Taking therapy and counselling outside into nature offers a holistic way of working together; connecting and re-connecting your mind, body and soul.
Perhaps you find the thought of therapy in a room constrictive and intense sitting opposite each other? Perhaps you have been experiencing anxiety over our climate? or perhaps you want to deepen your connection to the natural world?
So what is Nature Therapy?
Working outdoors is a combination of therapeutic ideas along with research from the field of ecopsychology which focuses on our interactions with our environment. I am particularly interested in connection and relationships and how this relates to our natural world and in turn yourself.
There are so many varied benefits which the NHS Forest (https://nhsforest.org/) highlights as:
- Reduced Stress levels
- Enhanced mood
- Improved self esteem
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Nature is restorative; so seeing and hearing it makes us feel at home, which means it helps us feel connected and happier.
- This is confirmed by the array of research (such as James P, Banay RF, Hart JE, Laden F. A Review of the Health Benefits of Greenness. Curr Epidemiol Reports. 2015) that highlights the benefits to include: reduced risk of stress, emotional distress, depressive symptoms, anxiety and depression.
Being in Nature and the outdoors is something I am passionate about such as creating my own wildlife garden to walking or running to reducing my plastic usage. Nurturing our connection to nature can foster feelings of nurturing ourselves and others.
Nature offers us a multitude of ways to work together, the very act of moving can shift feelings of “stuckness”, the freedom of being out in nature, out of the confines of a room can alleviate any pressure to maintain eye contact and it can improve physical health.
You do not need to be an “outdoorsy” person or have a high level of fitness because our work will go at your pace and can take the form of walking and talking and/or using focused creative steps such as mandalas or engaging the senses. We may take a route along the path, decide to sit on a bench or under a tree for the entire session and as such each outdoor session has the potential to vary, dependent on your preferences and of course the weather.
I encourage you to consider the benefits of allowing yourself to experience inclement weather to be part of the therapeutic experience and this may feel a little alien to begin with, but it can offer a freedom not always afforded from indoor therapy.
Market Bosworth Country Park or Normanton Wood is where we will work together outdoors and I have carried out risk assessments, each client is asked to complete one prior to commencing nature therapy to determine suitability.
I have undertaken and completed extensive training on taking therapy outdoors with Hayley Marshall at the Centre for Natural Reflection.
This short video below offers more insight and a chance to “meet” me.
Market Bosworth Country Park