Lesson 1: Nature and Scope of Ecotherapy
- Applications of ecotherapy
- What is ecotherapy?
- What is involved in ecotherapy
- Using ecotherapy alongside other therapies
- The need for mental health interventions
- General benefits of nature on wellbeing
- Ecotherapy settings
- Useful terminology
Lesson 2: Theory of Ecotherapy
- General findings
- Ecological theories
- Problems associated with built environments
- Models underpinning ecotherapy
- Nature and mental health research
- Is direct contact with nature necessary?
Lesson 3: Ecotherapy Clients
- General wellbeing benefits
- Psychological benefits
- Physical benefits
- Understanding the body’s responses to stress
- General barriers to getting involved in ecotherapy
- How to overcome these barriers
- Ecotherapy for mental disorders
- Ecotherapy for physical conditions
- Specific issues
Lesson 4: Intake Assessment & Ecotherapy Resources
- Interviewing potential clients
- Interviewing techniques
- Determining suitability
- Background history
- Choosing ecotherapy environments
Lesson 5: Environment-Based Ecotherapy
- Using the environment
- Types of environment activities
- Conservation projects
- Wilderness therapy
- Forest bathing
- Breathing and relaxation exercises
- Other outdoor activities
Lesson 6: Plant-Based Ecotherapy
- Physical ecotherapy activities
- Psychological ecotherapy activities
- Fascination therapy
- Adventure therapy
- Horticultural therapy
- Using the senses
Lesson 7: Animal-Based Ecotherapy
- Bird watching
- Pet therapy
- Equine assisted therapy and horse riding
- Animal habitats
- Care farming and therapeutic farm activities
- Interacting with wildlife
- Using the senses
Lesson 8: Indoor Ecotherapy
- Indoor applications of ecotherapy
- Growing at home
- Fresh flowers in the home or ecotherapy space
- Touching nature
- Arts and crafts
- Creating nature indoors
- Pets and animals indoors
Lesson 9: Creativity based Ecotherapy
- Therapeutic photography
- Writing therapy
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
- Drama therapy
- Dance therapy
- The benefits of creative therapies
Lesson 10: Holistic Wellness incorporating Ecotherapy
- Counselling in nature
- Combining ecotherapy with other modalities
- Our connection with nature
- Apply different ecotherapy solutions to meet different therapy needs.
- Discuss ecotherapy including applications and benefits.
- Explain different theories underpinning the ecotherapy perspective which support its association with physical and mental health and wellbeing.
- Evaluate and determine clients for whom ecotherapy may be an appropriate form of therapy.
- Determine a broad range of resources and how to appropriately use them for ecotherapy.
- Explain ecotherapy applications that harness the use of different environments.
- Explain ecotherapy applications that utilise plants in a variety of contexts.
- Explain ecotherapy applications that utilise animals in a variety of contexts.
- Explain ecotherapy applications that can be applied indoors.
- Explain ecotherapy applications that utilise creative and artistic activities in a variety of contexts.
Apply ecotherapy to formulate wellness advice that blends with other health and wellbeing initiatives.
Ecotherapy is a practical application of ecopsychology. It is a type of ‘nature-informed therapy’. There are a number of nature-informed therapies which utilise nature during practice. Unlike the medical model of mental illness which tends to focus on pathology, ecotherapy is more solutions focused and views people as being part of communities and the world more broadly.
What you will do in the course?
- Explore people’s perceptions of ecotherapy.
- Identify locations suitable for ecotherapy practices.
- Critical exploration of an established sensory garden.
- Explore people’s perceptions and emotional responses to built environments.
- Explore the integration of green spaces within the built environment.
- Identify and critically examine people’s perceptions of the impact of ecotherapy on general wellbeing.
- Explore the benefits of ecotherapy on individuals presenting with a specific condition that is of interest to you.
- Create an intake questionnaire for use with ecotherapy clients.
- Conduct a risk assessment at a potential ecotherapy location of your choice.
- Initiate networking with practising ecotherapists.
- Evaluate walking meditation as an ecotherapeutic activity.
- Create step by step instructions for a combined breathing/progressive muscle relaxation activity.
- Research gardening as a past time.
- Sensory exploration of a public garden.
- Research community gardening activities.
- Examine the impact of photographs of different animals on the emotions and wellbeing.
- Practise purposeful sensory engagement with animals in nature.
- Brainstorm ecotherapy applications that can be integrated into an indoor setting.
- Gather, arrange and engage with natural objects for use in ecotherapy.
- Evaluate star gazing as an ecotherapeutic activity.
- Research techniques used when photographing nature.
- Explore the integration of writing therapy and ecotherapy.
- Research the application of mindfulness within an ecotherapeutic setting.
- Explore people’s perceptions of their relationship with nature.