Therapeutic Horticulture for Children and Youth
  • 100% virtual and open to students internationally
  • Modules outlined below
  • Opportunity to become certified as a Certified Therapeutic Horticulture Practitioner – CTHP™ if the conditions outlined here are met. 
  • Includes a one-year membership to the GrowTH Network and all required course materials 
  • Hybrid of asynchronous and synchronous: two mandatory virtual live sessions at the beginning and end of the course (6 hours total) with the remainder of the course pre-recorded and self-paced (approximately 10 hours including quizzes)
  • Assessments include three module quizzes, two assignments, a capstone project and a final exam (approximately 8 hour time commitment total)
  • Total approximate time commitment for the course: 24 hours
  • Further information can be found in the FAQ section below

Join our Founder & CEO Alexis for a live 30 minute Information Session on the Intro to Therapeutic Horticulture Course for more information and Q & A. One attendee will win a 50% off coupon code! Our next session is on: April 25 @ 12:30 p.m. EDT

If you’d like to watch a recorded information session now, click the link below.

What you receive

Your investment covers a two-year period where your team will receive training, resources, and ongoing support, including:

*Intro course content is CE pre-approved by NCTRC for 8 hours as well as approved for PCC’s with TRO. The Advancing Skills course is under review by NCTRC.

Course Fees

$729 USD 
$621 USD for annual GrowTH Network members

This fee includes:

  • A one-year membership to the GrowTH Network 
  • All materials and resources required
  • Course Manual
  • Course Certificate 
  • Digital Badge (image here)
  • CE Credits under review*

*Intro course content is CE pre-approved by NCTRC for 8 hours as well as approved for PCC’s with TRO. The Advancing Skills course is under review by NCTRC.

Intro Course Student Feedback

Your Instructor

Katie McGillivray, HTR

Katie (she/her) is a Registered Horticultural Therapist (HTR) and a member of the Canadian and American Horticultural Therapy Associations (CHTA & AHTA). A strong advocate of asset-based community development and reflective practice, Katie has been supporting therapeutic horticulture projects and programs for a wide variety of populations since 2014.

Katie completed her horticultural therapy certificate with Ann Kent and was proud to “build her own degree” in therapeutic horticulture, completing a minor in counselling and majoring in general studies, focusing on courses in horticulture, agriculture, psychology and research. Katie is passionate about increasing access to therapeutic horticulture in communities and facilitates regular in-person and virtual sessions. Her approach is collaborative, client-centred and strengths-based.

Katie is also a major foodie and her work in therapeutic horticulture often intersects with community food security and food justice work. When not in the garden, Katie loves cooking, entertaining and paddle boarding.

Guest Speakers

Dr. Diane Relf

Professor Emeritus Virginia Tech University

Rebecca Reimer

Horticultural Therapy Practitioner

Matthew Johnson

Owner & Operator, Three Rabbit Farms

Nicolson Siu

Neuropsychologist and Lecturer The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Kristin Topping

Therapeutic Horticulture Practitioner & Owner of Sweetlife Flora

Teresia Hazen, MEd, HTR, QMHP

Coordinator of Therapeutic Gardens for Legacy Health

Judi Vinni

Founder & Coordinator, Willow Springs Creative Centre

Wendy Battaglia & Rachel Cochran

Co-Founder and Executive Director & Co-Founder and Director of Development & Program Evaluation

Lynn Leach HTR

Horticultural Therapist & Landscape Designer, Bird’s Foot Design Studio

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Course Introduction

Lesson 2: Therapeutic Horticulture: Past, Present and Future

  • History of Horticultural Therapy 102
  • Current State of Horticultural Therapy
  • Guest Speaker: Dr. Diane Relf on Building on Research
  • Virtual Therapeutic Horticulture

Lesson 3: Horticulture 102 

  • Horticulture 102 Terms
  • Guest Speaker: Kristin Topping on Advanced Indoor Plant Care 
  • Plant Safety
  • Guest Speaker: Matthew Johnson on Advanced Tool Usage and Safety
  • Adaptive Tools 
  • Best Practices for Watering

Lesson 4: Sensory Plants and Therapeutic Garden Design

  • Latin Names
  • Sensory Plants
  • Guest Speaker: Lynn Leach on Plants that Engage the Senses and Culturally Significant Plants
  • Universal Design 
  • Therapeutic Garden Install Considerations
  • Guest Speaker: Wendy Battaglia and Rachel Cochran on The Ability Garden

Lesson 5: Advanced Therapeutic Horticulture Skills and Techniques

  • Therapeutic Skills 
  • Assessments
  • Reporting and Evaluation 
  • Introduction to Reflective Practice 

Lesson 6: The Practice of Therapeutic Horticulture

  • Setting Up and Cleaning Up a Session
  • Therapeutic Horticulture Programs on a Budget
  • Key Program Supplies
  • Photography in Therapeutic Horticulture
  • Risk Assessment
  • Volunteer Management
  • Mentorships and Internships

Lesson 7: Activity, Session and Program Development 

  • Activities, Sessions and Programs
  • Guest Speaker: Teresia Hazen on Benefits of Participation in Activities
  • Domains of Wellness
  • Guest Speaker: Teresia Hazen on the Dimensions of Wellness
  • Setting Goals and Measuring Outcomes: Population-Specific Examples
  • Therapeutic Horticulture as a Year-Round Practice
  • Guest Speaker: Dr. Nicolson Siu on Enhancing Wellbeing through Horticultural Therapy for Neurodivergent Children and Their Caregivers

Lesson 8: Group Dynamics and Facilitation

  • Group Guidelines
  • Facilitating Discussion Rounds
  • Guest Speaker: Judi Vinni on Grief Gardens
  • Stages of a Group
  • Asset Based Community Development 

Lesson 9: Professional Practice

  • Self-Employment Versus Employment
  • Wages
  • Social Media Best Practices

Lesson 10: Course Conclusion and Certification Process

Bonus Guest Speaker for practitioners working with youth:

  • Guest Speaker: Rebecca Reimer on Horticultural Therapy in Alternate Learning Programs

Benefits for Course Students

Deepened Expertise

Students will gain an in-depth understanding of advanced therapeutic horticulture techniques, specialized applications, and nuanced approaches in therapeutic horticulture.

Increased Marketability

The CTHP™ certification enhances your marketability to potential clients and employers by showcasing your dedication to your profession and your ability to meet recognized standards of excellence.

Professional Recognition

The CTHP™ designation is a mark of excellence and expertise in therapeutic horticulture. It signals to employers, colleagues, and clients that you possess a high level of knowledge and skills, setting you apart as a leader in the field.

Enhanced Credibility

Certification establishes you as a credible, professional and competent practitioner. This increased credibility can help build trust with clients and colleagues, empowering you to initiate and sustain professional relationships.

Professional Network

Certification and the GrowTH Network connect you to a wider network of professionals in the field, facilitating opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, and shared learning.

Professional Development

Maintaining certification requires ongoing education and engagement with the latest best practices and research in therapeutic horticulture. This commitment to ongoing learning empowers you to remain at the forefront of the field.

See you in the GrowTH Network!

GrowTH – Grow Therapeutic Horticulture is a professional resource and support platform for therapeutic horticulture practitioners and allied health professionals with training in the field. Your course fee includes a one-year membership.


The course fee includes a one-year membership to the GrowTH Network. Because current annual members have already paid this fee, they are eligible to purchase the course for the course cost minus the annual GrowTH Network fee ($729 – $108 = $621).

Yes, though you will have additional time following the month to complete your Capstone Project. Please choose a month in which you can attend the two synchronous meetings (dates and times are on the registration page) as well as commit time to the asynchronous course in between. If extenuating circumstances arise, we are here to support you and will consider accommodations. 

This is the approximate breakdown of the time commitment you can expect:
  • Two synchronous classes – 6 hours
  • Virtual, self-paced course material (videos & quizzes) – approximately 10 hours
  • Assignments & capstone project – 6 – 8 hours
  • Total course time commitment – 22 – 24 hours

Yes – prior to the registration deadline date, if extentuating circumstances arise that prevent you from taking the course in the month you chose, we can accommodate you and switch your registration to an alternate month. 

We will be applying for CE credit pre-approval with NCTRC and TRO, as well as points towards registration with the CHTA. The website will be updated as soon as these are approved. Stay tuned!

The new certification is intended to complement, not replace, existing qualifications. It aims to broaden access to specialized training opportunities and promote excellence within the broader TH community. It also captures skills and competence in therapeutic horticulture rather than horticultural therapy. The course clearly differentiates professional titles and encourages students to seek information directly from their relevant association(s). 

Successful graduates of the course have the opportunity to become certified as a CTHP™: Certified Therapeutic Horticulture Practitioner if the conditions outlined here are met.

The Certified Therapeutic Horticulture Practitioner- CTHP™ certification program significantly enriches the fields of horticultural therapy and therapeutic horticulture by establishing a benchmark for professional expertise and excellence. It ensures practitioners are equipped with a deep understanding of advanced techniques and the latest best practices, thereby enhancing quality and effectiveness.The program also fosters a community of dedicated professionals who are committed to continuing learning and collaboration. This network not only advances the field through shared knowledge and experiences but also raises awareness of the benefits of therapeutic horticulture, promoting its integration into broader healthcare and wellness programs.

You will be able to access the course videos for one year after completion, and the course manual can be downloaded for your ongoing reference. You are also able to access the Intro to Therapeutic Horticulture course at any time to refer to throughout this course.

Yes, there are opportunities to connect during the synchronous classes and students can connect anytime in the GrowTH Network directly or through the Advancing Skills student group and forums.

No, all assessments are individual, however there will be opportunities to connect and collaborate with other students throughout the course.

Please reach out to us at or book a coffee chat with Katie McGillivray, HTR and Lead Instructor.

Yes! We’re developing a Peer Reflections course as well as a course to help clients manage and cope with climate emotions. Please sign up for our newsletter to stay informed of future course launches. 

CTHP™ is a pending certification mark in Canada, the US and soon to be in several other jurisdictions, including Australia.

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