Healing Ourselves & the Earth: Ecotherapy as Practice

Connection with the Earth and its systems are at the core of ecotherapy. Many practitioners who practice ecotherapy believe that the Earth has a self-righting capacity which operates through complex systems of integrated balance, and that if people can harmonize with these systems, they may experience improved mental health. Personal well-being and planetary well-being are not separate from each other; social and environmental justice are interconnected in this framework. People’s lives are therefore seen as part of a greater system of interaction. Since ecotherapy is an umbrella term for nature-based approaches to healing, the types of interventions used are many but usually include a component of mindfulness. Some activities take place with the guidance of a licensed clinician t while others are carried out individually. Some interventions are done in groups while others require a one-on-one setting. Additionally, while some ecotherapy sessions take place within the confines of an office, an effort is often made to conduct sessions in natural settings whenever possible. This workshop is experiential in nature and participants will have the opportunity to experience several types of indoor and outdoor ecotherapy practices which they can then use in their daily work in the community. This type of practice is particularly powerful and healing for communities experiencing both environmental and social justice issues.