Get your diaries ready if you are a counsellor or psychotherapist and want to come and explore what “walk and talk” or moving outside the therapy room might mean to your counselling practice. My next workshop on “Developing Your Outdoor Practice” will be on Saturday 11th June, between 9am and 4:30pm at The Kingswood Trust, Near Albrighton, Wolverhampton WV7 3AP. The day is fully catered with options for various dietary requirements, and costs £120.
Feedback from previous sessions was that the day exceeded expectations across the board, and comments included:
Demystifying things like how to keep confidentiality outside made the whole process of taking a practice outdoors feel newly accessible. You know your stuff and it shows – I found your energy and enthusiasm for outdoor working really motivational. Actually being outside for much of the day was of course valuable – especially in such a fantastic venue! – as was getting together to speak in the group around the fire. It was such an interactive experience. I really enjoyed the whole day, which was full of thoughtful touches, from the quality of the information sheets we were given to the range of snacks and drinks
For more details check out the page on outdoor therapy training here or to book just get in touch.
Exciting news! I’ve created a journal to assist in your adventures developing your connectedness to nature. It’s called “Your Nature Connection Journal” and is now in print and available on amazon. It contains a short introduction, guidance and then 52 invitations to consider whilst exploring your nature connection. There is a double page template for each one to complete which gives you the opportunity to journal your experience, capturing what you noticed, not just what you saw but what you noticed internally. Printed on high quality paper to make sure it can withstand being in a rucksack, or being read under a tree, I hope that it encourages people to consider their connection with nature, and develop some ideas around how it can positively impact their well-being.
Do head to Amazon to grab a copy, but if you’d prefer to buy direct, or if you’ve any questions then you can of course message me.
Sometimes it might seem a bit much to engage with a counsellor – if you’re already stressed and burnt out then a regular commitment could feel too much. Or you might not have time right now but still want to try and get to the bottom of something that’s causing you problems. This is why I offer one off Outdoor Focus Sessions – these are a two hour opportunity to talk through what’s going on, and for us to explore a particular issue that’s on your mind.
If you’re interested we’ll set up a quick online meeting before – this gives an opportunity to get the paperwork done and for us to set a few agreements about how we’ll work together. I’ll ask you to think about what the most important thing you want to focus on is, and we’ll agree when/where we’ll meet for the session. This can be in a few places around Telford – Wellington and Ironbridge are often popular – or just outside Shrewsbury. If we’re working in Shrewsbury we have the option of a private outdoor space we can use with a covered area.
If you’d like to know more then drop me a message or give me a call, let’s see how some outdoor focus time counselling might help you.
Glasgow based counsellor and outdoor therapist Sean Tierney recently launched a new podcast called “The Go Outside podcast”. He’s looking at what nature means to us, the healing power of being outside and generally encouraging people to – well, go outside! We’ve connected on Instagram and I was delighted to be one of his first guests. Sean and I seem to have very similar ideas as to how we work and how we view our relationship with nature – we only had a short time talking but I think he’s one of those people I could talk to for hours!
If you’d like to hear it then go check it out on Spotify, I’m one of three guests this episode and cover some of my ethos about working outside, some of what I’ve learnt reflecting on my connection with nature, and about how it fits with counselling outside. Other topics covered are about how exploring nature shaped a family’s lockdown and Sean and his wife talking about their nature experiences.
Would love to hear your thoughts, come find me or Sean on social media!
Over on facebook and instagram I post semi regular prompts, inviting people to connect with nature. It’s pretty simple, there’s an intro post here on facebook if you’d like to know more but I invite you to look at the most recent prompt (which you can find under the hashtag #yournatureprompts or on my social media pages) and hold that in mind as you go out into nature. Doesn’t need to be a big trip to the woods or hike in the hills, this form of ecotherapy is about developing your connection to nature, and that could mean simply your front garden or a window box or a hedge round the corner. You’d be welcome to come join us, or drop me a message to find out more.
As part of my research about single session outdoor therapy work I’ve found out that Sigmund Freud, the pioneer behind psychoanalysis and psychotherapy met Gustav Mahler, the composer for a four hour long walk. Mahler was very unhappily married and reached out to Freud to discuss, a session which looked at Mahler’s relationship with his mother (of course it did, this is Freud after all…)
Whether you’ve had counselling or not, it can be a bit daunting meeting for our first session, so here’s a bit about what to expect.
To start with we’ll have an online session, usually on Zoom. This will be to meet and introduce ourselves and to look at the counselling agreement. Whilst no-one comes to therapy to talk about admin, there are a few important things that we’ll need to discuss! This includes talking about confidentiality and so you can be clear on what the limits of what I can keep confidential are. But don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of time in that first session for you to outline what’s brought you to counselling and for us to look at how we might work together.
If you’re happy to go ahead with future sessions we’ll get that booked in, and we’ll look at some things that are different counselling outdoors, and what that might mean. That includes confidentiality working outside which I’ll be covering in another blog post
Then in future sessions we’ll meet in or around Shrewsbury and Telford at one of the parks, woods, nature reserves and other outdoor spaces that I work from. During the sessions we’ll work at your pace alongside nature. For some clients they might want to find a spot to sit and talk, others prefer to walk and talk. We can stop and look at things that catch our eyes if you like, it’s amazing how often you will spot something in nature that makes a connection with something you’d like to explore in therapy with me.
Hopefully that gives you an idea of what to expect but if you’ve any questions do get in touch with me either through the contact page here on my website, or through my social media – www.facebook.com/yournatureuk