Looking for a Therapist?
Curious to try Ecotherapy?
We Offer Ecotherapy for Adults, Children, Couples & Families
Many people would like to see a therapist who understands the fundamental suffering we experience living in a culture and world that was built on the principle that people are separate from the Natural world. We know this to be “the Big Lie,” and a body of work has developed to support people in healing from the negative impact of the Big Lie has on their lives and development. Through Ecotherapeutic practices our fundamental attachment to Nature can be restored and this relationship reclaimed. See our list of practitioners below.
Is Ecotherapy for Me?
Most people have experienced how being in Nature can be highly restorative and therapeutic. We understand logically that we are embedded in Nature, are always present in and a part of Nature. Yet much of our suffering as humans comes from our disconnection and alienation from the natural world.
Ecotherapy is a good match for people who long to feel more connected to Nature; people who already find Nature to be a restorative and powerful resource in their lives; and those who wish to enhance this effect and engage with it more intentionally in their healing or growth process.
If you are called to work as an ally with Nature, ecotherapy can be a powerful part of your therapeutic journey as you learn more about how Nature can guide you and support your growth, healing or recovery.
How Ecotherapy Works
We have found that thinking and talking more about life issues does not necessarily lead to the lasting change one desires, even if we gain new insights to these concerns. Instead, the greatest facilitator of change is direct experience felt in the body and validated by the meaningful reflection of other people and Nature. To help facilitate this process, our therapeutic approach is body-oriented, mindfulness-based and weaves in a personal, intimate relationship with self, other and Nature. Sessions may be indoors or out on the land and may combine Ecotherapy with numerous other approaches.
Hallmarks of our Ecotherapeutic Approach
There are many kinds of ecotherapy, or applied ecopsychology, including animal-assisted therapies, horticultural therapy and more. We have developed our own approach that integrates these elements:
- Somatic (Body-Oriented)
Our bodies are the aspect of Nature with which we’re most familiar and within which we experience most of the phenomena of our lives. Additionally, it is through somatic, or body, awareness that we are most able to achieve powerful and lasting therapeutic and spiritual growth. It is here that we experience our emotions, beauty, conflict, doubt, pleasure and so much more of what it is to be human. And so it is through our bodies that we have the greatest access to our deeper selves, and, significantly, to the parts of ourselves outside of the control of our busy, thinking mind (or ego).
Modern neuroscience is confirming what many have perceived for eons: The more we can be awake to and aware of the myriad layers of our experience, the more we can influence and change how we feel and how we live our lives. It is through compassionate awareness of the many channels of experience that we can help undo old, stuck patterns and birth new ones. This is an essential component to facilitating gentle, potent and lasting psychological and personal change.
- Understanding Human Attachment and Foundational Attachment
It’s well-documented that many of the templates of personality and healthy functioning are created through our early childhood relationships with our primary caregivers, our basic Human Attachment. Naturally, the healing of attachment wounds endured from this life phase must be addressed in a healing human relationship. We facilitate this healing relationship through the therapist-client relationship and through relationships between members of the groups, couples and families in our programs.
From so many perspectives, it is becoming clear that our personal, intimate relationship to Nature is also crucial to healthy functioning. How can you be at home in yourself or your life if you don’t feel at home or at ease in Nature? If you haven’t made peace with death and its place in the cycles of life? If you can’t ever embrace the dirt or feel fondness for a tree or rock? We call this bond or fundamental sense of belonging our Foundational Attachment. And, most contemporary westerners are suffering from profound and comprehensive disconnection from Nature and its natural rhythms, elements and aspects. It is time for psychology to embrace Nature and the undeniable fact that humans are a part of Nature. Our trainings and sessions facilitate healing on this plane that is largely overlooked by traditional therapies.
Along with the primacy of the Human-Nature Relationship in healing, relationship between client-therapist and with other group members, when applicable, is a key vehicle for supporting growth and transformation.
Our staff work as therapists and mentors and are available for private sessions. Learn more about our background and therapeutic work on our Who We Are page or click on a name below to be directed to a practitioner’s website. Or, Contact Us for more information.