PEACEFUL • PLAYFUL • REJUVENATING
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 or other nature setting.
Forest Ecotherapy is based on the discipline of Ecopsychology: the study of our modern human disconnection with the natural world– and its cascading affects on humans and the planet– and the need to re-bond with nature (and to remember that we are nature) for personal healing and planetary regeneration.
Forest Ecotherapy combines mindful, pleasurable, sometimes playful, multi-sensory nature connection experiences, with scientific nature awareness and intuitive-shamanic sensory awareness, to not only revitalize our physical health, but also 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' 36 years ago, and since then, 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. It also engages not only the five senses of sight, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting, but also the intuitive/energetic senses. The entire experience is held within a sacred container with ritual elements.
*Note that Forest Ecotherapy is therapeutic in nature and does not take the place of clinical psychotherapy or medical treatment.
Julianne Skai Arbor M.A., M.S. (a.k.a TreeGirl) has guided and trained groups and individuals in forest ecotherapy in various ecosystems 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, ecopsychology and over 23 years experience in environmental education along with her own direct sensory contact and intimate connection with over 100 species of trees all over the world.
Sequoia Etcheverry, M.A. is a depth psychologist pursuing her PhD with a background in forest ecology and nature connection. 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.
Upcoming Forest Ecotherapy