A woman practicing horticulture therapy while gardening.

Horticulture Therapy: How it Benefits Addiction Recovery

Finding a way to become more in tune with the world around you offers amazing benefits. It can decrease feelings of stress and anxiety, clear your mind of unnecessary distractions and increase your ability to manage personal hardships.

For years, clinical professionals have been encouraging their clients to get out more, breathe in the fresh air and let the sunshine hit their face. Getting outside can not only help them physically, but it also has shown tremendous mental health benefits. So, it’s no surprise that a clinical intervention literally rooted in the study of gardening environments has grown in popularity over the past few years.

While the clinical approach itself is nothing new – the study of therapy through gardening has been around since the 1940’s – the use of this practice has become an effective method of treating substance addiction all around the globe.

Understanding exactly what it is and how it is implemented in a clinical environment is a great way to introduce your addicted loved one to a therapeutic intervention that can truly stimulate their personal growth.

What is Horticulture Therapy?

Horticultural therapy is the process of gardening facilitated by a registered horticultural therapist to achieve specific goals within an established rehabilitation environment. This process is used to enhance an individual’s well-being through active or passive involvement in plant and plant-related activities.

What are the Benefits of Horticulture Therapy?

The actual benefits associated with this specific therapeutic approach are very real and extremely beneficial to a person struggling with a substance use disorder.

Horticulture therapy helps to:

Reduce stress – Studies have shown that being in natural environments can improve how our bodies react to stress. A person suffering from stressors such as health concerns, emotional stress, loneliness and substance addiction can benefit greatly from spending time in a garden. Nature provides a sense of calm and reassurance through growing plants and pleasant surroundings.

Reduce pain – Spending time in nature can reduce how much people perceive pain. Studies have shown that the sensory stimulation provided in a natural setting can actually keep us from noticing unpleasant feelings, both physical and emotional. This offers a natural pain reliever for those suffering from chronic illnesses, long recoveries and a number of other physical issues.

Provide a feeling of empowerment – Working in a garden can give an individual a sense of control in their life. Dealing with an addiction can impact your loved one’s feelings of self-worth and personal self-esteem. However, tending to living things can inspire your loved one by helping them to see that their actions can have positive results when properly motivated. They can watch as their flowers bloom or their tomatoes ripen and enjoy a feeling of accomplishment in what they’ve done.

Improve mood – Recent studies have found that one of the benefits of horticultural therapy is that it improves a person’s mood. One study in particular measured changes in total mood disturbance among cardiac rehab patients who participated in horticultural therapy, compared to a group that participated in patient education classes. Participants in horticultural therapy reported significant decreases in total mood disturbance, while it remained unchanged in the patient education group.

Would Your Loved One Benefit from Horticulture Therapy?

For an individual attempting to overcome a substance addiction, keeping an open mind in relation to therapeutic options and interventions is imperative. For example, some people may respond well to individual therapy on its own, while others need holistic treatments like equine therapy or art therapy to supplement more traditional types of treatment.

Like equine or art therapy, horticulture can help during addiction treatment. This time-tested treatment approach takes very primal methods of addressing personal stress and incorporates them into a clinical setting.

With the help and guidance of a clinically-trained horticultural therapist, your loved one will not simply learn to grow things in a garden, but they will be instructed on how to submerge themselves in a natural environment that is proven to provide relief both physically and emotionally.

For many people, this kind of activity may seem foreign or new, but that doesn’t mean it won’t help. Being willing to try new activities and adjust personal habits is an essential component to any treatment environment. Horticulture therapy encourages these behaviors while also teaching how people and plants share an ancient bond of health and healing.

Holistic Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

As your loved one’s biggest advocate, we understand how important it is for your loved one to get the life-changing help they need to achieve sobriety. They will enter into a healing environment at Ranch Creek Recovery that’s free of distractions and supported by an expert team.

As a leading non-12-step rehab in California, we deliver an alternative, holistic approach to addiction rehab. We focus on tailor-fitting each recovery program to address every patient’s unique needs. With a more intimate recovery experience, a higher level of care, a serene environment, individual recovery plans and a holistic approach, you can be sure your loved one will receive everything needed to achieve sobriety and prepare for a thriving, sober life.

Contact us today to learn more and get your questions answered.



American Horticultural Therapy Association. Horticultural Therapy. Accessed March 17, 2020. https://www.ahta.org/horticultural-therapy.

A recovering addict and a female therapist talk during a dialectical behavior therapy session.

Outcomes of Practicing Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Overcoming an addiction requires strength and commitment to confront the disease and properly address the addictive behaviors that have plagued your life. While much of the responsibility of achieving a happier and healthier lifestyle is yours to shoulder, finding a qualified clinical facility to guide your path is just as essential.

Taking the time to research the types of treatment available enables you to not only choose the one that best fits your personal needs, but it also empowers you to align with the therapeutic approach before beginning the program.

From cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), the numerous options available can sometimes feel overwhelming. Fortunately for you, this article breaks down the basics of DBT to give you a better understanding of the treatment approach to identify if it may be a good fit for your recovery.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

DBT is a form of talk therapy that implements a cognitive behavioral approach during the therapeutic process. It encourages people to address personal deficits in their lives to develop skills and abilities to improve their negative personal behavioral traits.

A key focus of DBT is to help an individual improve their ability to use skilled behavior when necessary through positive emotional regulation and better decision-making. This helps to develop effective coping skills and encourages an individual to not only identify their addictive impulses, but to also implement the necessary skills to avoid instances of relapse.

What are the Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

While most forms of cognitive behavioral treatment have been shown to be effective in treating addiction, the specific benefits of DBT revolve around the relationship component of the therapeutic approach.

The therapist and patient work to establish attainable goals, and they engage in weekly treatment sessions to develop a viable game plan and implement accountability throughout the course of treatment. Learning to work through your negative emotions allows you to normalize your experiences and develop better ways to overcome instances of temptation to attain sustained sobriety.

In order to achieve personal success in DBT, four specific skills are generally focused on. These include:

  • Distress tolerance – When someone is experiencing a distressful situation, it is common to want to relieve that feeling immediately. For those struggling with addiction, this typically includes taking drugs or drinking to avoid the negative feeling, but DBT teaches you to accept and tolerate those feelings instead of trying to escape them.
  • Mindfulness – Learning to be completely present in the moment and aware of your surroundings is a skill that requires practice and patience. Dealing with an addiction can force you to avoid people and isolate yourself while you continue to indulge your addiction. Training to peacefully live in the moment allows you to confront your disease and overcome the grip it has had on your life.
  • Emotional regulation – This typically includes learning to properly identify the emotions you are experiencing to find effective ways to change them into positive experiences. By identifying the obstacles impacting your addiction and the emotions driving your addictive impulses, you learn to process those feelings in a healthy manner before they result in a relapse.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness – When you are unable to interact with people effectively or maintain healthy relationships, you tend to experience increased stress and conflict. Learning to say “no” when necessary, or to communicate with people to avoid unhealthy relationships and interactions, is vital to achieving a healthier state of mind.

Bad behaviors typically develop when you are trying to cope with bad experiences or negative emotions. For someone struggling with addiction, developing healthier decision patterns and ways of thinking is essential to achieving success in therapy.

By learning to accept yourself and embrace your faults, you begin to heal the emotional scars that have impacted your addictive behaviors for far too long.

Outcomes of DBT: What is the Effectiveness of DBT in Addiction Rehab and Recovery?

Cognitive behavioral treatment and cognitive restructuring are two of the more proven methods of achieving long-term success in addiction treatment and recovery. DBT takes these concepts and introduces effective communication to develop a plan to help you achieve success and provide a clinical guide during your recovery journey.

Recent studies have reinforced the fact that DBT is an effective method of addressing substance addiction by teaching a person to identify and develop the necessary skills to not only achieve sobriety, but to also avoid unnecessary instances of relapse.

The key is to not simply participate in treatment but to engage with your therapist – entrusting them with your emotions to learn better ways of experiencing both the good and bad moments in your life. (1)

Life-Changing Holistic Addiction Recovery and Relapse Prevention at Ranch Creek Recovery

Ranch Creek Recovery offers dialectical behavior therapy from an individualized approach with world-renowned licensed therapists and addiction recovery experts. We are a non-12-step rehab and holistic treatment center where a large component of our treatment programs is focused on cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with you to create a custom treatment plan that includes therapy sessions and holistic, experiential treatment. This treatment can help you center your mind, body and spirit as you begin to forge your new, sober life.

Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery, including what we offer and what we treat.

Contact us today.


1) National Center for Biotechnology Information. Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Substance Abusers. Accessed February 12, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2797106/.

A man stands outside and breathes deep

What is Spiritual Growth Therapy?

Being able to overcome your addiction and achieve sustained sobriety is more than just avoiding substance use. It requires wholesale lifestyle change that is driven by the desire to conquer your substance use disorder while attaining a healthier lifestyle and greater sense of purpose.

That’s why the journey to recovery involves both a physical challenge and spiritual enlightenment – helping you to learn more about yourself while gaining a deeper connection with the world around you.

Because, you see, spirituality connects every one of us with a dimension of life that is greater than ourselves. It is a daily exercise of finding and maintaining faith and embracing the idea that you are both the student and the teacher in your own spiritual illumination.

Through it all, every person needs to find their own way through life and every addict needs to find their own path back to health and happiness. Tapping into a higher sense of self and spirituality can enable you to accomplish that task while gaining a better perspective on the beauty of life around you.

What is Spiritual Growth Therapy?

This approach to therapy is a method of psychological healing that uses a wide array of established spiritual and holistic techniques to widen your perspective and bring you more in tune with your surroundings and personal experiences.

By focusing on a more cognitive and philosophical approach, you are encouraged to embrace your present thoughts and emotions through improved internal awareness.

By gaining a deeper perspective into the meaning of your existence, you are able to better understand the importance of recovery and the positive impact you can have on the world around you.

Is There a Place for Spiritual Therapy in Addiction Rehab?

The fact of the matter is that spirituality and health are interconnected. In the same way that physical wellness indicates health within your body, spiritual wellness is indicative of having a healthy spirit.

While many people connect spirituality to religion, they are separate entities with some similarities.

While religion is typically rooted in the concept of a higher power, spirituality incorporates this notion of something greater than yourself and builds upon that theory. It encourages you to think beyond the typical constructs of your world to understand how your emotional health, physical health, mental health and spiritual health all work to establish your total wellness.

For someone participating in addiction rehab, this holistic and encompassing approach to recovery and personal wellbeing are essential to overcoming your substance use disorder and attaining long-term personal success.

The Difference Between Spirituality and Religion

As previously stated, it is important to understand the difference between spirituality and religion to avoid unnecessary inferences and setbacks during therapy. Spirituality does not need to be defined through the singular lens of religion because it is so much more complex.

Where religion is typically defined as a specific set of rituals and practices regarding a belief in God or gods to be worshipped, spirituality is a personal search for meaning in life. Spirituality in therapy encourages a recovering addict to embrace their individual experiences and connections to gain perspective, meaning and purpose in their lives.

This personalized approach to addiction recovery empowers a person to embrace their faults and use those experiences as stepping stones toward more stable ground.

Practicing Spirituality and Addiction Recovery

Opening yourself up to the healing potential of spirituality during the process of addiction recovery can be instrumental in your rehabilitation. Some of the more effective methods of physical and emotional healing during recovery – such as mindfulness training, meditative practices and cognitive restructuring – are rooted in the practice of spirituality.

These methods train you to identify negative influences within your surroundings, while also helping you to manage your impulsive behaviors and establish a healthier method of controlling your addictive urges.

Holistic addiction rehab enables you to not only incorporate time-tested therapeutic techniques into your recovery, but it also empowers you to heal every facet of your existence while achieving a higher sense of purpose.

Therapy is not only a science; it is also an art. It does not consist of compounding pills and practices; it deals with the very processes of life, which must be understood before you can achieve greatness.

Spiritual Growth Therapy and Holistic Treatment for Addiction at Ranch Creek Recovery

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we will meet you where you’re at and walk with you every step of the way through your addiction recovery journey. You are never alone in this fight. Our non-12 step addiction rehab programs have been helping people overcome addiction for nearly 10 years, and we’re eager to help you get clean, realize your potential and turn your life around in ways you never thought possible.

With customized treatment plans that fit your unique recovery needs, Ranch Creek Recovery’s holistic treatment services can help you stop abusing drugs or alcohol and forge a fulfilling, clean future.

Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607