Nature and Ecotherapy

Nature therapy, often referred to as ecotherapy, is an approach to mental and emotional healing that involves spending time in natural settings to improve one's overall well-being. It recognizes the interconnectedness of human health and the health of the environment.

Nature and Ecotherapy


The history of nature therapy and ecotherapy has ancient roots in various cultures, where the therapeutic properties of nature were acknowledged for centuries. Transcendentalism, Romanticism, and the establishment of urban parks in the 19th century contributed to a growing appreciation of the healing power of the natural world. The concept of ecotherapy as a formal practice emerged in the 1990s, with psychologists like Howard Clinebell emphasizing the importance of reconnecting with nature for psychological well-being.

Recent scientific research has provided substantial evidence supporting the psychological and physiological benefits of spending time in natural environments. Concurrently, the rise of environmental awareness has expanded ecotherapy to encompass a sense of environmental responsibility and connection, underscoring the reciprocal relationship between human well-being and the health of the environment. This history reflects an ongoing evolution of nature therapy, as it adapts to the needs of individuals seeking solace and balance in an urbanized and technologically connected world while addressing environmental concerns.

Focus theme / core-concept

Nature therapy and ecotherapy revolve around the central theme of promoting individual healing and well-being through a deep connection with the natural world. Key elements include nurturing this bond with nature, using natural settings to reduce stress and improve mental health, and practicing mindfulness in nature.


Nature therapy and ecotherapy offer a range of benefits:

It reduces stress and anxiety
Improves mental health and emotional well-being
Enhances the mindfulness and presence
Better physical health and increased fitness
Greater environmental awareness and responsibility
Promotion of sustainable living and ecological responsibility.


The key goals of nature therapy and ecotherapy in bullet points:

  • Spending time in nature can help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.
  • Regular exposure to natural environments has been linked to reduced symptoms of mental health disorders.
  • Involves mindfulness practices in natural settings, helping individuals become more present and attentive to the sights, sounds, and sensations of the environment.
  • Nature therapy takes a holistic approach to well-being, recognizing the interconnectedness of physical, emotional, and environmental health.
  • Group nature therapy activities promote social interaction, teamwork, and a sense of community among participants.


Forest Bathing (Shinrin-Yoku): This Japanese practice involves immersing oneself in a forest environment.

Nature Walks: Simply spending time in nature, whether in a park, forest or by the water, can be therapeutic.

Horticultural Technique: This technique involves working with plants and gardening to promote well-being.

Animal-Assisted Technique: Interacting with animals in a natural setting, can provide emotional support and promote healing.

Wilderness Technique: Participants engage in activities like backpacking, camping, and survival skills while also receiving therapeutic support.