Walk Inniú | Walk Inniú | About Ecotherapy
For many people, just being in nature evokes inspiration and transformation. It’s no secret and it is increasingly accepted that there are numerous health benefits for mind, body and soul when we simply ‘take a walk’.
Walk Inniú, About, Ecotherapy, Applied, Ecopsychology, Roszak, Hasbach, Wilson, nature, outdoors
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About Ecotherapy

For many people, just being in nature evokes inspiration and transformation. It’s no secret and it is increasingly accepted that there are numerous health benefits for mind, body and soul when we simply ‘take a walk’. Nature – based therapies are certainly not new and could well be described as the earliest form of healing. There are various approaches within the field of ecotherapy and at Walk Inniú, David offers Integrative counselling psychotherapy delivered through an ecotherapeutic lens. What this means is that David uses ecotherapy to transform and enlarge the scope of traditional counselling psychotherapy to include, explore and restore the human-to-nature connection as well as the human-to-human relationship.

E.O. Wilson’s Biophilia Hypothesis (1984) promoted the idea of there being an instinctive bond between humans and other living systems and defined it as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”. The term ecotherapy was coined by Howard Clinebell in 1996 and its forerunner, ecopsychology is accredited to Theodore Roszak in 1992. Lorraine Fish (2009) reminds us that before mind, body and spirit were separated by Western Cartesian practices, in early times the word ‘psyche’ has meant breath, spirit and even anima mundi (soul of the world). Ecotherapy has an ancient pedigree and I believe that it can guide us in experiencing and reconnecting with our very life force.

Loneliness and a lost sense of self and place are experiences common to many. Ecotherapy helps us with our healing process and furthermore assists us whilst we replenish and grow our sense of wellbeing. If you have an affinity with nature, and remember we are all part of nature, you may find counselling psychotherapy outdoors to be a truly supportive experience, placing you in harmony with your natural environment.

Ecotherapy takes into account the feelings of loss, hopelessness and denial that many of us are living with due to the gross injustices that nature and our planet experiences, such as climate change, pollution, over population and the mass extinction of birds, animals, plants and other species. The practice of ecotherapy is mindful of the latest scientific knowledge in relation to our universe but simultaneously respects the deep wisdom and learning of indigenous peoples and culture. When you engage with counselling psychotherapy outdoors with David at Walk Inniú, you are creatively reconsidering your individuality and your wider human and ecological relationships.

David also integrates aspects of mindfulness in his practice – an emphasis on ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’ and on being present. The often incessant negative chatter of our minds is exhausting but feeling a light breeze on your face or seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and sensing leaves falling from a tree can heighten your ‘direct experience’ and leave you feeling refreshed, centred and empowered.

Nature is filled with precious metaphors. It is often challenging in traditional counselling psychotherapy to access what you are feeling and it is another task to find words to describe what you are feeling.   Ecotherapy helps you to discover other ways of communicating and reconnecting, often sparked or encouraged by the simple everyday natural phenomena such as a fallen tree, a blue sky, new buds after a long winter or a flowing stream. These and other metaphors can help you relate to what you are currently experiencing and grow your self-acceptance.

Some people prefer to attend their sessions with David indoors in a traditional indoor consulting room. The decision to ‘work outdoors’ is always at your discretion.

References:

Wilson(1984), Roszak (1992), Clinebell (1996), Fish (2009), Buzzell & Chalquist (2009), Hasbach (2012), MIND (2013), Jordan (2014). Click here for further reading.

“Other therapies seek to heal the alienation between person and person, person and family, person and society. Ecopsychology seeks to heal the more fundamental alienation between the recently created urban psyche and the age-old natural environment.”
—Theodore Roszak

Ecotherapy is a union between the ideas of ecopsychology and psychotherapy. Fundamental to ecotherapy is our connection to the natural world and the environment we live within. Ecotherapy uses a range of practices in order to help us connect with nature and ultimately with our ‘inner’ nature. Personal distress can be alleviated by developing the mutual connection between inside and outside. Through learning to care for the natural environment we learn to care for and nurture ourselves. Ecotherapy is about personal healing and healing for the earth.

Ecopsychology focuses on our connection with the natural environment. In traditional psychology, the ‘psyche’ is considered in isolation from its natural environment. Ecopsychologists see this split between mind and nature as being at the heart of our current ecological crisis.

– Martin Jordan

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