Ecotherapy Bath is an organisation that brings together therapists and facilitators working in an outdoor setting. Through a combination of interpersonal and psychological skills; environmental/ecological awareness; practical safeguarding and basic bushcraft skills, Ecotherapy Exeter delivers programmes that provide outdoor therapeutic experiences to people looking for psychological support. It is the integration of these capabilities that makes ecotherapy unique.
Our approach combines the innate healing power of nature with group sharing, personal reflection and creative processes, and is based on many years of research, experience and professional practice.
The outdoors offers a gentle, supportive and stimulating therapeutic environment. Our programmes are accessible to a diverse range of people and provides therapy that feels more informal, relaxed and engaging than working in a conventional therapy setting.
Hippocrates, ‘the father of Western medicine’, claimed, “Walking is a man’s best medicine”.
Walks for Wellbeing was a programme of weekly walks around Exeter in Devon. Taking place between 2016-2018, the walks were provided by Ecotherapy Exeter to improve mental and physical health and wellbeingr. People joined the programme by referral from their Exeter General Practitioner.
Moderate exercise like walking helps protect the body from many illnesses and conditions, including heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, obesity, the most common type of diabetes and many cancers. It’s also a great way to relieve stress and stay happy: exercising outdoors, especially in green spaces, can help fight depression and improve mental health.
What does the Walks for Wellness programme involve?
We spent spent talking one-to-one and in small groups. We also used the spaces and things we discover along the way as a stimulus for creative self-expression. We learn about nature and use simple exercises to help us experience it more deeply. Working in pairs or threes, we shared experiences, thoughts and feelings, and spent time alone when we chose to.
The walks were always very relaxed, gentle and informal process. Your safety and wellbeing is central and you decide just what you do, when, and with whom.