1st Edition

Nature and Therapy Understanding counselling and psychotherapy in outdoor spaces

By Martin Jordan Copyright 2015
    162 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    162 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Recent decades have seen an increasing interest in the healing and therapeutic potential of nature and interest in the potential of greencare interventions for the benefit of mental health. The field of nature based therapies is expanding in line with this interest. Nature and Therapy offers a unique contribution by outlining the specific processes involved in conducting counselling and psychotherapy sessions in outdoor natural environments.

    Central areas covered in the book include:

    A thorough exploration of the evidence for the psychological and healing potential of natural spaces;

    Developing a therapeutic rationale for nature based therapeutic work;

    Understanding the therapeutic relationship and the unique therapeutic processes that come into play in outdoor natural spaces;

    Translating indoor therapeutic work to outdoor contexts;

    The practicalities of setting up and running a therapy session outside of a room environment;

    Experiential exercises to explore the therapeutic potential of nature.

    Martin Jordan offers a clear outline of how to set up and hold a therapeutic session outdoors. Using case examples Nature and Therapy explores both the practicalities and the therapeutic processes that come into play in an outdoor natural setting. The book will be of use to counsellors, psychotherapists, arts therapists, psychologists and health professionals who are interested in taking their therapeutic work into natural environments and outdoor spaces.

    Foreword. Preface. Acknowledgements. Introduction. The Healing Effects of Nature – Why Go Outdoors? The Field of Nature Based Therapies. The Therapeutic Relationship and Nature Based Therapy. Understanding the Range of Therapeutic Processes in Nature. Practice Issues in Moving Counselling and Psychotherapy Outdoors. Therapists’ Stories – Taking Therapy Outside. Developing Your Own Therapeutic Relationship With Nature


    Martin Jordan is a chartered counselling psychologist, UKCP registered psychotherapist and counsellor. He is also a senior lecturer in counselling and psychotherapy and course leader for the postgraduate diploma in psychodynamic counselling at the University of Brighton, UK.

    "At last, a book that brings together the disparate strands of knowledge and practice related to ecopsychology, ecotherapy and wider perspectives on nature and therapy. Martin Jordan helps the reader understand sometimes complex fields in a clear and accessible way; most importantly this book offers help in moving beyond theory into ‘how’ we might more fully engage with nature in therapeutic practice." – Professor Martin Milton, Regents University London

    "This is a very readable, concise and comprehensive guide to therapy in outdoor, natural spaces. It is well researched and well referenced. (…)This is, in my view, an invaluable guide to this field for psychotherapists who like the idea of taking psychotherapy outdoors, developing their ecological self or working with nature as a co-therapist." – Charles Gordon-Graham, Therapy Today, February 2015

    "In Nature and Therapy: Understanding Counselling and Psychotherapy in Outdoor Spaces, Martin Jordan provides readers with a theoretically grounded and impressively practical primer on nature-based psychotherapeutic approaches that is engaging and useful for students, researchers, and mental health practitioners, regardless of experience level. In the process, he builds much-needed momentum, coherence, and legitimacy for this field. [...] A particular strength of the book is the way in which Jordan situates the nature-based therapeutic approach in the context of other psychological theory and methods that emphasize relationality, attachment, and interdependence.  [...] The emphasis on vitalism and geophilosophy early in the book is an invigorating and novel contribution to what I view as a truly perennial ecopsychological philosophy, resounding through the prose of other leading scholars [...] In summary, Nature and Therapy is inspiring and relevant reading for a wide variety of audiences." - Christopher Wolsko, PsycCRITIQUES