"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin" - William Shakespeare
Most of us feel some sense of separation from other living beings and forms in our natural world. Perhaps you experiencing anxiety or despair about the climate crisis and the extreme weather events we continue to suffer? Ecotherapy assists you reconnect in emergent, experiential and embodied ways. You'll be more able to face into the suffering of our world, with a sense of meaning and purpose.
As human beings the biological and physical laws of nature operate within us. We can see these laws in patterns of growth, healing and development, as well as disease and death. They are coded in our genetic and cultural DNA, inherent in the way our minds work, so we must be understood as embedded in and interconnected with our natural environments.
I am thrilled my colleague, Emma Green, is joining me to offer an Ecotherapy Group for 8-10 people.
For us, as therapists, the recognition of humans as Ecological beings is deeply expansive and insightful. In our work we encounter a myriad of ways people can feel ill-at-ease, disconnected, dissatisfied, depressed, anxious, or overwhelmed. Most of these experiences also involve varying levels of physiological stress on a daily basis.
Ecotherapy offers ways of profoundly slowing down, mentally and physiologically, which has a significant effect on health and wellbeing. You'll grow your capacity for deep attention, inwardly and outwardly. Being in the wild is certainly about having fun, and experiencing joy, awe and wonder. While you're likely to experience peace and tranquility, it's also a time to make space for anger, fear, or grief. These are all essential for healing. Ecotherapy is a way of coming home, in the broadest sense, to ourselves as a part of nature. It is a way to attend to the soul.
Here in the Waiheke Island community, we are blessed with many environmental groups making fantastic efforts and effects in the motu. As a way of expressing our gratitude and being committed to reciprocity with the living world of this Island, we will make a koha, after each Waiheke group session, to such organisations in support of their work. For example, the Waiheke Marine Project, Te Korowai o Waiheke, Native Bird Rescue Waiheke, Love our Wetlands Waiheke, Forest and Bird Waiheke, Waiheke Resources Trust, and more.
We are offering eight day-long workshops in various locations on Waiheke Island. You are most welcome to register for one, or as many of these sessions as you wish. There will be some continuity between the workshops, and, each one will also stand alone as an enriching experience. Each day session will be followed up with a Zoom session a few weeks later. For more information see the Ecotherapy and Registration pages. Any questions, please call, text or email using the details on the Contact page.
Waiheke dates: Saturdays 9am-6pm
Zoom dates: Monday evenings 7pm-8.30pm
**I currently have no availability for new Psychotherapy clients, however, Ecotherapy draws on psychotherapeutic practices and adds an important dimension with significant effect for many mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, isolation etc. I encourage you to register for the Ecotherapy Group programme.**
As a child, I daydreamed cradled in the arms of a magnolia tree. Resinous fragrance enveloped my conversations with woodshed slaters. I got ‘lost and found’ in the wilds of bush, ocean and mountains. Fishing for rainbow trout in burbling streams, prying stubborn mussels off craggy rocks, boiling a campfire billy, falling asleep to a ruru’s lullaby. I swam with pond frogs in an Iranian desert oasis! These elemental experiences were so sensuous and made porous my sense of the boundary between my self and the wild.
Adulting life of academic study, clinical, corporate and community work, and urban child-raising got in the way of my deepfelt connection to the wild, and blinded me to the loss of this extended family. That was, until a deep South tree told me I ‘belong’. And, the sparkling waters of Waiheke Island stole my heart and reawakened my soul.
It is a never-ending, life-long journey of opening up to and learning from the rest of the living world. I am slowly becoming more able to look beyond my small daily human concerns, and seek ways to be in emergent and expansive relationships of reciprocity and reverence.
This transformational reclaiming assists me to add Animism and Deep Ecology to my therapeutic offerings alongside Psychotherapy, Group therapy, Myth and Metaphor. Ecotherapy is founded on understanding humans as having an Ecological self, which I believe offers clients a beautiful gift of knowing themselves and their relationships so much more deeply.
Psychotherapy and counselling have been my passion for more than 25 years, working in several community agencies with a wide variety of individuals and couples. I've also enjoyed some years in clinical roles in the corporate world. My private practice has flourished since 2012 and I'm thrilled to be offering Ecotherapy on Waiheke Island, for groups and individuals.
I am a Certified Transactional Analyst (Psychotherapy) and a Full Member of New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists/Te Rōpū Whakaora Hinengaro (NZAP). I served on the Board of the Aotearoa New Zealand Transactional Analysis Association (ANZTAA) between 2013-2022, holding several Executive roles, including President. I also have a BA (Psychology), Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling, and, Level 1 Certificate in Narrative Therapy.
Some of my most significant childhood memories involve the beach right by my aunt’s house on the west coast of Scotland. What felt like entire summers were spent immersed in that shoreline, absorbed in discovery and wonderment at the sights, smells and sounds, and the feeling of being so connected to such a magical place. Shells, rocks, seaweed forms, sea pottery and glass smoothed by tide, rock pools filled with hermit crabs and starfish, the insistent cries of gulls, and of course, the beach and ocean itself, all captivated me completely.
That shoreline felt like a wild place, a sacred place, a place unfettered by clock-time and human rules; a place ruled by the breathing rhythms of the relentless tide. These experiences, amongst others, have shaped me at my core, representing a time of wonder and the kind of contentment that comes from such profound absorption in nature. In a way the experience is of ‘losing one’s mind (as we might conceptualise it in Western culture) to find one’s self’ – wholly a part of, and deeply interconnected with, the natural world around us.
In my work as a psychotherapist I encounter the myriad ways in which people can feel ill-at-ease, disconnected, dissatisfied, depressed, anxious, stressed or overwhelmed. Although the sense of disconnection from the natural world is not always obviously at the centre of any of these feelings, more often than not a reconnection with the natural world somehow becomes part of the journey back to wholeness. For me, ecotherapy becomes a way to re-mind ourselves of our embeddedness in and interconnectedness with the living world. It is a way to attend to the soul.