Updated: Oct 7, 2020
Everyone knows how beneficial it is for our well-being to spend time outdoor.
Gardening, working out outdoor, taking a walk in the park or along the beach are activities that help 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 to promote mental and physical well-being by performing activities in nature.
There are two main categories of ecotherapy, active and passive.
Active ecotherapy -> you work for 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
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:
Sitting in a natural environment
Hugging trees (yes, it's a thing)
How are ecotherapy and counselling related?
A counsellor practising ecotherapy uses the time spent in contact with nature to improve mental health by adding counselling therapy, individual or in groups. This increases positive outcome for mental health-related issues like:
Ecotherapy adds other options to traditional therapies. That's why yoga and mindfulness practised outdoor are becoming increasingly popular. More recently, new therapeutic methods have been added, like Walk & Talk Therapy or Therapy in the Park to combine the benefits of ecotherapy to a counselling session.
Group ecotherapy activities lead by trained professionals, are other options promoting positive social behaviour and reduce the sense of loneliness and social exclusion.
Can I practice ecotherapy by myself?
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
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, have a first 30 minutes free chat with me, get in touch!