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With Nature in Mind
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What is ecotherapy, how does it relate to mental health, and how can it reduce emotional distress and promote general wellbeing? This book explains how a deeper connection to nature can improve quality of life, by combining the therapeutic power of mindfulness and being out in the natural world. Examining the latest psychological research evidence into how and why the natural world has such a positive effect on us, this book shows how best to utilise these therapeutic connections in practice. 100 nature-based activities are included, from experiencing the full force of the wind, to creating a sound map of natural noises. The aims of each activity are clearly outlined, with detailed guidelines for facilitating outdoor sessions with adults effectively and safely, and advice to help make the most of the outdoors in all weathers and seasons.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. Disclaimer. Foreword by Lindsay Royan, Head of Psychological Services, Barking and Dagenham. Preface. Part 1. ECOTHERAPY: what it is and how to do it. 1. Introduction. Entering the Forest. 2. Deeper into the Forest. 3. Doing Ecotherapy in our Work. Part 2. EVIDENCE: a review of the effectiveness of nature on our health and well-being. 4. The Evidence from Evolution and Ecological Systems. 5. The Evidence from Body and Mind Studies. Physical Health. Mindfulness. 6. The Evidence for Specific Environmental Factors. The Effects of Changes in Light. The Effects of Negative Ions. The Effects of Natural Sounds. 7. The Evidence for Social Differences. The Effects on Children. The Effects on People with Dementia. The Effects on Communities. The Effects on Mental Health and Well-being. Part 3. ACTIVITIES. 8. Introduction. Useful Resources. References. Further Reading. Index.

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Inspiring and enabling mental health practitioners to facilitate ecotherapy sessions as a way to improve client well-being

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About the Author

Andy McGeeney is a freelance ecotherapist and has worked with ecotherapy for over 25 years, including running projects and training workshops. He was appointed as Psychologist Specialising in Ecotherapy to the North East London Foundation Trust from 2009-2011. Andy is a visiting lecturer in ecotherapy to the University of East London and Birkbeck College London. He lives in Essex, UK.

Reviews

Beautifully written, full of enthusiasm and passion, packed with information, with an overview on how to run ecotherapy sessions and including detailed descriptions of lots of activities. If you are not already interested in the subject you soon will be. -- Jochen Encke has worked for many years with torture survivors on allotments This book really lives up to its name; a well thought out, practical guide with clear instructions and an easy to navigate format. I was drawn in by the welcoming style of the book, underpinned by relevant theory and that all important evidence base, which conveys the author's infectious enthusiasm and passion for the subject matter. -- Nicky Tann, Occupational Therapist, Barking & Dagenham Memory Service, NELFT With Nature in Mind: The Ecotherapy Manual for Mental Health Professionals highlights the huge benefits to mental wellbeing from engaging with green environments and taking part in ecotherapy activities. Havering Mind have seen over many years the positive effects of nature on mental health distress via our green walks, horticulture project and restorative garden. Spending time in the natural world is good for all of us. -- Vanessa Bennett, CEO, Havering Mind Research suggests that modern urban environments can have negative effects on mental health whilst contact with green spaces can have positive effects. This timely book, drawing on wealth of research evidence, is an excellent guide to the theory and practice of ecotherapy. It deserves to be read by researchers, practitioners, trainers and students. -- Dr David Harper, Reader in Clinical Psychology, Programme Director (Academic), Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, University of East London

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