Ecotherapy can take place in both rural and urban settings, including parks, gardens, farms and woodlands. It involves varying amounts of physical activity, depending on the type of programme. It can include activities that focus on:
- working in nature, such as a conservation project, gardening or farming
- experiencing nature, such as enjoying the views on a walk or cycling through woodland.
Some ecotherapy sessions follow a set structure, and incorporate types of talking therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Others can be more informal, or vary depending on the time of year and what work needs doing. People in the group may or may not have experience of mental health problems, but the main focus is usually working together on the shared activity.
>Wayne, a former serviceman, has depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Read his blog about how a nature project helped him to manage his mental health problems.
I do ecotherapy to get sunlight onto my skin and into my mind. It shines light through the dark fog of depression.
What types of ecotherapy programme are there?
Ecotherapy programmes can involve a wide range of activities. For example: