Dana Ludmer, Psy.D., is a 2022 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Theodore Ellenhorn, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Katherine Evarts, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Gina Pasquale, PsyD, Committee Member


web-based therapeutic intervention, therapeutic horticulture, needs assessment, thematic analysis

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The pandemic has become a nationwide psychological trauma, posing a serious mental health risk in the United States. As the pandemic increases social disconnection and depression, amongst other psychological concerns, the need for accessible therapeutic interventions has become imperative. The purpose of this dissertation was to evaluate the interest and preferences in a web-based therapeutic horticulture intervention for connectedness and well-being. This study utilized a mixed methods approach, including both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. A needs assessment surveyed American Horticulture Therapist Association (AHTA) members as well as gardening hobbyists. Quantitative data was evaluated through descriptive statistics, while qualitative data was evaluated through a thematic analysis. The results indicated that there is an interest in the development of an online gardening resource and indicated directions for such a development. Directions included the importance of navigational ease and facilitation to increase likelihood of participation. Additionally, it emphasized the importance of previewing the website before enrollment. Results of the needs assessment were considered in the proposal of an initial prototype of the online gardening resource. The primary user flow of the website is detailed, as well as a plan to launch the web-based therapeutic horticulture intervention and future opportunities for research.


Dana Ludmer

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0003-3536-9556