Working outdoors can be an extremely therapeutic process. For many, nature is a safe and nurturing place to explore painful issues.
There are signs everywhere of change, growth, grief and life, yet continual natural cycles bring a level of reliability, stability and containment – just being outdoors can allow a sense of freedom and transition.
Benefits to Working Outside:
- Improved mental health: Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, reduce symptoms of depression and increase feelings of well being.
- Increased mindfulness: Being in nature can help you become more present and mindful, which can lead to increased self-awareness and improved coping skills.
- Client autonomy: You can choose the speed, path and direction of the work, both emotionally and physically.
- Enhanced connection: Working with nature can foster a sense of connection and belonging, which can continue long after the formal work has ended.
Ways of Working:
I offer different ways of the outside being involved in our work. Some clients simply like being in the outdoor environment and so opt for a ‘walk and talk’ type of session. These sessions are taken at the clients own pace, where we may walk for the whole session or find somewhere to sit and talk.
Others prefer for the environment to be part of the therapeutic process, and so we more pro-actively involve nature in the session. This helps us to identify and work with the issues that the client brings in a different way. There is opportunity to connect and deepen the relationship with nature, and your understanding of your place within it.
The area I work in is in a beautiful quiet woodland in East Grinstead. It is a public area, but with few passersby, which makes it ideal from a confidentiality point of view. However, if you have a preferred location I am happy to discuss this as an option.