“I go to Nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more.” — John Burroughs
Biologically, humans are like all other animals: We’re made of four elements — earth, air, water, and fire. Spending time outside, in the natural world, connects us with those elemental parts of ourselves. We feel our place in the macrocosm. We belong.
Sadly, however, many of us in the developed world suffer from what is called “nature deficit disorder.” Spending the majority of our lives indoors, with eyes, fingers, and brains glued to our electronic devices, we’ve become disconnected from our biological roots. We have lost touch with our essence. We’re adrift.
The antidote to this modern malady is simple: We need to tear ourselves away from our screens and head outdoors! More and more research is pointing to the restorative effects of spending time in green spaces: less depression and anxiety; better mood and emotional regulation; less sense of isolation; improved cognitive function; lower blood pressure; enhanced immune function. Being in nature is widely seen as a healing experience.
The growing field of ecotherapy blends the best elements of psychotherapy (“talk” therapy) with the healing powers of nature. At Green Bird Nature Therapy, this takes a variety of forms:
Walk & Talk Therapy – This is literally what the name says. Your counseling session takes place outdoors, as client and therapist stroll side by side on a quiet, green path. It’s relaxing and refreshing. Inspired by water, trees, and sky, you gain a wider perspective on your problems. Heart and mind open to deeper insights, rediscovering a sense of peaceful ease.
Mindfulness in Nature – This is a workshop in the art and science of forest bathing, derived from the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku. Included in this healing experience are a variety of earth-based therapies such as mindful movement, grounding, and sensory awareness. You’ll find it deeply calming to body, mind, and spirit. Suitable for nearly all fitness levels and available, upon request, to groups of any size.
Silent Hikes – Several times a year, near the solstices and equinoxes, I lead a group meditative hike on one of the Upstate’s beautiful mountain trails. This experience allows you to try out the practice of Noble Silence, while enjoying the healthful effects of fresh air and green, living things …. all in the company of like-minded others. Dates and locations for upcoming public Silent Hikes are listed on the Events page of this website. Pre-registration is required. I also lead Silent Hikes for private groups, by reservation only.
“Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit.”
— Author & environmental activist Edward Abbey