We live in a vast, breathtaking, and beautiful world. Often times we are consumed by being busy with our day to day tasks, both professional and personal. We forget to enjoy the simple things….the outdoors.
Since I was a child, I always loved the outdoors and believe it is important to spend time outside. Just being outside for 5 to 10 minutes on any given day can change how you feel mentally, emotionally and even physically.
As a therapist, I believe that by incorporating the healing power of nature in therapy we can transition from a place of feeling stuck to experiencing movement. I believe there are many benefits to taking our session outdoors from time to time. Mindfulness walks allow us to feel more grounded and present. The idea is to incorporate all of your senses into any moments. Therefore, the changing leaves, a cool breeze, the warmth from the sun may act as gentle reminders of the passage of time, and how each day is a new day. The world is ever-changing, and so are people.
Our concerns and reasons for therapy exist outside the therapy office. Therefore, by bringing the healing power of talk therapy into a new unfamiliar space it can be a refreshing reminder that personal growth can happen in any atmosphere, not just on our couch! Though it might sound strange, our goals are not to keep our clients forever! Like emerging butterflies, they too are meant to fly on their own. Being outdoors will allow them to apply their skills in more than one atmosphere, making therapeutic interventions more applicable and resilient even after terminating therapy.
Taking therapy outdoors can
give both the client and
therapist a fresh perspective.
Taking therapy outdoors can also give both the client and therapist a fresh perspective. Clients may spot something that triggers a memory, makes them anxious, or brings them joy. Suddenly, right there “in session” are real-life examples that may help to spark new direction or insight. Attending your mood and sensations can provide you help increase your awareness of what you find distressing and as a therapist, we can help you find potential coping mechanisms.
Exposure response therapy can help you come face to face with something that creates fear, anxiety or chaos while in a safe space to be able to move past the discomfort into a place of acceptance. This can help with OCD therapy, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and other phobias. After clients have taken the time to develop relaxation techniques or coping mechanisms, they can be exposed to their triggers. Only this time, they will have their trusted therapist to help them through. This type of intervention can be transformational for certain types of clients.