Healing Gardens have historically been a holistic approach to healing the person’s body, mind and soul. There is research that suggests that people with physical and emotional pain heal more quickly when exposed to and interacting with nature. Our Healing Garden is a tribute to this healing and hope. Within our healing garden we also have a large play space for children to actively engage in the outdoors. The healing garden encourages a multi-sensory experience with tastes, aromas, sights and touch while engaging in the natural environment.
As there are many ways in which nature can be used to facilitate the healing process, there were four rooms created.
The four rooms at Chrysalis are: the Spiritual Garden, Active/Sensory Garden, Butterfly Garden and Connections Garden.
The spiritual garden includes a labyrinth. Walking the labyrinth provides a deepening of experience. It can be used across spiritual traditions and as a walking meditation. Often the labyrinth is used during transitions or grief. However, daily use of the labyrinth allows for a practice that facilitates slowing down and integration. This labyrinth has a space built into it for a small sandtray into which a symbol can be placed. The spiritual garden includes symbols across religious/spiritual traditions as well as plants that pull for connection to spirituality including sage and lavender. The Spiritual Garden includes the four elements.
The Active/Sensory Garden includes the butterfly nursery, lilac safe space, directive play therapy shed, rainbow garden, playground, and sensory garden.
The butterfly garden provides milkweed for the monarchs. In the corner of the active garden is a space that has ten lilacs that will grow over the next year or two to create a space of safety and containment.
The Sensory Garden provides plants and other elements (i.e., water feature, windchimes, birdhouses/baths, pinwheels) to allow for sensory mindfulness across the senses. The Rainbow Garden is part of the Sensory Garden with pots across the rainbow. This symbol can represent what it needs to represent for each individual. Within the Active/Sensory Garden there are safe spaces such as a family Hugglepod and large swing which promote family interaction within the contained space.
Within the Butterfly Garden the therapist and client are surrounded by nature with all plants selected for their attractiveness to pollinators. This garden holds the metaphor of the clinic, Chrysalis. In this space, there is a felt-sense of safety, connectedness to the other in the space and interpersonal transformation. Symbols such as an open bird cage provide powerful metaphors in this space.
The Connections Garden provides comfortable spaces for groups to meet. This space also contains fruits allowing for both interpersonal as well as biological nurturance and “filling up.”