Healing with Nature

By The Marsh Household

In our fast-paced, technology-driven world, finding moments of peace and tranquillity can often feel like a luxury. However, as we navigate the complexities of modern life, it is becoming increasingly evident that reconnecting with nature can profoundly impact our mental and emotional well-being. As a clinician, I have been working to facilitate counselling practices and the benefits of being outdoors when promoting healing, growth, and resilience with my clients. The Live Net Zero campaign has also inspired me to be more vocal about these practices with other mental health care providers.
Nature has many healing properties that can nourish the mind, body, and soul. Whether it is a mindfulness walk through local trails, grounding, or practicing imagery in safe outdoor places, being outside has been shown to decrease chronic stress, depression, and anxiety among individuals. I have found that conducting sessions outdoors, whether in the yard or through walk-and-talk therapy, can be beneficial not only for an individual’s well-being but also for our planet. Over time, I have observed the restorative effects of being outside on many clients, often leading to improved mood and self-esteem. They have also developed a deeper appreciation for their natural surroundings and look for ways to care for them. 
As outdoor therapy gains traction and the need to feel connected is stronger than ever, it is essential for clinicians interested in integrating it into their practice to communicate openly with their clients about the process. Prioritizing consent, safety, confidentiality, and comfort is essential to create a conducive environment where individuals feel empowered to communicate openly. Furthermore, collaboration and guidance from experienced professionals can help clinicians navigate potential challenges and ensure that best practices are followed.
For those interested in exploring outdoor therapy further, I have included a few resources below to facilitate learning and development in this growing practice area.
With love,
Ameena Marsh

Cooley, S. J., Jones, C. R., Moss, D., & Robertson, N. (2022). Organizational perspectives on outdoor talking therapy: Towards a position of ‘environmental safe uncertainty.’ British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61(1), 132-156.
Revell, S., & McLeod, J. (2016). Experiences of therapists who integrate walk and talk into their professional practice. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 16(1), 35-43.

Written by The Marsh Household

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