Eco Therapy

Ecotherapy refers to a range of different facilitated and supported activities that take place outdoors and that aim to increase peoples’ contact and connection with the natural world.

They can take place in one to one or group settings and include diverse activities from a walk in the park to gardening to wilderness trips. Connecting with nature in a such a supported way is immensely beneficial and can be a truly healing and transformative experience.  The three central aspects of ecotherapy are supporting people to reclaim a healthy and the integrated sense of self; breaking down the idea that they are separate and apart from nature and enabling them to connect powerfully with land and other-than-human beings.

This deep and creative engagement with nature and the non-human world enables people to find resilience, strength and meaning in their lives. Ecotherapy provides rich opportunities to increase peoples’ sense of belonging to the natural and human world which can raise their self confidence and recognition of/connection to their inner resources. It can be inclusive, safe and healing and an important part of trauma work for marginalised folks such as asylum seekers and refugees and the LGBTQQI+ community.
For people who have come to Scotland seeking refuge, the
communities and cultures they are from often have strong connections with land and nature which have been damaged and disrupted through colonialism, conflict and climate change. Supporting them to connect with nature can be part of a healing process and help them to develop a sense of belonging and re-connect with their culture, ancestors, themselves and with others. 

In Scotland there is a diversity of places where Ecotherapy activities can take place. From urban allotments and parks to beaches and woodland, forest, lochs and mountains, there is a range of places that can meet folks’ accessibility needs. Ecotherapy activities also gives people the vital opportunity to learn about their environment and the different plants, trees, animals and birds they  encounter. This helps build a strong foundation for the vital work of caring for and protecting our world in the face of unprecedented and potentially devastating climate change.