Health, Wellness and the Latest Research
Presentation and Discussion

Growing Young Brains: The Inside Story of How Forest Therapy Helps Children Become Creative and Balanced Adults

Jane West, MA, MS, LPC, ECSE

Early brain development specialist Jane West shares the ways forest therapy walks help develop all parts of a child. Jane will explain what a young brain needs to grow from critical sensory moments to social and physical challenges all experienced within the security of caring environment. She will also offer tips for guiding young children and their caregivers including ways to work with the that have special needs.

Jane West is a licensed professional counselor and a licensed school counselor specializing in early childhood issues. She runs Heart of the West Counseling, LLC, a company that provides therapeutic services to families and consulting services to early childhood programs such as Early Head Start, Head Start, and private preschools. In 2005, she was chosen to be a Harris Fellow in Child Development and Infant Mental Health at the University of Colorado's Child Psychiatry Department. In 2006, Jane became a statewide trainer for Colorado's Early Childhood Mental Health Initiative. In 2007, Jane was chosen as a national fellow for the Leaders of the 21st Century program at the Zero to Three organization. Jane was responsible for shaping the early years of Early Childhood Partners’ coaching and consultation program and she remains an active consultant and speaker on such topics of early childhood toxic stress and resiliency. Jane is also an internationally accomplished journalist and an Emmy-award winning producer of documentaries for PBS and the BBC. She is currently working on—among other projects-- the development on a new film focused on compelling portraits of early intervention in action around the globe. Jane serves as the executive director and founder of The Two Lilies Fund, a small foundation that gives grants in under-resourced parts of the world to support young children and their caregivers’ social and emotional development. Jane also teaches skiing in the winter and leads hikes and contemplative forest walks year-round. The proud parent of three wonderful young people, Jane is a life-long learner—with an undergraduate degree from Stanford University (International Relations and French), and masters degrees from Columbia University (journalism) and the University of Colorado (1) counseling psychology and 2) early childhood education and special education). Jane is also a certified trainer for The Growing Brain, a national early brain science curriculum, created by Zero to Three.