As children, we naturally gravitate towards nature, but we live in such a fast-paced world that taking time to unplug as adults are often put on the backburner. That said, our program encourages residents to disconnect and reconnect with nature. Studies show that spending time in nature reduces stress and can even have an anti-inflammatory effect as it quiets the mind, opens the heart, and invites ease into the body. With that in mind, we include Horticulture Therapy or garden therapy into our programs, so residents can experience that when they put love into a living thing, they return that love with nourishment. The garden that residents will tend to includes herbs and vegetables that our chefs use to serve delicious homestyle meals for our residents.
Horticultural therapy asserts that interacting with plants can have an inherently positive impact on mental health. Research has shown that the benefits of spending time in nature go beyond having a meditative effect; garden therapy can also reduce blood pressure, slow an overactive heart rate, and balance stress hormone levels.
In the treatment of addiction, horticultural group therapy allows residents to serve as caretakers, which is an essential role for individuals on the receiving end of medical care. In tending to our on-site vegetable and herb garden, Summit Malibu residents develop their interpersonal communication skills through effectively communicating with fellow residents, sharing responsibilities, and working collaboratively to achieve a goal.