Therapy in the Natural Environment
My work with clients in the outdoors connects psychotherapeutic ideas with research from environmental psychology and ecopsychology, which focus on our interaction with our natural environment.
My interest in working outdoors developed from my own experience with nature. When I immerse myself in nature I am able to connect with a deeper part of myself and the natural world. It helps me to feel more supported in life and present to life.
Working outside can allow clients to feel more expansive and enlivened by the experience, it can be far more rich and dynamic compared to traditional indoor counselling, which many have said feel less natural and more constricted.
My Outdoor Therapeutic Space
As I am based in East Sussex, I see clients for weekly psychotherapy sessions in a nearby area of access land, equidistant from Winchelsea and Pett. This area of land offers a good deal of variety for the work, including woodland, open spaces, hills to gain far reaching views across the landscape, or we could instead meet at Pett Level if you feel more drawn to ocean views.
The land where I work has public access, that being said it is not over-run with people, and there are ample opportunities to get off the track in order to walk and sit in more private spaces.
How I work
I only work outside and usually meet clients once per week for 60 minutes. The session may begin with a short guided mindfulness meditation, which takes place on a bench before we set off, this is not obligatory but does help some clients to feel more present, like they have ‘arrived’. The rest of the session takes the form of simply walking and talking. When working outdoors the focus is not on fitness so we can sit, stand or walk, and may vary our route from session to session. There is potential for a great deal of flexibility here, governed by client preference, physical ability, and weather.
However, all the traditional boundaries for effective psychotherapy will still apply, including a mutually agreed focus for our work, time keeping, and agreements concerning confidentiality. The latter, particularly important, as we may occasionally encounter other people whilst outside.
You do not need to be 'super fit' or even particularly outdoors-orientated to benefit from this setting for your therapy.
If you are interested in outdoor therapy I will usually have brief conversation with you on the phone first, this will also be to discuss the practicalities of working outdoors and to hear more about what is going on for you and what you need help with. If it seems like this way of working would be suitable for you, then we will agree a time for an initial assessment session outdoors at my outdoor therapy space. This will be an opportunity for you to meet me, meet the 'place' where I work and to talk in greater detail about what brings you to therapy and what you hope to gain from it. It will also give you a better sense of what therapy outdoors with me may offer you. If we are both happy at this point we will then agree on further times to meet and discuss the therapeutic contract.
My charge for outdoor therapy sessions is between £40 - £60 for the hour (the lower end of this being for students, those on a lower income, and the unemployed).
Please contact me if you are interested.