Intuition Trails

Get outside to look inside

Intuition Trails: Get outside to look inside   

Nature programs for kids, teens & families

Save $85 on Your First Appointment

(Offer Ends Feb 29, 2020)

Why Nature?

Health & Wellness

Spending time in nature is clinically proven to restore attention, increase immune functioning and reduce stress and depression.

Authenticity

When self-judgment and critical analysis is replaced by curious sensory attention, people begin to simply be themselves naturally.

Connection

Nature allows a space to connect to oneself. Nature also offers a place to connect to a likeminded community.

Reciprocity

When people experience how beneficial nature is, they understand the importance of taking care of it. We protect what we love.

Meet Gabe the Guide

Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide

You want your child and family to live a healthy, connected and meaningful life. Yet, that can feel challenging in this day and age. Intuition Trails is here to answer the call with a simple solution. Way before modern medicine and therapies, there was nature.

With Gabe the Guide as facilitator, Intuition Trails honors every child and family as unique with a relationship to nature that is just as unique. It’s not about just being in nature. It’s about being authentically you and experiencing genuine connection, wellness and, most importantly, fun!

Gabe the Guide is a certified nature and forest therapy guide. Gabe is also a licensed clinical social worker, registered play therapist, and a child and family therapist on the Intuition Wellness team. In his role with Intuition Trails, he steps away from analyzing, assessing and prescribing treatment goals, takes his therapy hat off and puts his guide hat on. On the trail, Gabe is equal partners in the experience. Gabe brings his authentic self to every walk and program and creates a nonjudgmental space open to everyone. This can be seen with his playful approach to experiencing nature and trauma informed invitational process.

Gabe the Guide and Intuition Trails will support your child and family in remembering your relationship with nature.

ANFT_Certified_Guide_Logo
5/5
My experience of forest bathing, was just that- it was a time to soak in and experience my surrounding. I felt it reopened my childlike curiosity by exploring through all of my senses. I felt like it was a time of meditation and deep rejuvenation.
Forest Therapy Participant
Middle Bear, Mt. Lemmon, Coronado National Forest
5/5
A nature walk with Gabe is an invitation to slow down and make space to commune with nature. This experience gave me the opportunity to put aside my day-to-day worries and literally observe a spider making it's web and watch the clouds float by. I didn’t know, but it was exactly what I needed most. I highly recommend it.
Forest Therapy Participant
Gates Pass, Tucson Mountain Park
5/5
This is an opportunity to begin trusting your body and nature to lead you. Allowing yourself to let your senses lead you opens you up to see, feel and understand on a different level.
Forest Therapy Participant
Gates Pass, Tucson Mountain Park

Frequently Asked Questions

The term, “Forest Bathing” is something of an umbrella term that covers a diversity of techniques much as the term “Yoga” does. The practice of forest bathing originated out of the Japanese practice, Shinrin-Yoku which in English translates to Forest Bathing.

Forest Therapy is a research-based framework for supporting healing and wellness through immersion in forests and other natural environments. It is inspired by Shinrin-Yoku. Forest therapy includes a clearly defined sequence of events. There are many wonderful health benefits attributed to forest therapy, including boosted immune function, improved cardiovascular and respiratory health, attention restoration and a reduction in stress and depression. Forest therapy differs in many ways from Wilderness therapy, most notably forest therapy is non prescriptive and is much shorter in duration with guided walks typically lasting 2 to 3 hours.

Wilderness therapy typically refers to a treatment modality that uses expeditions into the wilderness or other unfamiliar surroundings as a means of addressing behavioral and mental health issues. Participants in wilderness therapy typically sign up for long periods of time such as weeks to months where a therapist is working on specific treatment goals or behavioral interventions. Wilderness therapy has been used for treating substance abuse and other mental health challenges. Intuition Trails is not wilderness therapy.

Gabe the Guide is the only Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide trained by the Association for Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT) serving children and families in Southern Arizona.

While other practices focus solely on viewing nature as a wellness resource to benefit from, following the ANFT framework, Intuition Trails distinguishes itself by focusing on reciprocity and a pathway to health and wellbeing for both people and the more-than-human world. As real relationships are rooted in reciprocity, we believe this is foundational to our practice. It is open-ended; there is no prescription for what a person “should” experience, or what benefits they “should” receive. Instead, it is a practice of developing a deepening relationship of reciprocity, in which the forest and the practitioner find a way to work together that supports the wholeness and wellness of each. Intuition Trails forest therapy practice follows a defined sequence of guided events that provides structure to the experience, while embracing the many opportunities for creativity and serendipity offered by the forest and the individual inspiration of each guide. 

Intuition Trails forest therapy’s primary goal is to support the health and wellness of participants through guided immersive experiences aimed at cultivating healthy relationships with the more than human world. Through these relationships participants may experience an array of physical, psychological and emotional healing benefits. Forest therapy walks are scheduled throughout the year.

Intuition Trails nature-based wellness programs are specific activities, workshops and games for kids that are more directive than forest therapy. Each program utilizes the therapeutic powers of play and nature to focus on skill building, including social skills, attachment relationships, coping skills, problem solving skills, increasing self confidence, etc.

Depending on the age range included in a specific nature-based wellness program, parents and children may participate together, though some are youth-oriented only. These programs are constantly added throughout the year and include an array of messy, creative and fun adventures to fit the interests and personalities of all kids. 

While many physiological and mental health benefits come from simple exposure to the natural environment, a guided Intuition Trails forest therapy walk also works to mend the damaged relationships humans have with themselves, with the concept of time, with their communities and with the more-than-human world. This is where a skilled guide, trained to work in partnership with the land, can open the door to a deep and more meaningful experience. By minimizing cognitive thinking and emphasizing embodied sensations, guides help people find themselves here and now. Relax, Restore, Release, Reconnect.

While therapists can be guides, guides are not therapists. This is important to differentiate to truly understand the guide’s role in forest therapy. Guided walks have as their sole aim creating and sustaining opportunities for safe, meaningful, and relational contact between participants and nature.

Guides do not diagnose, they do not analyze or hold value to anyone’s experience. A therapist enters into agreements with clients for specific complaints and goals for wellness. A guide aims to be agenda-free. An Intuition Trails and ANFT motto that best illustrates this concept is “the forest is the therapist. The guide opens the doors.”

It is a common misunderstanding that forest therapy can only be done in a forest. However, nature and forest therapy can happen anywhere humans and nature meet. This means it can be done in the Saguaro-filled landscape of the Sonoran Desert to the Pine tops of Mount Lemmon, to a park in the middle of town, etc.

No matter your age, physical ability, or experience in nature there is a space for you at Intuition Trails. These programs are not meant to be a physically extraneous activity, allowing this practice to be enjoyed by all. Typical forest therapy walks are a slow paced covering less than 2 miles of trail. While our nature-based wellness programs differ by group, it is important to understand this is not a fitness program.

Benefits of Nature

  •  Strengthens immune system (Kids who play outside have stronger immune systems)

  • Increases physical activity

  • Reduces risk of obesity

  • Lowers systolic blood pressure

  • Stronger emotional connections to people and nature

  • Pro-environmental behaviors

  • Reduces stress, anger, anxiety and depression

  • Improves mood states

  • Increases social skills

  • Increases self-esteem

  • Enhances creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving

  • Increases focus and attention

  • Increases a sense of wonder

What Intuition Trails Forest Therapy Program is right for me?

No matter your age, physical ability, or experience in nature there is a space for you at Intuition Trails.

Intuition Trails

Get outside to look inside

Intuition Trails

Get outside to look inside with forest therapy programs

Intuition Trails Values:

Human Communities, like forests, thrive on diversity.
Intuition Trails is committed to creating and sustaining a welcoming, equitable, and inclusive environment for all participants from all cultures and backgrounds. We strive to be a place of belonging for all people interested in cultivating healthy relationships within human communities and with the more than human world.
The health of all beings is interconnected.
Forest therapy is principally a practice of cultivating relationships and reciprocity. Intuition Trails values the incredible number of pro-environmental and pro-social benefits that can arise when people become connected to and more aware of their relationship with nature. These benefits are not confused to the world of humans; they extend in service of the health and wellbeing of the entire biosphere.