I am a psychiatrist- a medical practitioner and a scientific researcher, PhD in the field of ethnobotany, toxicology and psychiatry. I work in the Mental Helath Hospital in Choroszcz and in the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical University in Bialystok.  From 2018 I am a licensed guide of the Białowieża National Park. I belong to the Japanese shinrin-yoku organization INFOM (International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine).   I am also a member of European Forest Therapy Institute (EFTI) – more information you can find here  https://www.europeanforesttherapyinstitute.com

 In my private life I paint, photograph wildlife and run a Facebook portal “Zapuszczeni / Beforested” and “Galeria Silva”. I am interested in herbal medicine, old stories, different worlds, archetypes, fairy tales, legends, old European cultures (Celts, Slavs, Vikings) , tribal cultures and related ethnopsychiatry.

Medicine is fascinating. However, the Forest … was always there. It was my natural environment, the background of adolescent adventures, a source of fascination and admiration, the scenery of all interests and most activities. It was there, where I rested and worked, thought and returned to the roots. I learned about animals, plants, dependencies, the wild side of our character, the need for contact with something primitive.

The forest is a huge, wise book, from which we can learn many useful things. It is a work of original and unmanageable art. A living organism, a pharmacy, a palpable arrangement of bubble worlds and a friend. A bag of fairy tales, a source of archetypes, fears and comforts. The Context.

Currently I run forest therapy workshops in my own version and in the EFTI version as well. I also promote medical knowledge in the field of forest therapies in Poland and abroad.

Katarzyna Simonienko MD, PhD

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