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"You didn't come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean."
- Alan Watts
Ecotherapy is the applied integration of Psychotherapy and Ecopsychology, a branch of psychology started by Theodore Roszak that studies human beings in relation to the natural world and views the human mind and its health as being a part of nature, not seperate from it. Through the combination of nature and therapy, an individual's own personal growth and healing can be greatly enhanced. As we connect to nature, we end up connecting to our own "inner nature" and inherent "self righting" natural healing processes.
The hussle and bustle of modern day city life has alot of benefits - from access to every grocery store imaginable, sporting events, movie theaters, and life saving medicines. With this access human beings tend to find a certain level of comfortability and sense of security, which is a good thing. Except, as our current society works to maximize this access, our consumption, and our dependence on the things that give us this security, we can all too often become blindly stuck or attached to our man made environments, as if it's the only real thing that exists and is the be-all-end-all answer.
When we're unable to disengage from the system we've created, we fail to recognize, cultivate, and nurture other natural human needs that our man-made environments can't provide us. This lack can leave us feeling unfulfilled in very subtle but known ways... an unshakeable sense as if there is something missing, lacking, void, and hollow within us. This is the experience of seperation from oneself, or rather the lack of integration that has developed due to the inaccessability of an entirely different system altogether... Nature. Richard Louv calls this a "Nature-Deficit Disorder".
Without exposure to nature, without it integrated into our lives, without developing a deep relationship to it, we lose a vital connection to something sacred that's been with us since the dawn of human existence. If deprived, like a pinched garden hose, a sort of alienation from ourselves can occur, which hinders one from becoming truly healthy and whole, instead of merely being okay and well adapted to an unhealthy environment (aspects of city life).
Not only is a relationship with nature essential to maintaining a sense of balance and health, it's even more profound in the way it can help heal. Like cars coming and going at stop lights, rush hour commutes in the morning, to work or lunch then to home, nature too has its own rhythm and pulse. When we can allow ourselves to fully experience this healing pulse we innately absorb its energies like a parched desert after a thunderstorm... our biological wiring thirsts for it. Drinking it in can be deeply transformative as we meet ingrained needs and obtain new found access to parts of ourselves that lay under-nurished.
In our ecotherapy sessions, I'll work with you to enhance your relationship with the natural world. This includes meeting at near-by parks, the bosque, or sandia foothills. I'll provide "nature prescriptions", education, and various assignments to engage you in between our sessions together so that you can develop a meaningful connection to the natural environment and ultimately back to yourself.
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