Is hanging out in nature therapeutic?

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Posted May 5 2015 by Dr Kim Brown of Nature Therapy CIC
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As the founder of Nature Therapy CIC I am often asked ‘exactly what is nature therapy?’ Having studied the subject for a Doctorate and travelled extensively across the UK, Europe and the USA to research how nature is used to improve human wellbeing, I am sometimes at a loss to give a short answer.  This is because it really is quite simple, nature has the ability to nourish hearts and minds and all a Nature Therapist does is act as a catalyst for nature experiences to take place.  We have been nurturing ourselves by getting outdoors for thousands of years.  It’s just now we have a different social and cultural way of being that is not always in sync with our primitive and inherent needs.

At our small award-winning not-for-profit enterprise we have a passion for supporting everyone to feel mentally nourished.  We aim is to use the free resource of nature as a tool to sustain you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

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Although many of our projects are focused on those who experience changes in the way they sense the world around them such as people with dementia, autism and mental distress – we also offer generalised workshops on how to involve nature as a tool for self-development.

It goes without saying these workshops are not classroom based. They take the form of one day Nature Quests.  Nature Quests are so called because they are about journeys of self-exploration and self-discovery.  They are a wonderful blend of exciting ventures into some unusual and wild places that includes a heady mixture of folk lore, ancient knowledge, local history and creative arts. The wildest place you will go to on whatever Quest you choose to do is deep inside your own imagination.  Your imagination is an expert in knowing what is right for you and our Quests help you explore your own inner landscape in more detail.

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Quests are not about educating people about nature (although that does happen) or just nice days out (although they are that to and with great people). Nature Quests are aimed at exploring how you deal with fear, taking you a little out of your comfort zone (but not too much), helping you develop your leadership skills and gaining insight into what makes you the person you are.

We offer over 20 different day Quests that take place in areas of outstanding natural beauty on the Isle of Wight, We also offer week long quests at our off grid retreat in Portugal. Our Quests have mouth-watering names such as Dancing with Horses, The Dragon’s nostrils, the Cave of Secret Carvings and a Neolithic Soundscape Quest. We promise we will not get you to hug a tree although on our Forest Bathing Quest you might be very tempted, so we also promise not to tell.

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The most popular Quest last year was the Mud Quest which takes place in a stunning location by a beautiful beach.  We even delivered this Quest in 2014 for a tough group of bikers.  It could not have been that bad as they are coming back this year to repeat the experience.

If you are interested in coming to any of our day Quests on the Isle of Wight then please contact us for details by emailing [email protected].  A list of Quests and dates can be found on our website at www.naturetherapyCIC.com although this is constantly being updated so make sure you check in regularly to see what is new.  The cost for a day Quest is £45 per person.

If you are interested in coming to stay with us at our off grid nature retreat in Portugal, we will be running week long quests in May and again in October 2015.  The cost for the week is £350 excluding travel costs. For more information go to www.naturetherapyportugal.com.

Look forward to the possibility of seeing you in 2015.

Dr Kim Brown

Founder Director of Nature Therapy CIC