Home Health Exploring the Pure Advantages of Ecotherapy

Exploring the Pure Advantages of Ecotherapy


Maurie Lung, PhD, was in second grade when she realized what she wished to do when she grew up.

“Once I went away to summer time camp, my little Strawberry Shortcake diary mentioned, ‘Once I develop up, I wish to assist individuals within the open air,’” Lung says. And that’s precisely what she does at this time.

Lung oversees the nature-based and adventure-based counseling packages at Prescott Faculty and can be a licensed therapist and counselor who does nature-based and adventure-based counseling for people, {couples}, and households.

What Is Nature Remedy?

Nature remedy, additionally referred to as ecotherapy, is the follow of being in nature to spice up development and therapeutic, particularly mental health. You may also hear it referred to as inexperienced care, inexperienced exercise, inexperienced remedy, or horticulture remedy. Though individuals use these phrases to explain plenty of outside actions, they will also be examples of particular nature remedy packages.

The which means of nature remedy can range from individual to individual, however normally, nature remedy entails:

  • A skilled, supportive skilled, like a therapist
  • A inexperienced setting
  • Appreciating and exploring nature

Forms of Nature Remedy

As a result of nature remedy packages can embrace many actions, there are various kinds of therapies. Some embrace:

  • Journey remedy. This makes use of actions that discover nature and might be completed in a person or group setting. Rafting and mountain climbing are good examples.
  • Animal-assisted interventions or remedy. Each of those choices embrace spending time with animals. Animal-assisted interventions use places like farms the place you possibly can pet or feed the animals. Then again, animal-assisted remedy focuses on constructing a therapeutic relationship with animals like canines or homes.
  • Arts and crafts. Just like the identify suggests, this kind combines artistic crafts with nature. You may use your artistic abilities to color in a inexperienced house, like a park or a forest. This kind additionally contains utilizing pure supplies like clay, grass, or wooden or utilizing inexperienced areas as inspiration for artwork.
  • Conservation. Conservation pairs safety areas in nature with bodily exercise.
  • Darkish nature. Darkish nature actions happen at evening, so that you may follow stargazing, for instance.
  • Inexperienced train. Right here, you’ll do bodily actions in inexperienced areas. That might be running, occurring a stroll, or taking a motorcycle experience, for instance.
  • Therapeutic farming. With this kind, you’ll take part in farming actions, so that you may develop crops or deal with cattle.
  • Therapeutic horticulture. This entails gardening, so that you may develop meals in group gardens. Typically therapeutic horticulture results in different actions, like promoting home-grown crops at a farmer’s market.
  • Wilderness remedy. This kind of remedy works nicely in a bunch. You’ll spend time within the wild doing actions like mountain climbing or making shelters.

How Does Nature Remedy Assist?

An increasing number of analysis means that spending time in pure environments might be linked to mental health advantages.

For instance, being in a inexperienced house has been linked to much less anxiety, fewer depression symptoms, and decrease stress ranges. Spending time in nature helps individuals with depression and children with consideration issues suppose extra clearly.

“One of many high advantages that we tackle are for people who find themselves attempting to scale back nervousness or depression and enhance relationship and connection,” Lung says. “I additionally suppose it’s tremendous participating, so for youths and youngsters … [and] for people who find themselves reluctant to be in remedy.”

Patricia Hasbach, PhD, a licensed skilled counselor and medical psychotherapist, is one other skilled in ecotherapy. She’s additionally co-director of the ecopsychology program at Lewis & Clark Faculty.

Hasbach recollects one such individual, a affected person in a cardiac rehabilitation middle, who was reluctant about remedy.

“He was fairly nervous about speaking with me and I instructed, ‘You wish to simply take a stroll outdoors?’ And I simply observed how his voice modified,” Hasbach says. “He turn out to be extra relaxed … and that was my first ‘aha’ second that there’s one thing right here that I would like to concentrate to.”


Researchers have studied nature’s therapeutic results in a lot of areas, together with:

“[It’s about] noticing what’s round you and growing our personal consciousness of ourselves in relation to our world and setting,” Lung says. “Simply the symbiotic advantages of being outdoors.”

Can Everybody Do Nature Remedy?

Not everybody who does nature remedy has a mental health situation. Anybody can reap the advantages of ecotherapy.

“I actually function in my medical follow on this concept that as a result of we’re nature, everyone can profit from together with ecotherapy into their work,” Hasbach says.

You are able to do nature remedy wherever, whether or not you reside in rural, suburban, or city areas. For instance, Lung’s follow is in a really city space, however she usually depends on county parks and close by seashores.

Nature remedy may contain locations like gardens, farms, forests, or parks. Normally, nature remedy entails experiencing nature (like taking a stroll via the forest) or working in nature (like gardening).


The quantity of bodily exercise you’ll get in nature remedy relies on the individual. Lung says she tailors the actions she incorporates into her follow based mostly on the individuals she’s working with.

“If I’m working with an adolescent and we’re engaged on frustration instances, then I may be doing paddle boarding outdoors. However I may not do paddle boarding if I’m working with {couples} as a result of it’s a brilliant individualistic exercise. In that case, I would do crusing as a result of that’s a cooperative exercise,” Lung says. “Nature-based interventions have the flexibleness to be actually clinically related.”

Nature remedy might be paired with different choices, like:

“Ecotherapy is one software that it’s a must to draw on to strengthen and deepen the work that you just’re doing along with your shoppers or your sufferers,” Hasbach says.