An introduction to my practice as an ecotherapist
Ecotherapy in its simplest terms is the therapeutic process of connecting with nature through a range of activities designed to improve heath and wellbeing .
It is the applied practice of the emerging field of eco-psychology, developed by renowned professor Theodore Rozak, who dedicated his career to the development of a psychological field that understands how the health of the planet is inextricably linked to the psychological health of humanity, individually and collectively.
The ecopsychology movement marks both a new beginning for environmentalism and a revolution in modern psychology, offering a rich alternative to traditional counseling services.
The deep psychological questions of who am I, how do I grow, how can I flourish, why do I suffer and need healing are interwoven with the human crafted world of family, culture and the natural world (ecology) within and around us.
The way we live within our environment and with the natural world is directly related to how connected we feel to our inner nature (who we truly are as a being on this earth) and nature all around us.
Human is a part of nature, not apart from nature.
The Natural Academy, UK leaders in the field of ecotherapy practitioner training, outlines the following key positions as central to the guiding principles of eco psychology:
• We are part of nature and not apart
• The health and wellbeing of our self and our human life is inexorably linked to the health of the environment
• Our environment has a direct effect on our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health and we on its health
• We have an innate, unique psycho-ecological niche that we can inhabit fully
• Our Natural Self arises through a complex interconnectedness within a relational field of personal, social, ecological and mythological
Credit: Natural Academy
I have developed the Nature in Mind offer, based on the Natural Self approach, which was created by Natural Academy. It speaks of the personal, social, ecological and mythical aspects of being human as all interconnected. We call these our 'spheres of identity'.
The nature based, creative, embodiment and mindful practices I work with in ecotherapy, will encourage, support and guide you to come into a deepening relationship to all the arms of the spiral of the Natural Self and through this find more, health, wellbeing, healing, growth, meaning and purpose.
The evidence shows that this will also encourage a deepening care of the natural world around us and encourage us to take actions that support, regenerate and care for this magical planet.
Expected outcomes of my work include:
• Holistic health and wellbeing
• Greater connection to all of our nature and the natural world
• Holistic healing
• Active support and care for the more than human world
• Cultivation of wholeness
• Developing a sense of our ecological self as a part of a greater ecology
• Growth and personal development
• Connecting to the maturation cycles of all things, life and death.
• Accessing deep purpose
• Finding our niche as part of the great web of all things
• Finding higher meaning
• Expanding a sense of the bigger picture the great story
Credit: Natural Academy
We are more than we can ever know – more creative, more mysterious, more
whole, more wild, and more connected.
Inside us all is the calling we long so terribly to hear: the calling of our deepest Natural Self and the connection to our soul.
This calling, at times heard in whispers in a gentle wind, howling gales, or the
rustle of tiny creatures waking to the dawn.
This calling, felt in a single moment in sunlit groves, on skin bathing in the heat.
This calling, seen in a drop of rain falling from a leaf, in the shape of a cloud at
sunset and in the movement of a blade of grass in the summer breeze.
This calling, felt in the beauty of the frost on bare trees.
Longing in our grief, we are waiting to hear it.
Longing in this soft grief, this wild grief, this torrent that washes through our hearts,
opening us to our true possibilities.
If we dare to hear our calling, and feel the longing, then maybe more of our gifting
will emerge, which we can offer to each other and to all of nature.
This gifting, once further extracted from the creative, mysterious darkness of our
depths, offers new illumination on the unfolding of ourselves, humanity, other than
human life, the earth, and the cosmos.
This gifting is not just an object, a single boon, but a journey – a journey that leads
us through rough undergrowth and wild lands, soft meadows and gentle seas,
guiding us in our healing, our becoming whole, and to the depths of the soul.
We invite you to dive further into this exploration, and begin to re-mind, re-body,
re-wild and re-imagine who you are, in a natural life for you, each other, and the
wild world that welcomes your remembering.
by Rhonda Brandrick & Micheal Connors