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A brief introduction to eco-therapy

Traditional psychotherapist treatments focus on a patient's internal wellness, be it through mindful activities like meditation, pharmaceutical treatments like Prozac and old-fashioned bed or couch therapy. Eco-therapist, however, believe that people need to spend more time outdoors in addition to these treatments in order to enjoy a truly wholesome existence. But, what exactly is eco-therapy and how does spending time outdoors help with your overall wellbeing?

What is eco-therapy?

Eco-therapy is an application of nature derived from the ideas of psychotherapy and eco-psychology. Traditional psychology considers the “psyche” in isolation from its environment. Eco-therapists focus on people’s connection to the environment and the natural world. The practice of echo-therapy applies different natural methods to promote emotional and mental health, including using nature-based stress reducing activities like wilderness retreats. It also uses living things like pets and plants for home or hospital treatments.

According to eco-therapists, people are hardwired to interact with nature and it is sad that more than half of the world’s population today lives in cities. They lament the slip between the environment and the “psyche” and blame this for the ecological crisis facing the world. The ecological crisis is characterised by human activities that harm the environment and contribute to climate change.

Why you need eco-therapy

Apart from protecting the environment, eco-therapists point out that you can reduce global levels of depression, isolation and stress that result from the realisation that the world today is gradually becoming something it shouldn’t be. Moreover, spending time in the open and enjoying the green helps you understand and connect with nature. Connecting with nature in turn helps alleviates personal distresses and does the world a lot of good.

But, isn’t eco-therapy a little too simplistic?

In a world where the natural environment is endangered and climatic change is worsening, simple things can have the greatest impact. Eco-therapy is about personal care and healing in tandem with care and healing of the natural environment. This simple yet powerful focus can be the answer to current, global eco-anxieties, as well as the cure to personal emotional and mental health distresses.

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