How Ecotherapy WORKS
Nature has a powerful impact on how we think, feel, and behave. By deepening our relationship to nature, we can reap the benefits that nature has to offer. Read below to learn more about ecotherapy.
The theory behind ecotherapy is based on the hypothesis that going out into nature is actually a returning home. The Biophilia Hypothesis suggests that humans have a natural desire to connect with nature because for much of our time on earth, we have been immersed in and lived in natural settings.
Thus, when we go outside into green or natural spaces, our bodies naturally begin to relax in the way they do when coming home at the end of a long day. This often means a reduction in heart rate and blood pressure, a growing sense of calm and ease, and a boost to your mood.
Being in nature impacts every part of our experience from how our bodies physiologically react to how we think and feel.
What do you do in a session?
Much like traditional talk therapy, the content of the session is often determined by the client’s goals for therapy and interests. This may mean that the client and clinician spend the 50 minute session walking and talking about a problem that they are experiencing, or perhaps sitting on a park bench and engaging in conversation about their goals.
Nature is both the setting and an active player in the therapeutic process. At times, you may find that nature feels like the new therapy office and serves as the background to the session, and at other times we may bring intentionality to our experience in nature by noticing how being outside makes you feel.
Oftentimes in the beginning of sessions, we will take a moment to ground ourselves in our space, and this may include taking a few moments to breathe and notice the natural space around us.
What do you Need?
For ecotherapy sessions, you will want to wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and shoes. I encourage you to consider bringing water, a hat, sunscreen, or anything that helps you feel comfortable outdoors. I will carry extra sunscreen, water, bug repellent, and a first aid kit in case of emergency.
For Peace of mind
Dr. Dana Vitrano, PsyD
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