Ecotherapy is the practice of nature based methods for psychological, physical and spiritual healing. It is based on the essential fact that we are intimately connected with and inseparable from the rest of nature and the earth.
When we incorporate nature based practices into our psychological inquiry this can have wonderful regenerative effects including improved mood, reduction of anxiety and stress, increased energy, connecting to deep sources of wisdom and strength, and overall mind-body healing.
Using Ecotherapy means including values and aspects of nature and one’s relationship with the physical world as vital aspects of therapy. Finding ways to resource ourselves through nature and the earth provide vital support. Exploring thoughts, feelings and responses towards what is happening to the environment can also be a part of Ecotherapy. We explore depression, stress, fear, and self esteem as being affected by our relationship with nature and our natural rhythms.
How does an Ecotherapy session look? It may include aspects of connection with nature and the natural elements in our work together in the therapy office. Or we may decide on doing some Ecotherapy work out in nature. This would involve preparation and exploration beforehand, and we might do a session in the redwoods in the Oakland hills, or near the ocean or other body of water. We may incorporate a specific theme, with mindful inquiry as part of the process, mindful walking, presence and exploration of all of the senses. Part of Ecotherapy work is opening to the present moment and the mystery and beauty of being in nature, to see what is revealed in the experience of being outside and how the natural environment can be a support for healing and inspiration.