Ecotherapy for individuals
We are living in a profoundly fractured world, and so many of us were raised with the notion that we are separate from nature, or even superior to it. In reality, we are nature, and we are in constant contact with nature - in light and in shadow. Returning to nature with intention has the potential of profound, reciprocal healing - as we open to the wisdom of nature, we also open to understanding our role in the vast and complex fabric of all that is. You belong in this world, and you belong to this world. In ecotherapy, we work to rediscover this sense of belonging. We begin to notice our non-human neighbors and learn their names. We bring mindful attention to the wisdom of the natural world, and allow our bodies to connect and co-regulate with the diverse web of living beings that surround us. In my practice, ecotherapy is a supplement to traditional talk therapy - we enter into nature with mindfulness and curiosity, and in the privacy of my office, we unpack the feelings and experiences that arise from this process, as well as the unique challenges, hopes, and goals you bring to this work.
$140 for a 50-minute session.
This service is only available to clients within commuting distance of the Portland Metro Area
I am currently accepting new clients for individual ecotherapy services, with immediate availability.
We are human only in contact, and conviviality, with what is not human.”
What can I expect an ecotherapy session to look like?
Generally, an ecotherapy session is conducted while walking mindfully outdoors. It is not meant to be physically demanding - it is slow and gentle enough to allow you to become present with your surroundings. We may engage in a brief, guided walking meditation to help you transition your attention, and throughout the session I will invite you to notice your surroundings and how they interact with your body, mind, and spirit. I will draw on my background as a wildlife photographer to point out and name some of the beings we encounter, to help you build greater knowledge and understanding of the non-human community in the area.
What are some of the potential benefits?
The movement along a winding path, with its changes in terrain, mirrors the therapy work and the journey of life, and moving in this way can help to bring new insights and new awareness to our experiences. Being wired for relationship includes our relationship to nature, but we are often stuck behind screens that draw us in and blot out the larger world. We are living in a fundamentally fractured time - we see ourselves as separate from nature, yet The practice of simply returning to nature can begin to bring us home to ourselves and to the world we live in. It's a process of mindfulness, gentle noticing, and becoming open to the wisdom of the natural world around us. Research has shown that outdoor therapy may provide a number of potential benefits, including a reduction in anxiety, mood improvement, nervous system support, and can even offer benefits in healing from trauma.
What about privacy?
Outdoor therapy does carry more risks to your confidentiality, so it is important to take those into account. While we avoid delving into deep, private discussions (saving those for our traditional sessions), it is still possible that we may run into someone you know, or that someone we encounter knows I'm a therapist and therefore might make the correct assumption that you are my client. It is also possible that a stranger may overhear parts of our conversation. Even though deeper topics are saved for private sessions, it is possible that deeper emotions arise during outdoor sessions, and this is also a risk to your confidentiality. If you are interested or elect to participate in ecotherapy, we will discuss risks, strategies and your individual preferences in much greater detail.
What are some of the potential risks?
In addition to risks to confidentiality, walking therapy may not be suited for every person. Even though we will be moving slowly, being outdoors on a trail can carry the risk of tripping and falling or other injuries. It is important that you bring water, comfortable shoes and clothing, and communicate your physical capacity and needs at each session. If you are interested in ecotherapy, we will discuss whether adding outdoor sessions might be a good fit for you and your therapy goals. At times, we may pause outdoor sessions, or delay them until we are further into our work. And at any time, you may request to stop outdoor sessions and return to solely engaging in office sessions.