Nature-Based Therapy


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Table of Contents

Notes to the Reader

1. An Introduction to Nature for Therapy
2. Outdoor Therapies: A Choice of Paths to Follow
3. Why Nature-based Therapy for Children, Youth, and Families?
4. Making the Choice to Take Therapy Outside
5. Nature-based Play, Regulation, and Healthy Neurophysiology
6. Outdoor Risky Play in Nature-based Therapy
7. Nature as Co-therapist
8. Nature-based Therapy for Families
9. Multi-family Nature-based Therapy
10. Group Applications in Nature-based Therapy
11. Ethics in Nature-based Therapy

Appendix A: Developing a Nature-based Therapy Practice
Appendix B: Suggested Clothing and Equipment/Materials List
About the Authors
About New Society Publishers

Promotional Information

Take advantage of nature’s therapeutic benefits with this guide for counselors, therapists, and educators who work with children, youth, and families.

About the Author

Dr. Nevin J. Harper is an Associate Professor at the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria. He is the founder of the Canadian Adventure Therapy Symposium, a founding board member of the Child & Nature Alliance of Canada, and his career has included stretches as a youth counselor, outdoor skills instructor, shepherd, and wilderness guide. Nevin has an active research agenda examining human-environmental interactions, primarily through the practices of adventure therapy, wilderness therapy, and nature-based approaches to healing and wellbeing. He lives on Vancouver Island, Canada.

Kathryn Rose has been discovering the joys of experiential and nature-based approaches to working with children, youth, and families for the promotion of healing and growth for over 10 years. Katy holds a deep trust in the healing power of connection with the non-human natural world and believes that individuals are born with an innate drive and capacity towards wholeness and health. Katy completed a Master's degree in Transpersonal Counselling Psychology, with a specialization in Wilderness Therapy, from Naropa University in Colorado and is registered with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. She lives in Victoria, Canada.

David Segal has been involved in providing therapeutic nature-based counselling for children, youth, and families for over 15 years. He is deeply passionate about the natural world and how human-nature relationships influence our collective and individual well-being. He offers presentations and workshops on cultivating health through contact with nature and has been contributing to the emerging field of eco-therapy through his work as a clinical counsellor serving youth and families in the Greater Victoria area. He completed a Master's degree in Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria and is registered with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. David has published articles in ecopsychology and counseling journals. He lives in Victoria, Canada.


"Even in the toxic conditions created by the Industrial Growth Society, there is health and well-being to be found in opening ourselves to the web of life. Right now when we need it so much, these authors bring to our attention many wonderfully useful methods and tools, along with the stories of how they have been effective. Especially welcome is the authors' discussion of the value of risk-taking in our hyper-protective, soul-deadening society."- Joanna Macy, author, Active Hope: How to Face the Mess we're in without Going Crazy"...offers an accessible, research-informed framework for conducting therapy out of doors, in ways that allow clients and service users to benefit from the multiple learning and healing opportunities afforded by open-ness to the natural world. Combining down-to-earth practical guidance, based on the extensive professional experience of the authors, with thoughtful and critical analysis of relevant theory and evidence from a wide range of disciplinary tradition, this is essential reading for anyone undertaking this kind of work."- John McLeod, Adjunct Professor of Psychology, University of Oslo"A profound and sensitive exploration of the healing capacity of nature and how counselors from all disciplines can expand their practice into the outdoors. Nature-Based Therapy provides plenty of convincing evidence to support the argument that time in nature can have biological, psychological and social advantages for children, youth and families. If you have ever felt the need to take your clinical work beyond four walls, this book will inspire you to step outside, no matter your client's diagnosis or the weather. Nature-Based Therapy is a tantalizing blend of clinical anecdote, research and social critique of our disconnection with nature and what we can do to reimagine therapy as a process of reconnection."- Michael Ungar, PhD, Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience, Dalhousie University, Canada, and author, Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Success"Written in a unique, accessible, anecdotal and narrative style, Nature-Based Therapy gives a real experiential sense of working with children and families outdoors. This book is a timely and pragmatic contribution to the growing literature on taking therapy outside."- Dr. Joe Hinds, Senior Lecturer in Counselling, Department of Psychology, Social Work and Counselling, University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College, London, UK"This book offers nature-based methods that help the clinician to expand the lens with which to see, hear, and work with clients to include the natural world in which we live. With compelling research, illustrative case studies, and thoughtful narrative on ecopsychological theory, Nature-based Therapy is a valuable handbook for practitioners working with children, youth, and families. It also offers much for educators and parents to ponder about the importance of re-membering ourselves and our children to the natural world."- Patricia H. Hasbach, PhD, Private practice clinician, professor, and co-author of Ecopsychology: Science, Totems, and the Technological Species and The Rediscovery of the Wild"This book provides essential answers to the question, "But how do I really do nature-based therapy". The scientific research literature is now clear enough that interaction with nature greatly benefits people physically and psychologically. It's time for the therapeutic community and the broader public to integrate this knowledge into practice. This accessible and visionary book shows us how. Highly recommended."- Peter H. Kahn, Jr., author of Technological Nature: Adapatation and the Future of Human Life

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