Some therapists now offer unconventional form of treatment with surprising benefits: ‘It connects me to being human’ (Jenny Allison, March 21, 2024, The Cool Down)

Over the last several decades, but particularly the last several years, more and more psychotherapists, psychiatrists, therapists, counselors, and social workers have begun incorporating nature into their treatments. These approaches range from simply conducting talk therapy sessions outdoors to going hiking, going skiing, and even building fires. […]

Therapists agree — the technique shows promise, especially for people who are hesitant about traditional therapy or interested in something that doesn’t feel one-size-fits-all. It’s the reason why groups such as Maryland’s Center for Nature Informed Therapy or New York’s Boda Therapy have been growing in recent years.

“By blending the healing properties of the natural world with proven modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Nature Informed Therapy addresses a wide range of mental health concerns, promoting overall well-being, life satisfaction, and a harmonious relationship with the environment,” the Center for Nature Informed Therapy’s website explains.

The benefits aren’t just anecdotal, either. A 2023 study of forest bathing, the Japanese practice of taking a mindful stroll in the woods, found that taking such walks significantly reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. In fact, simply just hearing birdsong has been shown to soothe anxiety.

Get out of your own head.