What is eco-therapy?

Eco-therapy is a formal type of therapeutic treatment which involves doing outdoor activities in nature. There isn’t one single definition of ecotherapy, but it’s often used to describe a regular, structured activity that:

  • is led by trained professionals (sometimes therapists), who are there to support you

  • focuses on doing an activity, rather than on your health

  • takes place in a green environment

  • is related to exploring and appreciating the natural world

  • involves spending time with other people, although you can always choose to interact at your own pace.

Eco therapy is more than going for a walk in the park or mowing the lawn in the garden.

It is a regular activity that is facilitated and structured that focuses on doing an activity that takes place in a green environment , where exploring & appreciating the nature involves contact with other people.

Research has shown that the benefits of eco therapy can be;

• get out in the open air regularly & become more active
• can take part regardless of their fitness level
• manage your weight better
• increase your flexibility & stamina
• manage physical conditions better
• feel better as endorphins ‘feel good’ hormones are release

• make friends & value social contact
• do an enjoyable & worthwhile activity
• its said “feel better’ & more relaxed”
• are more positive about their life
• learn a new skill or develop an interest
• feel valued – what you do makes a difference

.• get time out from stresses & problems

• feel less depressed or anxious
• sleep better
• can talk about problems if you want to
• get support from others with similar experiences
• manage their mental health problems better
• use other treatments as well

• make friends & value social contact
• feel accepted & ‘normal’
• get involved in the community
• have a routine & a regular place to go
• get support from others with similar experiences
• realize mental health problems can happen to everyone

• do something useful in Your community
• get interested in what is happening in your community
• gradually build up skills
• see the impact of your actions & that change is possible
• begin to be more hopeful about the future
• gain qualifications & work experience
• get a job, education or training – for some

• enjoy being outside experiencing nature & green spaces
• feel calmer & more peaceful
• get interested in growth & change
• meet others interested in nature & widen social contacts
• feel part of the world – a spiritual dimension for some
• do something to look after the environment