Updated: Feb 4
Everyone knows how beneficial it is for our well-being to spend time outdoor.
Gardening, working out, taking a walk in the park or along the beach are activities that improve our immune system, our mood and the way we sleep. Moreover, spending time outdoor reduces the chance of future high blood pressures, diabetes, heart, and other aging-related conditions.
Ecotherapy is a broad term that includes a wide range of outdoor programs with the common aim of promoting mental and physical well-being.
There are two main categories of ecotherapy, active and passive.
You actively work to improve the environment. The goal of active ecotherapy helps understand the significant difference you can make just by taking care of your surrounding and how important that is for you and others. Active ecotherapy example:
Pet-therapy (taking care of animals)
Social farming projects
The environment works for you. You allow nature to take care of you and your needs while doing outdoor activities. Some passive ecotherapy examples:
Walking in nature
Sitting in a natural environment (beach, park, it's your choice)
Hugging trees (yes, it's a thing)
How are ecotherapy and counselling related?
A counsellor practising ecotherapy uses contact with nature combined with mental health therapy. This can be done in an individual or in groups settings. This combination increases positive outcome for mental health-related issues like:
Ecotherapy adds another option to traditional therapies. That's why yoga and mindfulness practised outdoor are becoming increasingly popular. To combine the benefits of ecotherapy to a counselling session new therapeutic methods have been added recently, like Walk & Talk Therapy or Therapy in the Park.
Group ecotherapy activities led by trained professionals promote positive social behaviour and reduce the sense of loneliness and social exclusion.
Can I practice ecotherapy on my own?
Yes, of course, there are many indoor and outdoor activities you can do by yourself to develop your skills and promote your relationship with nature.
Grow plants indoors, on your balcony or in your garden
Set up a green corner in your house, with plants and materials gathered outdoor
Create nature-based art
Listen to natural sounds from like waves, forest, rain or birds
Sit under a tree in silence
Tools used in ecotherapy settings:
Sense of place
Observation and respect
At Build Your Safe Space we provide Walk & Talk Therapy or Therapy in the Park as part of our Ecotherapy program. Our aim is to combine the benefits of counselling sessions and ecotherapy to help you reconnect with yourself.
If the weather does not play favourably, the session can be postponed or moved online.
If you wish to explore a little more about Walk and Talk Therapy and Therapy in the Park. Subscribe to the website and get a first 30 minutes free online chat.