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.
The group, however, meets on private land and does not involve walking.
How I work
I only work outside and usually meet clients once per week for 60 minutes. The session takes the form of simply walking and talking. As we go we may stop from time to time or decide to sit in a particular spot, or vary our route a little from session to session. There is potential for a great deal of flexibility here, governed by client preference, physical ability, and weather. There is also the option to incorporate mindfulness meditation or somatic orienting, which some clients find helpful. 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.
I also offer clients (space permitting and when I think it could benefit) the opportunity to join a weekly therapy group in addition to their individual sessions.
I also run outdoor group therapy sessions, which are 90 minutes per session. These are ad hoc and time limited, usually running for eight consecutive weeks, where the same group meet at a set time and day each week. I am currently recruiting for a men's group so please do get in touch if you are interested.
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 for either individual or group therapy.
Group sessions are £25 per person per session.
Individual sessions are between £45 - £60, depending on income.
Please see the About Me page for information on my credentials and professional affiliations.
Feel free to contact me if you are interested in an initial telephone conversation.