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Ecotherapy is exposure to nature and the outdoors as a form or component of psychotherapy. This type of therapy is based on the premises of ecopsychology, which explores the relationships between mental, environmental, and spiritual health.


Methodologies of ecotherapy

Ecotherapy can involve a variety of methodologies to deepen a person’s relationship with the natural environment and restore mental and emotional balance. Some methodologies include indigenous rites of passage and rituals, shamanic counseling, wilderness therapy such as vision quests or survival training, and simple acts of gardening, nature meditation, or walking outdoors. These methodologies are based on the belief of an interconnected relationship between humans and the environment and the inability to study or heal one apart from the other. Often ecotherapy is centered around eradicating beliefs of human superiority over or separateness from the environment.

Access to green space

Studies have shown that simple access to green space can greatly reduce recovery time for patients or improve worker productivity [1] [[2]. One study performed by Mind, a mental health charity, found that when subjects with mental health problems were sent to exercise either in woodlands and grasslands or in an indoor mall, 71% of those exposed to the green space experienced decreased levels of depression and 90% reported increased self esteem, while 22% of those indoors experiences increased levels of depression and 44% decreased self esteem. [3]

Studies in ecotherapy greatly support initiatives in sustainable development, such as building codes and green certification requirements for access to green space, biodiversity, and high atmospheric quality in communities and buildings such as hospitals, schools, and offices.


See also


Author: Shena Turlington