Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Using Bonsai as Nature Assisted Art Psychotherapy

Version 1 : Received: 24 September 2019 / Approved: 25 September 2019 / Online: 25 September 2019 (10:24:02 CEST)

How to cite: Hermann, C. Using Bonsai as Nature Assisted Art Psychotherapy. Preprints 2019, 2019090283. Hermann, C. Using Bonsai as Nature Assisted Art Psychotherapy. Preprints 2019, 2019090283.


Background: Bonsai integrates relaxation, leisure and art therapy into one medium that can have personal, emotional and commercial value and have benefits beyond the therapist’s couch. The art of bonsai, when used as a therapy tool may affect the capacity of the bonsai practitioner to adjust to negative and stressful life events. Objective: The study was initiated to evaluate the benefit of bonsai on the wellbeing of practitioners of the art. Method: 255 bonsai artists participated in a study that examined the effect of bonsai on their well-being. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with bonsai artists. Results: The majority of participants agreed that being able to work on their bonsais affected their moods positively. Discussion: Although bonsai artists did not report better mental health, participants reported an improvement in their mood when working on a bonsai tree. These findings are significant in that it can be especially useful in settings such as psychiatric hospitals, old age homes, orphanages, prisons, etc., as a preventative measure as well as restorative measures in the well-being of patients.


well-being; mental health; bonsai; art; psychotherapy


Social Sciences, Psychology

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