This is a way of describing ways of doing therapy that includes the environment. Wild Therapy, Soulcraft, Eco-Psychology , Forest Bathing (Shirin Yoku), and the responses to the climate emergency are among the orientations that influence my work. The work can be as simple as walking and talking outdoors. Sitting still and talking for an hour doesn’t suit everyone. It can be helpful just to be able to move! So we might walk from my office along the river, a local park or around town.
Other times we might agree to meet at a specific place - a wood, a fell, the coast. When we’re there I’ll encourage you to focus on where we are in a particular way. What you notice will invariably have a meaning that may open up new insights to familiar patterns. My work in this area is informed by my training in Wild Therapy.
A simple example happened to me wandering through the woods recently. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed something drop from a height to the river. It was a small leaf. I watched it hit the surface immediately swept into the water’s flow. Turning, dipping, surfing. Then it wrapped round a rock. Stuck. Properly stuck. The water flowing round it, under it. The leaf impacted by the river and impacting the flow at the same time. After a while, it began to move. Tiny shuffling shivers. The river flow changing again and suddenly the leaf unsticks. Floating more swiftly into a deeper part of the river then stuck again against a dam of gathering sticks and debris.
I stood there watching for 10 minutes as the leaf was carried along, got stuck, seemingly finally stranded but eventually away again. My life being enacted. Stuckness that seems to be unsticklable. Interminably slowly but eventually always - momentum, flow returns.......
Most therapies explore issues in our relationships with ourselves, our families and the rest of human society. At it’s most fundamental Wild Therapy looks into the more neglected relationship between our selves and the natural environment. The way I work in this area is influenced by the impact of the climate emergency and the work of Bill Plotkin (Soulcraft), Joanna Macy (The Work That Reconnects). David Abram (The Spell of the Sensuous) and others.
If any of these idea ignite any sort of curiosity in you don’t hesitate to get in touch for an exploratory, no-obligation, initial meeting.
Steve Lewis - Psychotherapist and Couples Counsellor Lancaster