Ecotherapy & Ecopsychology


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I am a feather on the bright sky.
I am the blue horse that runs on the plain.
I am the fish that rolls, shining, in the water,
I am the shadow that follows a child…
I am the hunger of a young wolf.
I am the whole dream of things.
You see, I am alive, I am alive.
 
-N. Scott Momaday

 

Ecopsychology calls us into meaningful relationship with more-than-human nature as a pathway of growth in service to all of life. In ecotherapy, nature is met as mirror, model, and mentor to the human psyche. Experiences in and with nature have the power to illuminate within ourselves what is wild, what is whole, and what is needed. 

Ashley supports ecotherapy clients to enter into contact and creative dialogue with the wisdom of "the wild" as it is expressed in the land, cycles of seasons, elemental forces, and the diverse members of our ecological communities. At Embodied Arts Therapy, ecotherapeutic techniques may include the following:

  • Nature as guide: applying symbols and metaphors found in nature to personal life themes
  • Sensory awareness, natural observation, and other nature-based mindfulness practices
  • Movement and other expressive arts in, with, and as nature
  • Self-generated nature-based ceremony and ritual
  • Mini-retreats and “Medicine Walks” in wild places
  • Place-bonding: developing a sense of home-in-place
  • Working with environmental fear, grief, and rage
  • Bearing witness to wounded places
  • Allying with nature spirits and elemental energies for insight, inspiration, and transformation
  • Transpersonal service: environmental restoration, regeneration, and action as medicine 

Anyone can benefit from an ecopsychological approach, regardless of lifestyle, political or spiritual orientation, location, or access to environments considered “wild.” Nature is everything – and it is alive in the imagination and in the body, at all times.

Ashley Crofoot is a long-time practitioner of nature-based growth and healing processes. In addition, she holds a Master’s degree in Ecopsychology from Naropa University. For further information on ecopsychology, please visit our Resources page.

 

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