Kelli Woodson, Psy.D., is a 2023 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Theodore Ellenhorn, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Barbara Belcher-Timme, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Katherine Evarts, PsyD, Committee Member


Clinical psychology, therapeutic horticulture, human-nature connection

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The connection between nature and well-being has been recognized across cultures for centuries. One way in which people have facilitated this connection over the years has been through their interactions with plants and the practice of horticulture. Research over the years has further substantiated a connection between horticultural practices and overall well-being. However, a significantly disproportionate amount of this research has been conducted within the field of clinical psychology, despite the notable clinical implications. The current dissertation aims to address this gap in the current literature by exploring this connection from the lens of clinical psychology. More specifically, the current work outlines an extensive review of current, relevant literature, introduces the concept of therapeutic horticulture, and then conceptualizes therapeutic horticulture through various psychotherapeutic theoretical perspectives. Moreover, the current work aims to grow beyond the scope of the current dissertation to inform a subsequent book to define core competencies, standards, and guidelines for the use of therapeutic horticulture within the field of clinical psychology. Given this, the current dissertation is formatted as a formal book proposal and three sample chapters, which will then be submitted for publication.


Kelli Woodson

ORCID Scholar ID# 0009-0001-4622-7409