Life doesn't have to be as complicated as society tells you it has to be.
Working in the NHS and then in private practice it always struck me how unnatural it was offering therapy in little, often windowless, rooms. For a long time I dreamed of taking my therapy outdoors. I am really pleased that I can now offer my 'Nature Therapy' in beautiful woodland near Wrexham.
In the hospital and in the doctors surgery patients are met by signs, posters and pictures all telling them about the different kinds of conditions and diseases they could be suffering from. They then have to sit in a waiting room surrounded by people who look as though they no longer view life as a positive option. Patients are often then met by someone such as a receptionist who has little or no no knowledge of mental health, or any enthusiasm or kindness towards people who suffer from its debilitating effects. After this they are called into a small room that one of my clients describes as "it feels like it is closing in on you as you sit there", speaking to a professional who doesn’t have enough time or resources to give you the help you so desperately need. Clients tell me that in the woods they feel an inner peace, they feel a natural connection, and they don't feel the dread, or the fear that they usually have when attending appointments.
All of my clients have said that they chose my practice of Nature Therapy because they find other kinds of therapy intimidating. It is a huge step for someone to admit they need help, so the less traumatic I can make it for them the better. Nature therapy offers peace and tranquility which are new feelings for many clients and it makes them feel good. Seeing and hearing rabbits, squirrels, and woodpeckers and other birds helps them when they are descending into darkness, and later they can fall back on memories of the natural world to help restore calm in their lives.
When we walk around the woodlands talking about very personal topics, my clients are more relaxed than they would be in a clinical environment. This enables them to release issues and hurt that have been in them for decades, without it feeling as though it is bouncing back at them off a wall.
Also, silence is not an issue when walking around the woods, as there is not a pressure to fill it with any old nonsense that has no connection to the healing process. Instead, they can be comfortable with their own thoughts, as if nature is giving them a supporting shoulder to lean on. I believe that silence, learning to quieten the voices in our head, helps people see the actual thoughts they keep hidden away and identify their true path in life. it gives the client a freedom to be in control of their own thought processes.
Sadly we have been programmed from a young age to act a certain way, and to have certain beliefs. These are not always what is best for us in the long run - believing that to be respected we have a big house, own an expensive car, have 2.5 children, get a job that pays well, save for old age and gain as many possessions as possible. The problem with this is that these goals are often unachievable, and the more you get the more you want. My clients are always commenting to me that coming to the woods gives them clarity, and the simplicity of the woods gives them a happiness and peace they have never felt before. They have been trapped in the cycle of chasing unachievable dreams, but when they walk around the woods material things don’t seem quite as important. They can then focus on what makes them happy, what they enjoy and actually how little they really need. This is a huge turn-around for them, and can release years of living for the expectations of others.
Medication tends to treat the symptoms not the cause. Clients have been just surviving when really they need to learn how to thrive. We have to learn to leave the past behind. Just as a plant that has been displaced can learn to re-root itself, so can we. I like to teach clients about the internal flame, and the unmothered child and will often take examples from nature that show how self-love self-respect are so important. At the end of the walk it's nice to stop for a coffee and a biscuit. Occasionally I suggest to clients that a following session might be what I call 'Car Counselling' where I will drive us to an elevated spot that will give the client a sense of awe. I often find that being on a mountain top looking out for miles can make us realise how small we and our problems are.
Why Nature Therapy?
The ethos of Nature Therapy is to provide an affordable counselling service which is set in a natural environment that promotes both mental and physical well-being. I combine individually designed therapy programmes with the client’s aims and goals for therapy. I believe that taking away the four walls of a clinic also takes down certain boundaries between client and therapist, therefore allowing a more open and honest relationship to develop. Clients don't feel so 'put on the spot' when out in the countryside, and I hope to guide people to improve both their mental and physical wellbeing. I believe it is very hard to get your mental health on track if physically you are struggling.
Being exposed to nature automatically releases chemicals in us that improve our mental wellbeing, and help our resistance to stressful situations. If you add to that a holistic approach to counselling, you end up with a situation that can benefit each individuals mental and physical wellbeing.
- Reduce stress levels
- Lower blood pressue
- Reduce depression
- Raise self esteem
- Learn how to use mindfulness
- Learn meditation techniques
- Help learn new skills and boost confidence
- Reduce anxiety
- Connect back with nature
- Learn to be comfortable with silence
- Learn to be comfortable with your own thoughts
- Learn how to thrive
- Learn new coping mechanisms and ways of thinking
The benefits work on people of all ages, from young children to people who have retired. Maybe it is time to start looking at a different approach and give yourself the opportunity to get professional, experienced support with moving your life forward.
Each session lasts approx. one and a half hours but please allow extra time so that you are not rushing to get there or rushing to leave. You will be asked to fill in and return a questionnaire prior to the first meeting and you will receive a feedback sheet at the end of each session to remind you how to implement the techniques into everyday life. If you book the three sessions you will also receive a journal and materials for completing a vision board. If you think the therapy sessions would help someone you know they can also be given as a gift. If you need any further information please email [email protected] The sessions run between 10 am and 3 pm in the Wrexham area but could possibly be arranged in another area. I ask that all sessions are paid for upfront so to avoid having to discuss money during therapy time. The car counselling is only offered as a second or third session if I think it will benefit the client.
One session: £65.00
Two sessions: £110.00
Three sessions: £150.00