What is ecotherapy?
Also known as social and therapeutic horticulture, it makes a link to poor mental and physical health with alienation from the natural environment. It's a simple but effective approach - go into a natural environment, become more observant, active and grounded and you'll start to feel much better about yourself, the world and your relationship to it.
Through changing old patterns and discovering and maintaining healthy new ones, confidence, self esteem and a sense of purpose build to create a feeling of contributing to something of value and meaning.
The ecotherapy setting works well with people who are recovering from poor physical or mental health, providing structure and supported activities to restore cognitive and physical abilities, improve mood and overcome barriers to isolation.
In more general settings, in community gardens and projects, the emphasis is on building community, sharing and learning skills and self empowerment - encouraging people to do things for themselves to make stronger, more cohesive, resilient and sustainable communities.
As a freelance social and therapeutic horticulture practitioner, I bring expertise and experience to collaborations and partnerships with occupational therapists, local health charities, social and community groups, mental health projects and other organisations who work with vulnerable adults and people with chronic health conditions.