IFTDays 2020

IFTDays 2020 will be held in Parkano, in the western part of Finland on 26th – 27th of September.

2020 IFTDays seminar will take place on Saturday 26th of September and workshop day 27th September, 2020. Take a look at our partner Parkano city, a Unesco’s Geopark site Unesco’s Geopark site and Parkano.

The live event will take place at education center Kaarna (address Satakunnankatu 36-40, 39700 Parkano). The online version of IFTDays is organized in Zoom. You can use either your computer or mobile device where you have downloaded the free Zoom app before the event. All participants will receive detailed instructions for using zoom before the event. During the workshop day, half of the workshops will be streamed from the forest into a live stream which can easily be followed on any mobile device or computer through the link.

Speakers and guides IFTDays 2020​

David Motzstudios
David Motzenbecker


hails from the Great State of Minnesota in the Upper Midwest. He is a licensed Landscape Architect and lover of forests, music, and delicious food. David is an ANFT-Certified Forest Therapy Guide and Trail Certification Consultant. He enjoys public speaking and leading public engagement exercises. David is a thinker of big thoughts and tries everyday to become a better practitioner of Stoic philosophy.

Gorana Isailovic
Gorana Isailovic


Dr Gorana Isailovic is a professor at Academy for applied studies Belgrade Department Higher education, School of Professional Health Studies. Gorana is the President of Medical SPA Association of Serbia from the 2011 and Co-President of Forest therapy SEE from 2019. She’s a ANFT Certified forest therapy guide (2017) and INFOM certified Forest medical Specialist from 2019. She conducts research in the field of Forest medicine, Rx nature, mental wellbeing and Art in nature and certifies trails, individual approaches to health tourism and forest SPA clients.

Riitta Wahlström
Riitta Wahlström


Riitta Wahlström is used to trees from early childhood in Finland in the deep forest. Later on she became Environmental educator teaching at university. As a psychologists she got very happy to develop practices reconnecting people to Nature. She found that tree practices are the best ones to inspire people to love Nature and become more balanced. She loves to share those in her trainings and books all over the world.

Sirpa Kurppa
Sirpa Kurppa


Sirpa Kurppa is a Research professor (Emerita) Ph.D., from the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) the group of Sustainability Science and Indicators. Her special competences are: agroecology, ecology of food systems, integrated and sustainable food production, environmental assessment, life cycle assessment (LCA) and eco-design. Sirpa’s novel interests are ‘soft infrastructure’, frugality and role of elderly people (women especially) in sustainable and regenerative economy. At present she is coordinating the guiding group of the association Elonkierron Ystävät ry http://elonkierronystavat.fi/. Email: sirpa.kurppa@gmail.com 

Saija Lehtonen
Saija Lehtonen


Saija Lehtonen is an artist and a creator. She spent her childhood in a middle of a forest in the Central Finland. Nature as a whole and natural materials such as fish scale, elk hair, wood and mushroom pigments are her main sources of inspiration and the profound basis of her work. Saija is also intrigued by the cultural heritage and traditions of the Arctic. In her opinion ecological arts and handicrafts are often reflecting deeper understanding of the circle of life and nature. Working with natural materials and with our own hands connects us to this cycle and to our surrounding environment.

Bum-Jin Park
Bum-Jin Park

Professor Bum-Jin Park have two PhD degrees of ‘ergonomics of forest work’ and ‘forest therapy’. He is interested in a relationship between human and forest environment. Park is researching to measurement and evaluation of therapeutic environment of forest and design of therapeutic environment of forest.

Yasuhiro Kotera


Yasuhiro Kotera, Academic Lead in Counselling, Psychotherapy & Psychology at University of Derby, Online Learning (United Kingdom). He earned his degrees in Japan and US, and is currently teaching and researching in the UK. As Accredited Psychotherapist, mental health has been a focus of practice and research, which reports that shinrin-yoku is an effective means to protect our mental health. Yasuhiro and his colleagues are currently exploring the effects of nature on self-compassion, loneliness and motivation, and cross-cultural differences.

Diana Barnett


Diana Barnett is a facilitator, Guide, and Wayapa Wuurrker. Her specialties are Masterminds for founders of impact businesses, Wayapa training & nature Immersions. Diana is a strong advocate of regenerative practices at both a personal and industry level, and that business be used as a force for good.  One of the reasons she is attracted to Wayapa Wurruk is it extends the Mind, Body, Spirit movement, to include Earth. By including Earth we show our respect for indigenous knowledge, past and present, and our own cultural stories. Drawing on the wisdom we can reconnect to Earth, through our actions, and the difference we make to the world we choose to live in.


Suko Yasushi
Yasushi SUKO


Yasushi SUKO is a doctoral student studying Environmental Psychology at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Tampere University, Finland. He earned a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies at The University of Tokyo, Japan. His current research topic is the restorative (therapeutic) effect of nature sounds (for example, birdsong, the sound of the river flowing, etc.) on highly stressed people who cannot go out easily. In 2019, he and his colleagues conducted a pioneering study in Japan which was to investigate whether nature sounds could improve surgeons’ mood after surgery.

Petra Cau Wetterholm
Petra Ellora Cau Wetterholm



Petra Ellora Cau works in Stockholm, Sweden as a Licenced Clinical Psychologist, a Certified Forest Therapy Guide, trainer and mentor and as a Mindfulness Facilitator. She finds it important to provide ways to offer nature connection in public mental health care. To do so she is currently exploring ways to deepen the methodology and presentation of forest therapy guiding and interventions, in order to meet clinical and scientific criterias. Last year she founded the Scandinavian Nature and Forest Therapy Institute, to offer nature based immersions and trainings in forest bathing and forest therapy and to provide information for the public, organisations and decision makers. Petra Ellora Cau offers forest bathing walks within her company Shinrin-Yoku Sweden and clinical Forest Therapy interventions as part of a Swedish Health Care organisation.

Anna María Pálsdóttir
Anna María Pálsdóttir


In her work as a researcher and educator in environmental psychology, Anna Maria works with conceptual development and scientific evaluations of nature-based and nature-supported interventions that are conducted in various outdoor environments for different target groups. She also conducts research on the content and design of health-promoting outdoor environments and how we can shape and build sustainable places for health and well-being.

Picture by Jenny SG

Bikash Adhikari
Bikash Adhikari


Bikash is a graduate in MS Applied Ecology. He has more than 10 years of experience on collecting scats of red panda, tiger, wild water buffalo and snow leopards to study their feeding ecology. He wrote M.Sc thesis on “Human-leopard conflict in Nepal” listening wolf debate in Scandinavia and interacting with Nordic wilderness mindsets in Evenstad campus.Then, Bikash realized wilderness in landscape is determined by wildness in human culture and mindsets. So, together with her Wildlife Veterinarian Sister Dr. Bindu co-founded “Himalayan Wilderness Awareness School (WILD NEPAL)”. His mission is to save indigenous cultural nature/forest therapy practices for Living with nature in the central Himalaya.

Mikko Pohjola
Mikko Pohjola


Mikko Pohjola from Turku Finland. Mikko has a background in science, commercialization of research and entrepreneurship. Currently he is the Chief Science Officer at Korpi ForRest – the 2nd Best Solution for Resting Your Mind.

Ben Page
Ben Page


Ben Page is a Forest Therapy guide, as well as a trainer and mentor of guides. For the last 3 years, he has served as the Director of Training for the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, and is now shifting into the new role of curricular design specialist for Forest Therapy training. Ben lives in Los Angeles, California, a short drive away from oceans, mountains, deserts and forests, and it’s his passion to get to know this land and all its inhabitants.

Kirsi Salonen
Kirsi Salonen


Kirsi Salonen, psychology, psychotherapist, (PhD in psychology; ecopsychology and environmental psychology). She has developed and used nature-based methods for over 20 years as part of her Psychologist´s work. Kirsi’s dissertation focuses on perceived influence and content dimensions of nature among voluntary and supervised nature experiences.

Daniela Haluza
Daniela Haluza


Daniela Haluza is an environemntal scientist and a Public Health expert at the Medical Unviersity of Vienna. Thus, she works and lives in Vienna.

Lymarie Rodriguez-Morales
Lymarie Rodriguez
Mika Saarenpää


Mika Saarenpää works with research related to nature’s health effects. He is addicted to daily doses of nature and can safely say that he wouldn’t survive without. Luckily Mika live close to a nature reserve on the Swedish west coast. Topics that are of interest to him include connectedness to nature, health effects derived from nature experience, and sustainability. With his research he wish to emphasize the importance of biodiversity and well-functioning ecosystems for human health.

Panu Pihkala


Dr. Panu Pihkala is an expert in eco-anxiety. He researches the subject in the University of Helsinki, leads practical workshops on the theme, develops educational materials, and writes popular books.

Pihkala is an adjunct professor (Title of Docent) of environmental theology in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Helsinki and a postdoctoral researcher in the HELSUS Sustainability Science Institute. He is the leading Finnish expert in interdisciplinary research about eco-anxiety and climate anxiety. Pihkala’s pioneering monograph on the subject (“Päin helvettiä? Ympäristöahdistus ja toivo – “Eco-anxiety and Hope”) was published in Finnish in October 2017 and has raised much public discussion in Finland. Pihkala’s latest book is a 300-page popular handbook of “ecological emotions” (“Mieli maassa? Ympäristötunteet”).

Sinikka Piippo
Jim Morgan
Geeta Stilwell
Jarko Taivasmaa