About Forest Therapy Victoria
Forest Therapy Victoria was established by Matt Glover of MGA Counselling Services in 2019.
Several years earlier, Matt was working with a client who was carrying significant trauma from a violent episode in her past. After two years of working with Matt on other issues, the client disclosed the traumatic event in sessions, started to shake , then collapsed on the floor in a comatose state. It was several hours before the team was confident that the client was safe enough to go home.
The next week, the same client came in for her session, and the same thing happened all over again.
The week after it happened again.
On the fourth week, Matt decided to take the client outside and walk along the urban forest trail near his rooms, with the hope that the client would be able to process some of the trauma without such dramatic consequences.
It was the first time the client was able to tell the story in its entirety from start to finish.
Over the next few months, the client walked with Matt each week under the trees. Slowly healing started to take place, and twelve months later the client was able to say that the event from her past no longer weighed her down. She was free to explore life and love again.
This experience led Matt to research why counselling outside seemed to be far more therapeutic than within the confines of the counselling room. He discovered the concept of Forest Therapy and the way it had been enthusiastically embraced by Asian and European countries, but was alarmed to realise that very little was being done in Australia.
Matt completed his Forest Therapy training with the International Nature and Forest Therapy Alliance and became Australia’s first professional counsellor to be a recognised Forest Therapy practitioner.
Matt is the founder and lead guide at Forest Therapy Victoria.