Ecotherapy is the term for a wide range of treatment programmes which aim to improve your mental and physical wellbeing through doing outdoor activities in nature. Connecting with nature in this way can have lots of positive health benefits.
Ecotherapy brings together ‘ecology’ and ‘therapy’. Ecology is about relationships – how living things relate to each other and to their environment. Therapy is about healing by bringing to mind aspects of our being that are often outside our awareness.
Since being outdoors opens the possibility of experiencing oneself in a much wider context, Ecotherapy offers a valuable healing experience. It helps us heal our relationships with ourselves and discover the unique experience of what it is to be ‘me’. It also heals our relationships with each other and with our environment.
Within our local Devon environment we have selected places to work therapeutically that are both supportive and gently challenging.
What does the Walks for Wellness programme involve?
Time is spent walking and talking one-to-one and in small groups. We also use the spaces and things we find for creative self-expression. We learn about nature and use simple exercises to help us experience it more deeply. We work in pairs or threes to share experiences and feelings, and spend time alone when we choose to.
It’s a very relaxed, gentle and informal process. Your safety and wellbeing are always central and you decide just what you do, when, and with whom.
Who is Ecotherapy for?
Ecotherapy Exeter offers programmes that are designed for anyone experiencing anxiety or depression or who is suffering from stress, worry, low self-esteem or difficulty coping with life at home or at work. In our initial 20 minute introductory session, we work with you to ensure that the programme is suited to giving you the most appropriate support.
Does it work?
Yes. While ecotherapy is a relatively new approach, it has a broad and substantial evidence base. See our list of references for details or contact us for further information.