Therapy & Nature

Diversity and Dialogue

"You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by  surviving difficult times and challenging adversity" (Epicurus) 

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Contact Chiara Santin

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This section aims at providing information about therapy being conducted in nature and using nature as a therapeutic tool with individuals, couples and families. It is acombination of therapy indoor and outdoor to maximise therapeutic potential. 

The current environmental crisis can raise new questions about our moral, ethical, political and spiritual position and collective responsibility towards the environment and the future of humanity. This is impacting on children and adults' mental and emotional wellbeing as an increasing number of people may experience "eco-Anxiety" i.e. an overwhelming sense of concern, fear for the future, grief and loss. However this is a valid response to the current crisis and might need drastic action. Psychotherapy can play a role in this. The UK council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) has made the following pledge: 

  • we will develop an Environment Policy towards achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030
  • to advocate for improved access for all to high quality therapies due to the clear peer reviewed evidence that climate events harm mental wellbeing
  • we will look to how we can further enhance our trainings and lifelong learning to ensure best clinical practice
  • we will also work closely with journalists to support ethical and accurate reporting on the human emotional impact.

Ecotherapy is the application of Ecopsychology, a well developed field to claim people’s need to reconnect to nature for their own benefit as well as promoting a renewed awareness and commitment to caring and protecting the environment of which we are part of. This has become a pressing issue now. 


There is growing research evidence to suggest that spending time in nature can improve mental health and emotional wellbeing.


In the field of psychotherapy an increasing number of therapists may use nature as a therapeutic tool. Therefore, Therapy might be also conducted in nature when appropriate and agreed between the clients and the therapist.


The aims of ecotherapy can be summarised as follows: 

  • Develop an awareness of people's connection to nature 
  • Enjoy nature as a sensory experience i.e. through their senses reconnect to bodily sensations
  • Develop a felt sense of self and connection to others
  • Practice self-care and mindfulness 
  • Improve mental and emotional wellbeing 
  • Reflect on and recognise the benefits of being in 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 and couples. For eco-therapy for families go to my webpage FUN eco-family therapy (click on the top left of this page)


If you wish to explore nature-based psychotherapy please get in touch to discuss your specific needs 

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”


(Marcel Proust)

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