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Horticultural therapy is a respected profession

Andre, a patient at Clifton Perkins Hospital, a state mental facility for criminal defendants, is in the greenhouse where horticultural therapy is used to help patients.
Andre, a patient at Clifton Perkins Hospital, a state mental facility for criminal defendants, is in the greenhouse where horticultural therapy is used to help patients. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

As a board member of the Mid-Atlantic Horticultural Therapy Network (MAHTN) and a member of the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA), I was pleased to see the work of horticultural therapists being highlighted in your paper (“Gardening therapy is growing at this Maryland mental health hospital – and in corrections systems nationwide," Dec. 17). However, I would like to address two aspects of this article that raised concerns for me.

First, the profession is defined as horticultural therapy, not horticulture therapy as stated by the author. Second, the reporter’s use of the adjective “so-called” to describe the profession suggests that she may question the legitimacy of the profession and/or the benefits that horticultural therapy can offer. Horticultural therapy is an evidence-based practice that is well established in the United States and comes with a professional registration process overseen by the AHTA. It is a wholly legitimate and well-respected profession.

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Kate Perry

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