Do you feel more at peace in nature?
Do you feel like a lot of psychological clutter falls away when you take a walk in nature?
Do you feel a deep sense of belonging when you spend an extended period in nature?
Do you feel like you “come home” to yourself when you are in nature?
This is where eco-psychotherapy begins. If you are reading this, you likely already know that simply being in nature can be healing and grounding. In eco-psychotherapy we engage directly with these spontaneous experiences, but we go further in amplifying and deepening them through active engagement and awareness.
This way of working can be very powerful. In some respects it is more holistic, growthful and empowering than traditional psychotherapy, allowing the client to address personal concerns while also accessing a profound sense of participation and belonging. I suggest only embarking upon eco-psychotherapy if you already feel sufficiently resilient and stable in your life. This way of working is well suited to clients who feel called to work with nature - clients who are willing and able to openly explore their experience as it emerges.
What does it look like in practical terms?
For these sessions we meet somewhere with good access to a natural setting, where we are unlikely to be disturbed. I regularly use a number of locations within 20 minutes of the city. From there we set off into nature together, talking, walking and sitting, engaging with each other, our inner worlds, and the natural world around us. You simply need to bring yourself, an open mind, and a willingness to engage. I will assist by drawing on my skills as a psychotherapist and my own connection to nature. In conducting these sessions it is my intention to facilitate a deep connection to self, world and other.
How is eco-psychotherapy different to normal psychotherapy?
This way of working is different to normal psychotherapy in a number of important respects. I list a couple below.
Working indoors in a small room allows for an intense focus on the inner world of the client and the relationship between therapist and client. When we work outdoors, we still pay attention to the inner world and the therapist-client relationship, but we also focus on the client-nature relationship.
Working indoors, clients typically enter a space that is decorated and owned or arranged by the therapist. This creates a supportive but asymmetrical dynamic. Eco-psychotherapy is sometimes described as being more “democratic”, in that both therapist and client enter a landscape that is independent of both parties.
Working outdoors there are a great deal more variables, and before we embark on our first session there are a number of things that we need discuss and agree upon. Things like: What do we do if we encounter someone we know? Or What do we do in hot or rainy weather?
My Background in Eco-psychotherapy
Between 2014 and 2017 I completed my Masters by research into eco-psychotherapy, and in 2018 I developed and delivered Australia’s first tertiary level course in eco-psychotherapy to training therapists in VIC and QLD. Eco-psychotherapy continues to be a research interest of mine.
I have now been researching and teaching eco-psychotherapy for over five years. If you are interested in learning more about eco-psychotherapy sessions, please get in touch. In the meantime, you may also be interested to read my blog entries on eco-psychology or eco-psychotherapy, or read a little more about my research into contact with nature.
Get in Touch
Please get in touch via phone or email to discuss.