Thrive Nature is a holistic nature-based approach to helping you thrive in your relationship to self and others and your environment. I work from a belief that we can always benefit from exploration into how we interact with our own inner world, our immediate relationships and our wider community and environment. I know many people who are content, yet they wouldn't describe themselves as thriving. I believe we all have the capacity to thrive, regardless of our personal circumstances. Thriving doesn't necessarily have to involve huge or dramatic changes; just connecting with parts of yourself that have been dormant can create enormous positive change.
For many years, I have found natural settings to be personally therapeutic, and am a certified Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) Practitioner, and working towards two qualifications in Eco-psychology practice and Forest Therapy Leadership.
I am offering a couple of options for nature-based work:
Forest Bathing – Shinrin Yoku
The practice of Shinrin Yoku originated in Japan in the 1980s as a response to high levels of depression, stress and disease of the urban population, who were spending more time indoors due to the office-based work culture.
What can I expect?
A Shinrin Yoku experience will involve a combination of slow walking and structured practices in a woodland setting, with the exact structure depending on each client and what they need from the session. Any practices that are learned in our sessions can become part of your own nature-based practice and can be adapted to many different outdoor environments.
How will it benefit me?
Slowing down and using all our senses to explore and experience nature has multiple therapeutic benefits including reduced stress (lowering cortisol), improved mood, better sleep, concentration and memory. The compounds released into the surrounding air by woodland plants (phytoncides) have been shown to support disease-fighting cells in our bodies. Even mindfulness around indoor plants can have therapeutic benefits.
These sessions can be booked as a one-off or series of sessions for individuals, couples or groups. Or, if you are interested in more personalised and in-depth exploration, they can form part of your therapy plan that we will develop together. Contact me at 07398 872544 or to find out more.
If you are interested in reading a summary of related studies, you may enjoy the book by Eva M. Selhub MD & Alan C. Logan ND.
Counselling sessions outdoors
Thrive Nature recognises that natural environments provide a wealth of benefits (see above) for our senses. Nature becomes the therapeutic space instead of the counselling office. Taking sessions outside can break down some of the formality of an office-based session. While I am very much still the therapist in this context (choosing our route, providing support, keeping within our agreed time limits, being a qualified First Aider), we are also equals in this setting that belongs to neither of us and both of us. You might already spend a lot of time outdoors while doing activities, but can discover new ways of interacting with a natural environment. I can help you learn to understand how Nature might mirror back to you elements that are important for you and what's going on in your life.
These sessions might suit you if you notice you prefer walking side-by-side with people as you talk about difficult things. If you’re someone who finds you are more relaxed when in green spaces, this might help you share openly and honestly. Often moving forward – as when walking – can help the body and brain process emotional movement and change while anchoring the shifts in a specific time and place. Outdoor sessions can be combined with office-based sessions (traditional talk therapy and/or creative techniques) to suit your particular needs.