Using resources of nature in the counselling room: Qualitative research into ecotherapy practice

Leo Ilias Kamitsis, Janette Simmonds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Ecotherapy uses the resources of the natural environment to assist clients with a variety of symptoms, and has been found to be effective with anxiety, depression, stress and attention difficulties. While ecotherapy is often practiced outside of the consulting room, it can also be incorporated into more traditional indoor counselling settings. This qualitative research explored the practices of counsellors who implement ecotherapy as a treatment modality in their consulting rooms. Thirty participants (22 females and 8 males) from six countries completed an open-ended questionnaire. Of those 30 participants eleven (8 females and 3 males) were also interviewed. Data were analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Common practices reported by participants included: assigning nature-based homework exercises, facilitating an experiential connection to nature, nature guided mindfulness/meditation, and the sophisticated use of nature metaphors. This research provides insight into how nature-based techniques can be incorporated into conventional indoor counselling settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-248
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal for the Advancement of Counselling
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Applied ecopsychology
  • Ecotherapy
  • Nature
  • Nature-based therapy
  • Psychotherapy

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