Therapy in nature is an emerging field of practice which has so far largely consisted of ‘Ecotherapies’ offering short term or one off therapeutic experiences. Nature Allied Psychotherapy provides a theoretical framework for ongoing psychotherapy practice, establishing a modality which;
- takes place in natural settings
- works at relational depth in and with nature
- explores the clients’ relationship with nature in addition to exploration of their human relationships
- practices an ongoing relationship between client, therapist and nature
- exposes clients to the health promoting qualities of nature
- is an applied form of psychological anthropology
- is part of an ancestral lineage, grounded in traditional knowledges
Nature Allied Psychotherapy is a modality of ongoing client practice, working at relational depth in allegiance with nature, to explore and restore our emotional world.
Taking place in natural settings, in addition to exploring our human relationships, Nature Allied Psychotherapy creates the opportunity to explore our relationship with nature.
Nature Allied Psychotherapy’s postulation of a therapeutic nature relationship is part of an ancestral tradition of drawing grounding and healing in finding reality, perception, identity, belonging and embodiment in communion with nature.
Nature is able to offer the core conditions of a primary care giver and therefore positive attachment, being truly a mother, creating the potential for the therapeutic process to support clients towards developing secure attachments with both people and the natural world.
Nature is a ‘significant other’ in our lives, just like our family and friends – the state of our relationship with nature will affect our sense of well-being just as the type of relationship we have with parents, siblings and colleagues will too.
We are part of nature, if we are disconnected from the natural world we will be out of touch with a part of ourselves, and will be affected by the loss whether or not we consciously acknowledge it.
Neuroscience is now proving what many of us know through experience; that being in nature makes us feel good. It has quantifiable health promoting characteristics, reducing depression, anxiety, rumination and stress whilst enhancing our mood, focus, meditative feelings and triggering the area of brain associated with empathy and love.
Within the therapeutic encounter nature can be experienced in many ways; as a location, an intervention, a co-counsellor, a dynamic container, a secure base, a therapist, a supervisor and primary source of attachment. Nature provides a rich and dynamic presence which can animate and actualise established orientations traditionally practised indoors, allowing the therapeutic process to move from exploring in the abstract to applying the fullness of the philosophy in the real.
During sessions nature becomes part of our therapeutic relationship. Nature is used as a medium for emotional exploration and as a metaphor for our inner world in an applied way; our senses our engaged and we can work with an embodied experience of nature as something to relate with, something we are both in and part of. It offers therapy in the real world, here and now.
Nature Allied Psychotherapy introduces nature as a source of emotional support which can continue long after sessions with the human therapist have finished.
Nature Allied Psychotherapy is both an orientation of practice and a facilitating frame for other modalities in natural settings.