Engaging with plants, nature, and recreation to promote wellness in all domains of health for older adults.
BIANCA VAN DER STOEL,
Horticultural Therapy Practitioner & Recreation Therapist
The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.
Welcome! My name is Bianca van der Stoel and I am a budding Horticultural Therapist with a solid foundation as a Recreation Therapist.
My goal is to promote a shift in our healthcare system,
reinforcing the role that nature, plants, and green spaces can play in an individual's well being. Engaging with nature may be as simple as sitting beneath the trees after days in a treatment environment with low stimulation, a conversation over a fresh rose at an individual's bedside, or digging our hands in the soil in a therapy group.
As a board member of the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association, and the Education Committee Coordinator for the CHTA, I aim to be a change-maker, promoting the value and need for this therapeutic modality in all settings- from Long Term Care environments, to hospitals, to schools, and far beyond.
I desire to see Horticultural Therapy grow it's roots across this country,
and the world!
With professional experience in Community Health, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Mental Health, and Palliative Care settings, I come prepared with a toolkit of engaging, meaningful activities centered around the modality of horticulture. A variety of programs focus on goals such as physical mobility, socialization, sensory stimulation, or experiences of contribution and purpose.
I believe Horticultural Therapy can provide boundless benefits to individuals, groups, and our communities, and I'd love to talk to you about how this service could connect to you.
About Horticultural Therapy
Horticultural Therapy is a treatment using horticulture, nature, and plant materials to achieve goals targeted at well being.
Horticultural Therapy provides a purposeful, familiar activity that allows an individual to experience feelings of purpose, joy, dignity, physical engagement, sensory stimulation, stress reduction, and a diverse list of further benefits.
A Horticultural Therapist is an appropriately trained individual who provides treatment using horticultural techniques to maintain or improve all domains- including social, cognitive, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. The Horticultural Therapist can fulfill multiple roles within the interdisciplinary team, aiding in the assessment, treatment, and evaluation process.
Horticultural Therapy is an evidence informed practice with clinically validated research in the form of:
Impact of gardens and gardening on health and well-being in public and health care settings (Howarth et al., 2020)
Impact of gardening on nutrition and physical health (Kunpeuk et al., 2020)
The benefits of gardening for older adults: A systematic review of the literature (Wang & MacMillan, 2013)
The Relationship Between Nature Connectedness and Eudaimonic Well-Being: A Meta-analysis (Pritchard et al., 2019)
Sustainable behaviours & happiness in children (Barrera-Hernández et al., 2020)
Socialization, Increased dexterity & strength (Baker, 2009)
Public health (Groenewegen et al., 2006)
Reduced depression & anxiety symptoms (Gonzalez et al., 2010)
Physiological health (van den Berg et al., 2010)
Sense of accomplishment, Improved functional health (Austin et al., 2006)
Cognitive Attention Restoration (Joye & Dewitte, 2018)
Horticultural Therapy Services
I have had the good fortune to work with Bianca van der Stoel, both as a fellow Practitioner of Horticultural Therapy and as a Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association Board Member since the summer of 2020. There are so many qualities and skills that Bianca possesses; I would probably need an entire page to list them. To start with, I respect her dedication and passion for supporting others to become the best they can be in whatever context she works with them. She is a model for professionalism and always generous to share her skills and knowledge with others.
HTR, CCDP, and MHFA Canada Facilitator.
"I'm grieving the loss of my husband, and I'm grieving
the process of aging, so at this point - life is about waiting for the next blossom."
"Bianca is full of invaluable knowledge and was incredibly engaging with the youth in our eco-therapy group. Her passion, insight, and personality are infectious and I hope to work alongside her again."
Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Health Center,
"From early on, Bianca has been admired for her sensitive, respectful, caring approach with residents, and we have all been grateful for the opportunity to work along-side of her.
Our residents are all living with Dementia, and with that come some exceptional challenges. Bianca has a knack for bringing out the best in each and every resident she works with, while providing therapy with a smile. Bianca holds herself and others to a high standard, and consistently models good practice as well as a patient, creative and caring approach.
One of the biggest challenges for our residents is the loneliness, boredom and helplessness associated with dementia. Bianca shares a mutual attachment to the elders she works with, always treating them with compassion, respect, honesty and integrity."
Assistant to the Executive Director
Please inquire via email for References and past contract Horticultural Therapy company contacts.