A healing connection with nature
Nature Therapy, also called Forest Therapy or Forest Bathing is an ancient practice that has been brought back to life. Nature Therapy has roots in many spiritual and contemplative traditions, especially those indigenous to Turtle Island (North America). While exactly how Nature Therapy heals people is still being studied there is growing evidence from psychological, neuroscience and medical research that, for stress-based ailments, it encourages improvements in well being and mental health on par with pharmaceutical and psychotherapeutic interventions. Nature connection also contributes to physical wellbeing, because physical and mental health are interrelated.
What Nature Therapy is
Nature Therapy is a holistic, guided practice of slowing down and awakening one’s senses in a diverse natural environment in order to connect with other creatures and elements. A Nature Therapy Walk can be taken in a group, practiced one-on-one with a guide or taken alone. A Nature Therapy guide invites participants to connect with nature, quietly, on their own, and following that facilitates them sharing their nature connection experiences with each other. The final sharing circle in a Forest Therapy Walk includes a tea ceremony using plants gathered during the walk.
What Nature Therapy is not
Nature Therapy is not a psychotherapy or counselling session. Nature is the therapist, the Nature Therapy Guide merely opens the door to nature connection. Neither is Nature Therapy a nature walk where you identity birds and plants, or a hike that you take for exercise.
“We humans believe we can save nature, but in truth it is Nature who is saving us. Everyday and for as long as we have existed, keeping us alive, making us happy to be alive.”
Rochelle Johnston, Family Earth’s Founder
How long: Nature Therapy Walks usually take between 2 and 3 hours.
Who: Family Earth is able to host Nature Therapy sessions for individuals or small groups of adults, families together, and teenagers.
When: Check below for upcoming group sessions at family earth. Or, send us a message and we would be happy to coordinate a private session at a time that works for you (available onsite or at any suitable outdoor space of your choosing)
Where: Family Earth’s 34 acres of mixed forest, meadows and wetland is an ideal place to undertake a Nature Therapy Walk, however Rochelle is also available to lead walks at other suitable locations in Eastern Ontario.
Thursday August 19th
Delivered at the Britannia Conservation Area in partnership with ForOurKids. The session will start at 9:30am and run between 2 and 3 hours.
Your Nature Therapy Guide
Dr. Rochelle Johnston has over two decades of experience developing and implementing programming for community members coping with violence and other hardships in Canada and around the world. She has a Masters of Education in Risk and Resilience and has led research on adversity, coping and informal and formal support systems for children, youth and families. She has facilitated hundreds of workshops on a wide variety of topics that have empowered people to improve their well-being, individually and collectively. Rochelle has worked with clients and professionals in contact with child welfare, justice, refugee and education systems. She has also had the privilege of studying and collaborating with Indigenous educators and traditional knowledge keepers, works cross culturally within antioppression frameworks. Rochelle is in the process of completing her accreditation in Forest Therapy by the Global Institute of Forest Therapy (GIFT).
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