What makes our approach unique?
Human-Nature Counselling was formed out of our shared passion and interest in taking the therapeutic process beyond the office walls, to include interactions with the natural living systems around us and the richness of lived experience. Utilizing an ecological systems lens, we view the individual as an embedded part of their family, community, and cultural systems. Thus, we aim to strengthen these relationships as a part of the healing process.
We specialize in supporting children, youth, and families through our experiential and engaging Nature-Based Therapy approach. We highly prioritize the family system, often including the parents in counselling sessions, especially for children ages 7–12. We believe that change is contagious, and centering the client/family as the experts in their own lives is paramount to our services. You can expect to run, play, hide, get dirty, feel challenged, and discover new ways of connecting with your child, your self, and the ecosystem.
What does Nature-Based Therapy look like in action?
While creative and experiential processes of change outdoors are our specialty, we recognize that there are times when the safety and comfort of an online session are important and effective ways to support clients in exploring their challenges and strengths. Thus, we follow our clients’ needs and goals, and take the work outside when suitable, safe and desired by the client.
If you are interested in Nature-Based Therapy, possibilities include:
- Online sessions that may include reflection on one’s relationship with the natural world or tasks to do on your own outside.
- A session held walking, exploring and sitting in a nearby park, beach, forest or gardens – we will work together to identify a location in your community that feels safe and inspiring to you.
- For kids and families, we involve engaging activities which focus on building awareness of both the external and internal landscape. Through play and experiential learning, we open new possibilities for bonding, self-awareness, emotional expression, communication and behaviors. Activities may include:
- Nature games and Initiatives
- Exploration: Log walking, tree climbing, beach combing, rock scrambling…
- Guided sensory awareness
- Whittling, fire building, nature crafts, tracking, and getting to know the plants and creatures of the area.
- Art and creative expression
What do the terms mean?
Nature-based Therapy is a form of experiential therapy that incorporates one’s relationship with the natural world into counselling interventions to enhance a client’s growth and development, and strives towards the reciprocal healing of both humans and their larger ecological home. While the scope of nature-based practices is widely varied, common elements include: mindfulness and sensory awareness practices, a focus on bonding and belonging, an experiential and process oriented approach, a focus on the body, restoration and regulation, and the incorporation of challenge or risky play if and when appropriate.
Adventure Therapy (also termed ‘wilderness therapy’) refers to the intentional facilitation of adventure or nature-based activities involving challenge aimed at creating opportunities for personal and interpersonal change towards therapeutic goals. Adventure Therapy incorporates principles of outdoor experience-based learning, metaphor, perceived risk, challenging and expanding one’s comfort zone, and group processing. Activities range from simple team initiatives and games, to climbing walls and ropes courses, to more adventurous pursuits such as hiking, kayaking, and canoeing.
Additional Evidence based and Research informed Approaches
Our clinicians’ main goal is to support you to reach your mental health and wellness goals. Our team have a variety of training in the following interventions and will bring some of these modalities into the therapeutic process depending on your needs:
Somatic Transformation (Body-centered relational trauma approach)
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
Emotionally Focused Couple and Family Therapy
The Gottman Method of Couples Therapy