The Walk Inniú ‘Ecotherapy Hedge School’
(Group Counselling Psychotherapy Outdoors in Nature)
What better place to reconnect with nature than… in a hedge. It is estimated that Ireland has approximately 300,000 km of hedgerow and although planted by landowners to enclose fields, they are filled with an amazing natural biodiversity, providing homes for birds, plants, trees, shrubs, insects and small mammals – all of which add immense character to our environment.
Historically, the term ‘Hedge-School’ is linked to a period in Ireland (post 1600’s up to late 1800’s) where educated men offered basic education to their local communities. Political and religious intolerance and oppression led to the children (and sometimes adults) who were of mainly Roman Catholic denomination being educated in these makeshift schools, which were usually hidden in outhouses, hedges or ditches. The great poverty experienced by many people in Ireland also ensured the existence of hedge schools right up to the 20th Century. Therefore, it is with great humility and admiration Walk Inniú uses the term ‘Hedge-School’ out of respect to the hardships experienced by the countless numbers who worked in and received their education in this most resilient, resourceful and effective tradition.
Aims of the Walk Inniú Ecotherapy Hedge-School include providing individuals and groups with a basic introduction to Ecotherapy and Ecopsychology. By engaging in creative and evocative grounding exercises – which draw on the rich symbolism and metaphor provided by being in such close communion with Nature, we explore the therapeutic framework and ‘holding ability’ of our natural surround in one of Dublin’s amazing larger parks.
Of course for those of you who can’t make it to the outdoor Walk Inniú Ecotherapy Hedge-School, we can provide an indoor version in the city centre or in your own organisation.