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Ecotherapy in a Nutshell

Updated: Feb 4, 2021

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.

Active ecotherapy

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)

  • Gardening

  • Social farming projects

  • Cleaning parks

  • Cleaning beaches

Passive ecotherapy

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)

  • Exercise outdoor

  • Birdwatching

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:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Stress

  • Self-esteem

  • Impulse control

  • Social behaviour