Ecotherapy - what is it?
Ecotherapy is a nature-based activity that entails going into nature-based areas e.g., walking in fields, outdoors, etc, and engaging with the ecosystem. Sometimes both terms ‘ecotherapy’ and ‘nature therapy’ are used to describe the same process, which is essentially working with nature to improve your wellbeing and the wider ecosystem.
Good mental health and wellbeing is an important process of our ability to connect to each-other and the wider social world. When we step into the environment, whether locally in urban or suburban settings, or going further into 'green spaces' e.g., forests, woodlands and open plains, we can begin to experience and feel the positive benefits this brings. This could be from engaging in new challenging situations and opening one's self up to experiences which support change and at the same time connect to all levels of our psychological and emotional functioning. Ecotherapy helps to remind us of our place in the ecosystem and how we can develop a healthier relationship with the environment and all that exists within it.
How does it work?
The way I incorporate ecotherapy into my existing practice is through a process of 'walk and talk' and going into 'green spaces' that consist of fields, wooded areas and grasslands. I invite the client to engage with nature and the eco-environment, noticing their place in the environment, what this feels like, what thoughts are being produced and how they are relating to the space. Through this engagement it can assist the client to understand and experience their issues and concerns (the reasons they have come to therapy) in a new way...facilitating a process that can give more clarity, coherence, understanding whilst opening up more positive ways to move forward and enhance their sense of well-being overall.
Length of session and cost?
The normal length of session would be 50 minutes at a cost of £50 a session. This can sometimes be longer depending on the individual person's need, for example they may want an 80 minute session giving more time to experiencing a certain aspect of nature and engagement e.g., forest bathing, creative mediums, and animal sightings.