EcoTherapy for Individuals, Couples and Families
There is increasing evidence of the benefits of spending time in nature for mental health and emotional wellbeing. There is a range of outdoor activities which may be called EcoTherapy which include green exercise, horticultural therapy, conservation work in nature. Some of them are run by trained professionals and all of these have enormous potential to support you.
Being trained as a Systemic and Family Psychotherapist means that I provide EcoTherapy as a form of relational therapy, a psychological treatment conducted in Nature instead of a clinical room. Some people may find it easier to talk and walk or using metaphors from nature to describe their thoughts feelings and experiences and express themselves more freely.
EcoTherapy can be as effective as other forms of therapy but is more friendly and accessible to young people or adults and couples as the focus is on nature connection activities. EcoTherapy can also be an effective form of couple therapy e.g. for couples who are facing relational or parenting difficulties, conflict and/or separation.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH NATURE
I believe that being immersed in Nature means being immersed in ourselves. Nature is truthful and honest. It’s not hiding the painful sight of an uprooted and fallen tree. This is the time when we may seek therapy.
Nature can help us confront fears and painful/uncomfortable feelings, the ups and downs of life transitions, the rewards and challenges of different seasons.
Nature can help us being open and more in tune with ourselves, can promote self-healing, can offer relief from stress, a sense of balance, calm and peace.
Nature can help us bridge the duality of our thinking, separating opposites rather than integrating them as part of the same reality.
Nature can also give us a language to describe complex feelings and experiences as it becomes a mirror to who we are.
As an established psychotherapist I will assess and discuss with you whether nature-based therapy can contribute to achieving the therapeutic goals. I am particularly interested in offering eco-family therapy as an innovative way of delivering therapy for individuals, couples and families. For eco-therapy for multiple families see FUN eco-family therapy.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
EcoTherapy is a form of therapy offered by a trained psychotherapist using Nature as the context for change, self-growth and healing.
If you are interested in this form of therapy here some steps:
- Contact Chiara Santin to arrange a consultation session in which we can explore the reasons for seeking therapy and whether EcoTherapy is appropriate for yourself, your children and your family to achieve the therapeutic goal.
- Explore some options. EcoTherapy can include a number of practices:
- Walk and talk through the natural landscape i.e. the woodland, the grassland, the park with or without a specific focus to facilitate conversations whilst engaging with physical activity and movement to relax the body and promote clarity of thinking;
- Natural Art and other creative activities as main focus whilst promoting therapeutic conversations guided by the therapist;
- Mindfulness exercises i.e. becoming more aware of own senses and a deeper sense of relaxation and wellbeing through awareness of the here and now and how the body responds to being in nature;
- Natural mirroring i.e. exploring through a natural item that is a mirror, reflects a specific struggle or event, an aspect of yourself or topic related to the therapeutic goal suggested by the therapist or by yourself, and be guided by nature and the therapist to explore and see things from a different perspective;
- Phototherapy i.e. taking photos of elements in nature that have a particular meaning e.g. a dead tree may remind of a loss, entangled ivy around a tree may represent an issue which feels like a complex and insoluble dilemma.
- Sign up a contract and arrange an EcoTherapy session. The Venue is within the Memorial Grounds in Woodingdean, along Warren Road, Brighton BN2 6DD. There is free parking available within the grounds.
- If you wish to share any feedback about the EcoTherapy sessions I will be glad to hear to develop this service further and make it accessible to more individuals and couples.