What is Outdoor Counselling?
Traditionally therapy has always been conducted indoors in a therapy room with the therapist and client facing each other and more recently it has moved online. There is more to life than feeling trapped to the screen in front of us and many of us are finding nature is supporting us through these difficult times, so why not take therapy outside and increase your interconnectivity with nature which results in psychological, physiological and social benefits.
Personally I love to be outdoors, the space and mindful walking in nature feel very calming and healing. I often come across things in nature that bring me joy and even in a time of difficulty this can help.
Two years ago following forest bathing training and a forest bathing retreat I began to offer clients the opportunity to walk in nature whilst having a therapy session with me. Some clients preferred this, finding that they felt more comfortable reflecting and exploring their problems outside, side by side, surrounded by nature, it helped them to relax and open up.
Studies reveal therapy can be enriched by nature, offering:
- A sense of freedom
- Restorative benefits of nature – where people can increase their connection with their surroundings & disconnect from their day to day norms
- Freedom of expression
- More holistic expression of mind, body and place.
- The ability to disconnect from technology and have a natural ‘therapy room’ that can return to on their own outside of therapy.
Read Dr Sam Cooley discuss the subject here.
We arrange to meet at an agreed location and the session can last the usual 50 mins, or be extended to 90 mins.
Together we would discuss the suitability of outdoor therapy for you and make an agreement around confidentiality and how to manage certain circumstances.
We would review regularly whether it is working for you and I offer the flexibility of combining outdoor sessions with online sessions.
We can actively incorporate nature with what’s going on for you.
Mindfulness practices can be introduced to slow down, ground and stabilise , helping to reduce the fight/flight response.
Focusing on the breath and exploring your sensory experience whilst processing issues and problems outdoors can help introduce you to useful resources you can practice in between sessions.
Sometimes we may stop, sit and look at the sky, trees, or lake and continue talking whilst sitting outside. We can explore the elements of the weather, feeling the warmth of the sun or using the sound of the rain to calm us.
If you don’t feel like walking we can sit in an area of natural beauty, you have the freedom to choose.
Where: A natural space
(Please indicate preference in the ‘comments’ box during booking)