NATURE AS MY CO-THERAPIST
I always encourage my clients to grant themselves solitary time in nature and moreover, like to do retreats or therapeutic work in the wilderness with them. Consciously, spending time in the natural world is one of the most healing presents you could give yourself. Being-in-nature with a client serves as a holding environment, where a client can let go, relax and go deeper into their process. Since most of my work is in urban environments, occasionally, just doing a session in a park has a profound effect on the therapeutic exchange.
Scientifically, research has shown that time spent in the biosphere helps lift depression, brings down blood pressure, alleviates mental fatigue, relieves stress and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, to name a few benefits. Although, there are definite psychophysiological shifts when immersed in nature, if we are busy with our smart phones, iPods, iPads or are engaged in compulsive thinking the positive effects of being in nature are reduced.
Our minds in their habitual thought patterns often veer us towards the future or the past, dissociating us from our environment and diminishing our capacity to stay with what IS. In order to prevent ourselves from unconsciously hijacking our nature experiences with nonstop thinking, I recommend practicing mindfulness meditation when immersed in mother Earth. Please use this link to read about different nature meditations you can practice.