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Transform Your Anxiety Through The Healing Power of Ecotherapy

Individuals looking to transform their anxiety in an Ecotherapy group.

Do you ever feel restless, on edge, or like you can’t relax? Or maybe you desire close relationships but find yourself feeling keyed up and anxious every time you’re in a social situation. Do you ever worry about the fate of our world and the impact we are having on the environment?

These feelings of anxiety might be disrupting your sleep or eating patterns, ability to maintain relationships, and possibly causing severe mental and or physical distress. Have you tried managing your symptoms through therapy and or medication but still find yourself struggling with anxiety on a daily basis? Or maybe you find yourself coping in ways that have harmful side effects such as using drugs and alcohol, or withdrawing and isolating from your support network.

If you’re looking for a sustainable way to manage your symptoms of anxiety, keep reading to learn about the benefits of joining an Ecotherapy Anxiety Group!

The Modern World is Disconnected from Nature

With the fast-paced and technology-centric structure of our modern world, you may find yourself feeling disconnected from nature. You might spend much of the day indoors, at a desk, sitting in a chair, in front of a screen, or several screens, which often leaves little time or space to connect with the natural world.

What is the consequence of your disconnection from nature? Throughout the evolution of our species, we have historically been very connected to the land, animals, plants, and the rhythms and cycles of the natural world. As a result of industrialization and modernization, people just like you have lost a central piece of who you are, a deeply rooted need to feel connected to yourself, other beings, and the Earth.

This loss has resulted in a deterioration of your mental health and well-being. You feel lost, disconnected, and alone. Your body and mind feel this disconnection in the form of anxiety, a constant state of unease, worry, and fear. So what happens when you intentionally choose to nurture your relationship with the more than human world? Let’s find out!

“We depend on nature not only for our physical survival, we also need nature to show us the way home, the way out of the prison of our own minds.” -Eckhart Tolle

An Ecotherapy Anxiety Group Explained

The Ecotherapy Group for Anxiety is a three-session, in-person group that will provide you with experiences, tools, and resources to reduce symptoms of anxiety by increasing your connection to the natural world.

The benefits of using nature-based techniques to reduce anxiety are that it is sustainable, low cost, and accessible to most people to some degree. Even if you live in a more urban environment, nature is all around, including within you!

You may believe you can only access nature by getting out into the wilderness. However, ecotherapy recognizes that humans are a part of nature, not apart from nature. Developing a stronger connection to yourself and the natural world can help you feel more grounded and experience a sense of deep belonging.

Incorporating these practices into your daily life can reduce your feelings of anxiety, which will allow you to live a more rich, freer, and meaningful life!

Who Benefits from a Nature-based Anxiety Group 

You might be wondering who exactly might benefit from this group. While we believe pretty much everyone would benefit from increasing their connection to the natural world, we have geared this group towards individuals just like you who are experiencing symptoms of anxiety that are getting in the way of the life you want to live.

If you find yourself feeling anxious more days than not and have tried several other treatments without success, ecotherapy might be a great option! If you notice that you often feel worried about the future and fate of our planet, connecting to the natural world can actually help to ease your eco-anxiety or anxiety about the environment.

If you desperately wish you had more fulfilling relationships in your life but feel unable to meet new people due to social anxiety, this group can help you feel more grounded in your mind and body, increasing your capacity to connect with others. This group welcomes individuals of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, and religious backgrounds. Participants must be 18 years of age or older to participate and live in the Denver area of Colorado.

Ecotherapy Anxiety Group Goals 

Individuals looking to transform their anxiety in an ecotherapy group in Colorado

The Ecotherapy Anxiety Group is designed to facilitate a reduction in your symptoms of anxiety. This might include improvements in sleep, such as having an easier time falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up in the morning. You will find it easier to relax and unwind, experiencing a reprieve from chronic stressors such as work, finances, family responsibilities, and environmental stress.

Additionally, you will experience improvements in interpersonal relationships and increased social engagement. In general, you can expect to feel an increased connection to yourself, other beings, and the more than human world, including plants, animals, and different aspects of nature.

You will achieve these goals by learning about and engaging in a variety of practices to reconnect with yourself and the natural world. The practices will be easy to incorporate into your daily life so you can continue to reap the benefits long after the final group! Whenever you feel anxious, you will have a new set of tools to help you feel grounded and to ease your anxiety, no matter what the root cause.

How Ecotherapy Works

So, how exactly does ecotherapy, or practices that deepen our connection to the natural world, work to reduce anxiety? Ecotherapy, or nature-based therapy, is a growing field in the mental health space. Studies over the past few decades have increased our understanding of how and why this type of therapy works.

However, it is also important to note that the idea that your well-being is intertwined with your connection to the natural world has been around for centuries. Many indigenous cultures around the world engage in practices that have been passed down through generations in order to nurture and maintain this sacred connection to the more than human world.

You probably know on some level that your relationship with the natural world has an impact on your mental and physical health. Even if you can’t quite put it into words or point to exactly why this is, a part of you understands that it just makes sense.

In addition to this inner knowing, people you may want proof that something works before you invest time and money into it. Let’s face it, in Western culture if there isn’t scientific evidence or proof of something’s value, most people will brush it off in favor of something with a more rigorous scientific foundation. The good news is, that ecotherapy does have a scientific basis that shows you how and why your relationship to the natural world affects your mental health. 

  • Increased mood

  • Reduced stress

  • Lower depression and anxiety

  • Improvements in PTSD symptoms

  • Improved management of ADHD

  • Pain relief, and

  • Overall enhancement in well-being and quality of life 

More specifically, research has shown that connection to nature, measured by the Nature Relatedness Scale (NRS), is significantly related to lower levels of anxiety. These studies reveal the powerful effect that your relationship with the natural world has on your health and well-being.

Science is beginning to prove what ancestral wisdom has known for centuries, that your health as an individual, along with the health of your family, community, and a global society is rooted in your relationship to the natural world.

Ecotherapy Anxiety Group Structure

The Ecotherapy Anxiety Group has been intentionally designed to create a container for members to experience the most benefits. The group will be small in size, with no more than 10 participants and 2 co-facilitators. With this size, members will be able to engage in intimate discussions and foster deep connections with their peers.

The group will take place in an outdoor location in or around the Denver metro area. The group will be divided into three sessions, meeting every other Saturday. If weather does not permit an outdoor meeting, the group may be rescheduled or moved to an indoor location depending on group members’ preference. While the group is intended to be held in an outdoor location, it is still possible to connect to the more than human world even in an indoor environment.

Sample Group Agenda

  • Themes Discussed

  • Do you ever feel disconnected from your mind or body due to anxiety? 

  • You might experience racing thoughts that dwell on the past or fixate on the future. 

  • You might have a hard time sensing your body’s cues of hunger, thirst, or tiredness. 

  • Or you experience anxiety in the form of sweaty palms, racing heart, stomach discomfort, or insomnia and have a hard time managing these symptoms.

  • This group will focus on how to feel more grounded and connected both physically and mentally, which will leave you feeling less anxious.

  • Activities

  • Practice grounding your mind and body in the present moment by exploring the natural world through your five senses.

  • Engage in a mindful nature walk and discuss the experience as a group.

  • Reflection

  • As a group, discuss how practices like sensory grounding and mindful nature walks can make you feel more at ease and decrease symptoms of anxiety.

How to Join the Ecotherapy Anxiety Group

If you are interested in joining the Ecotherapy Anxiety Group with Catalyss Counseling, and want to learn more, schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation today!

Meet our group facilitators for our Ecotherapy Anxiety Group!

A therapist at Catalyss Counseling

Juliette Brown helps adults with depression, anxiety, and grief find new ways of thinking, feeling, and acting so you can experience greater joy and authenticity

in your everyday life. If you are ready to work hard

and invest in yourself, Juliette is here to support you!

A therapist at Catalyss Counseling

Justin Norton helps men, fathers, and professionals who are stressed or overwhelmed to find meaning and balance in your work, life,

and relationships again. Justin can help

you navigate your way through tough

feelings that impact the way you view the world

and what is important to you.

Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:

Author Biography

A therapist at Catalyss Counseling

Juliette Brown is a student intern and a provider for the affordable counseling program at Catalyss Counseling. She works with adults with depression, anxiety, and grief to find new ways of thinking, feeling, and acting so they can experience greater joy and authenticity in their everyday lives. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

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