Manchester based Psychotherapist & Ecotherapist
provides high quality outdoor nature-based personal development for private
individuals, organisations and corporate groups, in the form of one-to-one
sessions, workshops, retreats, and bespoke events. Do
please take some time to explore the website.
If you have
any questions, or you would like to book, simply call 0161 881
is an umbrella term for a whole variety of nature-based psychotherapies,
counselling and coaching practices which utilise an experiential connection
with nature as a major part of the therapeutic and coaching process. An
ever-expanding volume of scientific research now clearly
supports its benefits.
a tree can tell you more than can be read in a book."
is a relatively new field of therapy, but one which has many ancient
roots, and as such, it draws its ideas from both modern and ancients
us, our ancestors would have seen little or no separation between
themselves and the natural world they lived in. Many native cultures
today still live in a harmonious relationship with nature, interacting
with nature's rhythms, to sustain and heal, physically, mentally
and spiritually. In native cultures, the shaman would in effect
be the equivalent of our modern doctor, counsellor and psychotherapist.
nature-based healing practices of many native cultures are now being
extensively researched and integrated with modern therapeutic practices
under the umbrella term of 'ecotherapy.'
It is a selection
of these practices in the form of fun and enlightening outdoor games and
exercises that will be used during my workshops and one-to-one nature
based therapy and coaching sessions. Ecotherapy may be used entirely on
its own, or as a powerful compliment to more mainstream therapeutic models.
do we need nature-based therapy?
has become more and more industrialised and urbanised. People in industrialised
nations now spend more than 90% of their lives indoors. Our time spent
outside, surrounded by nature, is estimated at only 1% - 5%. As a modern
society we have become increasingly disconnected from the natural world.
millennia we have existed in a very close relationship with the
natural world, and have been intrinsically connected to the rhythms
of our natural environment, from our water and food, to the changing
of the seasons. Human evolution has been so closely intertwined
with our environment, that our need for a relationship with nature
must reside in our very genes. Our genetic make-up has barely changed
over the last 10000 years: an almost insignificant change of 0.005%.
it would seem that despite our modern society and technological advancements,
we are still genetically hard-wired to need to co-exist in close relationship
with the natural environment.
humans we seem to have an innate need to be close to nature and
living things. We seem drawn, almost unconsciously, to activities
which involve the natural environment. Research suggests human identity,
emotional well-being, and personal fulfilment depend on our relationship
people are already aware of the beneficial psychological effects
of simply being on a beach, paddling in a stream, or walking in
a forest or the mountains. I'm sure it is no accident that we are
drawn to areas of natural beauty when taking our holidays.
human need for nature is not just linked to use of its resources
but it also has an influence on our emotional state, thought processes
and even spiritual well-being.
now believe that conflicts can arise between our modern society's disconnection
from the natural world and our in-built need to relate to it, creating
a series of internal mental conflicts, which can give rise to emotional,
behavioural and addictive problems.
seemingly in-built requirement for interaction with the natural world
for our physical and mental well-being, it would appear that there is
a strong need for us to finds ways of re-integrating nature back into
our lives, so that we can redress the balance.
use of nature to enhance well-being, physically, mentally and spritually,
has been around probably as long as humans have existed.
is only in more recent times, largely due to industrialisation and
urbanisation, that man has become more and more disconnected and
isolated from the natural world. In our modern society,
that in-built need for relationship with nature has become disrupted,
leaving us unbalanced and open to a variety of mental and emotional
has shown that just spending time outdoors in green space can have
significant benefits on your mental well-being. This can be as simple
as spending some time gardening, or sitting in your local park,
or spending quality time with a pet, or going for a walk in the
countryside. Ecotherapies such as Wilderness Therapy,
Pet-Assisted Therapy, Equine-Assisted Therapy, Nature Awareness,
Green Therapy, Horticultural Therapy and Walking Therapy,
all take this concept much further by actively utilising a connection
with nature as part of the therapeutic process to enhance your psychological
and spiritual health and well-being.
and Traditional Talking Therapies
to many traditional talking therapies, ecotherapy is often focused much
more on experiential learning. Participants learn and change through engagement
and immersing themselves in the environment and activities, as well as
by talking about and sharing their insights and experiences. Because of
this change can often occur without the lengthy discussion often associated
with many talking therapies.
aim is to help you to...
your perceived limitations and unhelpful thought patterns, and develop
greater awareness of your own strengths, through the use of the natural
environment and challenging nature-based activities.
a deeper understanding of how you relate to others, yourself, and your
life, by reflecting on any symbolic or metaphorical relationships between
the nature-based activities and your own life
your new understandings and learnings through sharing thoughts and reflections
in a relaxed, safe, constructive, supportive, non-judgemental and respectful
your new learnings and positive resources so that they become available
in your everyday life
people feel relaxed and good when they are out in nature. But not
many of us know that there is also scientific evidence about the healing
effects of nature."
Dr. Eeva Karjalainen, of the Finnish Forest Research Institute,
some of the benefits reported by previous participants:
trust, both in yourself and others
confidence and self-esteem
mood and reduce depression
of anxiety and stress
to deal with anger
of respect for oneself, others and nature
in communication skills
in psychological and spiritual health and well-being
of team building and relationship building skills
to be in the here and now
to a sense of wonder
your life into perspective
individuals to take responsibility for their own actions
independence and creativity
problem solving and life skills
that you can and do achieve things you never thought possible
might ecotherapy be suitable for?
- like the
- have an
interest in nature
- are perhaps
interested in bushcraft skills
- have an
interest in environmental issues
camping / walking / biking / climbing / other outdoor activities
- want to
learn to feel more relaxed, balanced and centered
wish to develop more awareness of their thoughts and behaviours
- need to
develop trust and belief in themselves or others
like to learn to change how they relate to nature, themselves and others
like to develop their natural intuition / listen to their heart / gut
- want to
develop a connection with the spirit of nature (spirit
in a non religious sense)
feel a deep connection with the sprit of nature
follow a nature-based spiritual path (druidry, pagan or shaman)
normally feel comfortable visiting a counsellor
to learn by doing and being
- want to
try something different
approach is highly experiential and integrates elements of different
ecotherapies with more traditional therapies. It including Natural
Awareness Therapy, Nature Awareness, Wilderness Therapy, Contemporary
Psychotherapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Self
Relations Psychotherapy, Counselling, Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness,
Gestalt Therapy, Mind-body practices, Shamanism, and Life Coaching.
I'm sure you can begin to imagine the amazing benefits of combining
these powerful approaches in an outdoor environment.
I am an experienced
Solution-Focused Integrative Psychotherapist and Ecotherapist. I also
integrate Life Coaching, NLP, Meditation and Advanced Hypnotherapy into
exactly what you are looking for? Then do please get in touch to discuss
your requirements. My training and experience has given me the flexibility
and knowledge to help you work through many psychological issues.
is carried out in a completely confidential, highly constructive, relaxed,
supportive and non-judgemental environment.
you are committed to make the inner changes you need, simply
phone me on 0161 881 4333 or
to make an appointment now.
joining the email mailing list to be kept up to
date with upcoming events.
to the top of the page
Buzzell, L., Chalquist,
C. (Eds.) (2009) Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind, Sierra Club
Clinebell, H (1996) Ecotherapy: Healing Ourselves, Healing the Earth,
Minneapolis, Fortress Press
Chalquist, C. (2009), A Look at the Ecotherapy Research Evidence, Ecopsychology,
June 2009, Vol. 1, No.2
Burns, G.W. (1998) Nature-Guided Therapy - Brief Integrative Strategies
for Health and Well-being,
Jung, C.G, Sabini,
Meredith (Ed) (2002) The Earth Has a Soul - The Nature Writings of C.G.
Jung, North Atlantic Books
Lacedra, C. (2005) Finding Home: Connecting with the Healing Power of
Nature, Infinity Publishing
Linden, S., Grut, J. (2002) The Healing Fields: Working with Psychotherapy
and Nature to Rebuild Shattered Lives, Frances Lincoln Limited
Louv, L. (2005) Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature
Deficit Disorder, Atlantic Books
Metzner, R. (2009) Green Psychology, Shamanism and Therapeutic Rituals
in Buzzell, L., Chalquist, C. (Eds.) Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in
Mind, (p256-261) Sierra Club Books
MIND (2007) Ecotherapy the green agenda for mental health, MIND
National Research Council (1981), Indoor Pollutants, Washington DC:National
Roszak, T. (2001) The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology,
Phanes Press Inc.
Scott S., (2003) Healing with Nature, Helios Press
Bird, W. (2007). Investigating the links between the Natural Environment,
Biodiversity and Mental Health. 1st Edition report for the RSBP June 2007,
Williams, G.C., Nesse, R. M. (1991) The Dawn of Darwinian Medicine, Quarterly
Review of Biology, 66, 1-22
Wilson, E. O., (1984) Biophilia: The human bond with other species, Harvard
Photographs by Rachael
Magowan Professional photographer.
Specialist fields: live music, events, landscape, portfolio shots, fine
bushcraft courses ~ nature therapy ~ adventure therapy ~ green
space ~ john muir ~ wilderness therapy uk ~ nature awareness ~ anxiety
~ depression ~ anger management ~ relationship issues ~ stress ~ spritual
~ spirit ~ eco ~ shamanism ~ walking therapy ~ find a tree like me
Development Weekend Workshop: Using the natural environment for personal
growth and healing 6-8 July 2012 (Ecotherapy / Wilderness Therapy / Natural
Development Taster Event: Using the natural environment for personal growth
and healing 31 March 2012 (Ecotherapy / Wilderness Therapy / Natural Awareness
"'Forest therapy' taking
root For stressed-out workers,
this may someday be a doctor's prescription: Walk around
in the woods.
Scientists in Japan have been learning
a lot in recent years about the relaxing effects of forests
and trees on mental and physical health. Based on their findings,
some local governments are promoting "forest therapy."
Experience shows that the scents of
trees, the sounds of brooks and the feel of sunshine through
forest leaves can have a calming effect, and the conventional
wisdom is right, said Yoshifumi Miyazaki, director of the
Center for Environment Health and Field Sciences at Chiba
"Humans had lived in nature for
5 million years. We were made to fit a natural environment.
So we feel stress in an urban area," Miyazaki said. "When
we are exposed to nature, our bodies go back to how they should
Taking a walk in a forest, or "forest
bathing" as it is sometimes called, can strengthen the
immune system, according to Li Qing, a senior assistant professor
of forest medicine at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo."
therapy' taking root'
The Japan Times Online, Akemi Nakamura, Published: Friday,
2 May 2008
"Country walks can
help reduce depression and raise self-esteem according
to research published today, leading to calls for "ecotherapy"
to become a recognised treatment for people with mental health
problems. Ecotherapy: the green agenda
for mental health is the first study looking at how "green"
exercise specifically affects those suffering from depression.
According to Mind, England and Wales's
leading mental health charity, it produced "startling"
results proving the need for ecotherapy to be considered a
proper treatment option."
walks 'can help reduce depression'
The Independant, Nicola Boden, Published: Monday, 14 May 2007
"Does outdoor play
help keep the doctor away?"
report by Natural England found that only 10% of children
played in woodland, compared with 40% of their parents' generation.
The report, listed 12 recommendations that
it felt could help address the deficit.
Among them were:
- Promote better use of accessible green
space in order to increase the use of under-utilised areas
- Promotion of "forest schools"
and similar approaches to learning in the outdoors
- And encouraging schools to give greater
emphasis to offering children "engaging nature experiences".
outdoor play help keep the doctor away?
BBC, Mark Kinver, Published: Friday, 10 February 2012