“Eco-Therapy” may sound like a strange, new fad in the world of alternative health but is in fact a highly-endorsed approach to well-being, which draws on modern psychology, ecological awareness, ancient wisdom, a lot of common sense and an ever-expanding volume of scientific research.
Broadly speaking, “Eco-Therapy” is an umbrella term for a diverse variety of nature-based restorative practices. Including: Horticultural Initiatives, Wilderness Experiences, Animal-Assisted Therapy, Walking Therapy, Nature Awareness and many more.
What is Eco-therapy like at Ashburnham Place?
Ashburnham Place offers the incredible gift of a landscape dedicated, for over 50 years, to healing, rest, recovery and nourishment for people from all walks of life. It has been a haven of peace, a place of blessing and an oasis in the busyness of life.
Your experience of Eco-Therapy will be designed specifically for you and with you. We have a variety of pre-prepared, guided Eco-Therapy exercises that we tailor to suit your needs as your therapy progresses.
Sometimes you will do these guided exercises alone (we do not charge for these periods!); at other times your therapist can join you and work alongside you. (The grounds of Ashburnham Place are gentle and easy to navigate but we will provide you with a Map and Health and Safety information too).
Eco-Therapy can be used entirely on its own, or as a powerful compliment to the perhaps more familiar styles of working that our therapists use within the counselling room.
Eco-Therapy might suit you, if you:
- like the idea of connecting with nature to improve well-being
- are aware that your mood is impacted by your surroundings
- are suffering from depression or anxiety
- recognise that nature nourishes your faith or spirituality
- want to learn to feel more relaxed, balanced and centered
- suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder
- recognise your need to slow down
- want to find inner-strength
- have experienced loss or bereavement
- have had profound moments in nature before
- want help with anger issues
- would like to develop your natural intuition and instincts
- feel nervous about talking 1-1 with a Counsellor
- have experienced abuse or trauma
- are looking for an approach that you can continue after therapy has finished
- are in need of comfort
- prefer to learn by doing and being
- have had struggles with addiction
- want to try something different
“I picked the most glorious day to begin my Eco Therapy journey and I am so glad that you suggested it as an extension to my counselling. I hadn’t previously heard of it as a form of therapy but after you explained what it was in brief I decided to give it a go…. I followed the path you suggested, stopping and taking it all in along the way on occasion. I wished I had done something similar sooner as the peace and tranquility was so therapeutic and penetrating I really felt a big part of my surroundings and at one with nature. There was a real spiritual feel… I was determined as I walked round to clear my head of any specific thoughts and just see where my journey took me… I ended my walk round feeling a little hypnotised by nature if that makes sense? The sense of calm I felt was quite inexplicable.”
The Trust that own Ashburnham Place continues to be committed to developing ways in which to provide a positive and life-giving impact on society. In the year ahead we will also be developing group Eco-Therapy sessions, including the opportunity to work therapeutically within our Labyrinth.
Photographs by Jay Ashworth