Amos Clifford

Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs
Sonoma Mountain

Amos Clifford, M.A is one of the leading voices for Shinrin-Yoku-inspired Forest Therapy in the United States. He began his career as a wilderness guide in 1972, and taught his first nature connection class to troubled teens in 1973. He served for many years in wilderness adventure programs in the Sierra Nevada mountains. He is founder of Turning Point Youth Services in Tulare County, California, where he developed and managed programs that included pioneering approaches to eco-therapies connecting troubled teens to nature. In Sonoma County California he served as Executive Director of Restorative Resources, an NGO focusing on the use of restorative justice and related practices in Northern California. In recent years his emphasis has been on nature connection and restorative dialogue. Amos practiced Zen meditation was a student of Buddhist philosophy for over 20 years. He is founder of Sky Creek Dharma Center in Chico, California, where he taught Zen and meditation emphasizing youth-appropriate forrms. His Zen practice has now morphed into the practice of Forest Therapy. He has trained as a rites of passage guide with School of Lost Borders, and has extensive experience as a trainer and facilitator in many types of group processes including (among many others) council and restorative justice. Amos is author of many publications, including Your Guide to Forest Bathing (Conari Press 2018). He is Founder of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs (ANFT), which trains and certifies Forest Therapy Guides globally. At ANFT, Amos and his mentees and colleagues have developed a specific format for forest therapy that weaves together many strands of influence. Guiding principles of thiis approach, which is now practiced in 48 countries, include "The forest is the therapist, the guide opens the doors;" "It's Zen until you say so;" "Nature connection and culture repair arise together;" and "Hold your stories loosely." 
Amos holds a B.S. in Organizational Development and a M.A. in Counseling from the University of San Francisco..

United States