Feeling Free, Being Me

Mental Health, Naturally

in and around the Totnes and South Hams AREAS and online

What is Ecotherapy?

“Ecotherapy as a term covers a very broad range of activities whose common element is mostly, but not entirely, that they are intentionally beneficial to mental health and that they involve going outdoors. Beneath this very broad umbrella, we can include counsellors and psychotherapists who choose to see their clients outside.” Caroline Brazier, Tariki Trust.

‘Walk and Talk‘ therapy is a variety of ecotherapy which engages with nature as part of the therapeutic process. Instead of being in a therapy room, you and I would be walking together side-by-side at your pace in a nature-based environment. Simply sitting together under the shade of a tree is nature psychotherapy. It is a model that can take many forms including Archaeotherapy that merges cultural heritage therapy and ecotherapy.

We intuitively feel good when we spend time in nature. It has a positive psychological effect on our well being. Working in a revitalised therapeutic space, you may experience the benefits of psychotherapy and connecting with nature at the same time.

You may like to try this if you find the outdoors inspiring or if you feel being indoors in a confined space would be daunting. This may be for you if you find it easier to open up, engage and be yourself in a less formal setting.

Contact Me

Counselling in and around the Totnes and South Hams areas

How Does it Work?

If you decide you would like to work outdoors, we would complete the initial 2-3 sessions indoors / online so that we can explore your concerns and discuss the suitability and logistics of working in nature.

We would need to consider, for example, appropriateness of location, how we manage the timing of the session, how confidentiality will be maintained, equipment, accessibility, meeting arrangements and what to do if the weather is unsuitable for you.

The location will have been fully risk assessed in advance. If you have any health challenges these should be explored with your GP first.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if someone either of us knows sees us?

We can discuss how to handle these situations and maintain confidentiality in our initial on-line sessions. It is normal to see people walking and talking together so our situation will seem everyday to other people. I will follow your lead.

What should I wear?

This very much depends on the season and where we decide to walk. Both summer and winter it is best to have layers and wear footwear that is suitable to the current conditions.

What should I bring?

It maybe useful to bring a small bag to hold, for example, your extra layers, a flask in the winter, a hat, sun cream in the summer and a bottle of water.

What if the weather is unsuitable?

We can discuss your tolerance to weather conditions in our initial on-line sessions. Everyone interprets unsuitable weather differently, so we will tailor our response to you.

What if I’m not very fit?

The emphasis is on therapy, not physical exercise. We can choose a suitable location based on your fitness level during our initial on-line sessions. You do not need to be sporty or an ‘outdoors’ kind of person to take advantage of the benefits of nature.

What if I don’t take to walk and talk therapy?

The choice to work outdoors is yours. We can work outdoors all or some of the time after our initial sessions. If you prefer we can return to working indoors / online only.

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