Forest Ecotherapy, a new 'branch' of Forest Therapy, is a guided modality of ecotherapy (similar to horticultural therapy, equine therapy or wilderness therapy) in which nature itself does the healing* for our mind, body, heart and spirit within a forest setting.
Forest Ecotherapy combines mindful, pleasurable, multi-sensory nature connection experiences, scientific nature interpretation, ecopsychology and intuitive-shamanic sensory awareness, to not only revitalize our physical health, but open our perceptions to the dynamic life force around us, deeply connecting us with trees and the natural world as an ongoing resource of energy and community. And, the higher the biodiversity of the forest (the more complex life force energy), the greater the benefits.
Forest Therapy—gentle guided walks through a forest—originated in Japan as Forest Bathing or 'shinrin-yoku', and the research of Forest Medicine and Forest Therapy has become a growing, varied and evolving international therapeutic modality that has scientifically proven physical and psychological medical health benefits including:
Forest Ecotherapy allows the participants to experience deeper physical contact with the more-than-human world, than 'traditional' forest therapy. It focuses not on medical results, but on psychological and energetic healing, creating deeper, embodied connections with forests and trees and our more-than-human community.
Julianne Skai Arbor M.A., M.S. (a.k.a TreeGirl) has guided and trained groups and individuals in forest ecotherapy in various ecosystems around the U.S. and internationally. Her unique modality of Forest Ecotherapy weaves together forest sensory skills, forest ecology, arboriculture, nature interpretation, wilderness guiding, inter-species communication, shamanic-intuitive healing techniques, over 23 years experience in environmental education, wilderness education and ecopsychology, with her own intimate nature connection with trees all over the world.
Sequoia Etcheverry, M.A. is a depth psychologist with a background in forest ecology. Through developing awareness to the patterns and rhythms of the natural world, Sequoia helps guide others to become more attuned to their own internal wisdom and to the healing potential that lives in the interface between the natural world and the human psyche. She specializes in dream work and creating rituals aligned with cross-cultural indigenous models of deep connection to self, community, place and ancestors.
*Note that Forest Ecotherapy is therapeutic in nature and does not take the place of clinical psychotherapy or medical treatment.
Upcoming Forest Ecotherapy Group Walks
Trainings & Events
TreeGirl facilitates Forest Ecotherapy Experiences and Trainings for groups at conferences, retreats, nature–based trainings, teacher trainings, and other events in the U.S. and internationally. Contact TreeGirl to schedule a training.
Past Trainings & Events include:
~ The Work That Reconnects Facilitator Training
~ European Ecopsychology Congress
~ National Wilderness Therapy Symposium
~ The Chaparral Institute