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Nature Informed Therapy

Where Nature Meets Nurture: A New Approach to Mental Health

What is Nature Informed Therapy?

Nature Informed Therapy (NIT) is a pioneering therapeutic approach that harnesses the restorative power of the natural world within the framework of proven, evidence-based treatment modalities. Rooted in the principles of Ecotherapy, Attachment Theory, reciprocity, and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), NIT is dedicated to mitigating the detrimental effects of nature disconnection on human mental health, fostering the re-establishment of harmonious relationships with the environment, oneself, and others.

At the core of Nature Informed Therapy is the strategic integration of nature's multifaceted healing properties into recognized evidence-based practices, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). This incorporation is meticulously backed by empirical research and data, underscoring our commitment to delivering interventions that are not only innovative but substantiated by scientific evidence.

NIT endeavors to reconnect individuals with the natural world through a diverse spectrum of nature engagements. These include but are not limited to, backpacking, hiking, 'walk and talk' therapy, nature-based mindfulness practices, horticultural activities, nature arts and crafts, and immersive nature retreats. Each of these interactions is carefully selected and tailored to address specific mental health concerns, such as anxiety management, PTSD, stress reduction, burnout, grief, ADHD, and overall individual well-being and life satisfaction, ensuring a holistic and impactful healing process.

By aligning cutting-edge research with practical application, Nature Informed Therapy stands at the forefront of mental health interventions, demonstrating a profound understanding of the symbiotic relationship between human well-being and the natural environment. It is through this evidence-based, data-driven practice that NIT offers a transformative pathway to healing, advocating for a life where balance, health, and ecological consciousness converge.

Compare Nature-Based Therapies

Nature Informed Therapy
Ecotherapy
Wilderness Therapy
Forest Therapy
Anxiety, PTSD, stress, Burn-out, grief, ADHD, individual wellbeing, and life satisfaction
Pain management, PTSD, Stress, ADHD, and general wellbeing
Adolescent behaviors issues, juvenile delinquency, stress, PTSD, and substance abuse
Individual wellbeing, physical health benefit, anxiety, and stress
Common Applications
Wilderness, parks, green spaces, or indoor settings with nature elements
Wildness or semi-natural areas of nature
Wilderness or remote environemtn
Forests
Practice Location
People of all ages and all physical capabilities
People of all ages, minimum physical capability required
Youth, young adults, physically capable
People of all ages and all physical capabilities
Targeted People
Board-certified mental health professionals
Board-certified mental health professionals
Board-certified mental health professionals
No mental health training required
Facilitator
Helps professionals integrate the healing elements of nature into established, evidence-based treatment modalities
Ecological Aspect of Self. Process is Enhanced through Sensory Contact and Mindfulness
Outdoor activities that often include adventure, survival skills, and group bonding
Immerse self in a forest in a mindful way
Focus
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Differences Between
Nature Informed Therapy and Adventure Therapy

I recently spoke at the American Experiential Education (AEE) conference, where I had an enlightening conversation with an adventure therapist. This discussion brought to light the distinct differences between Nature Informed Therapy and Adventure Therapy. While both approaches leverage the outdoors to facilitate personal growth and healing, their methodologies and underlying philosophies diverge significantly. In this blog post, I'll delve into these differences, focusing on how each modality views and utilizes the natural environment as a therapeutic tool.

More Nature Informed Therapy Articles

Nature Informed Therapy FAQs

What is Nature Informed Therapy (NIT)?

Nature Informed Therapy (NIT) is a pioneering therapeutic approach that leverages the restorative power of the natural world within proven, evidence-based treatment modalities. Rooted in Ecotherapy, Attachment Theory, reciprocity, and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), NIT aims to restore harmonious relationships with nature, oneself, and others, addressing various mental health concerns.

How does Nature Informed Therapy work?

NIT integrates nature's healing properties into established therapeutic practices such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). This integration is backed by empirical research, ensuring that the interventions are both innovative and scientifically substantiated.

What activities are included in Nature Informed Therapy?

NIT includes a diverse range of nature engagements such as backpacking, hiking, 'walk and talk' therapy, nature-based mindfulness practices, horticultural activities, nature arts and crafts, and immersive nature retreats. Each activity is tailored to address specific mental health issues like anxiety, PTSD, stress, burnout, grief, and ADHD.

What mental health concerns can Nature Informed Therapy address?

Nature Informed Therapy is designed to help with anxiety management, PTSD, stress reduction, burnout, grief, ADHD, and overall well-being. By fostering a deep, reciprocal relationship with nature, NIT provides a holistic approach to mental health and life satisfaction.

What principles is Nature Informed Therapy based on?

NIT is grounded in Ecotherapy, Attachment Theory, reciprocity, and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). These principles help create secure attachment bonds between individuals and nature, facilitating emotional regulation, resilience, and overall mental health.

Is Nature Informed Therapy evidence-based?

Yes, NIT is meticulously backed by empirical research and data. It combines nature's healing properties with established evidence-based practices like CBT and DBT, ensuring that the interventions are scientifically validated and effective.

How can Nature Informed Therapy benefit me?

By reconnecting you with the natural world, NIT can reduce stress, improve mood, enhance cognitive function, and foster a sense of well-being. The holistic approach addresses various mental health concerns and promotes ecological consciousness, leading to a balanced and healthy life.

Who can benefit from Nature Informed Therapy?

Anyone experiencing mental health issues such as anxiety, PTSD, stress, burnout, grief, and ADHD can benefit from NIT. It is also suitable for those seeking a deeper connection with nature and a holistic approach to mental well-being.

What's the process look like?

Your therapist will guide you through both a talk-based process as well as experiential practices to improve your mental health. Your sessions will look different depending upon your needs and goals. This can look like a "walk-and-talk" appointment where you and your therapist will have a traditional session while walking at a gentle pace in a natural setting.  Other sessions might involve guided meditation, nature art, or seeing natural elements and beings as symbols for our own challenges and changes.  Aspects of Nature Informed Therapy can be integrated into a traditional office visit as well. 

How can I get started with Nature Informed Therapy?

To get started with Nature Informed Therapy, contact a certified NIT practitioner or visit our website to learn more about our programs and offerings. We provide a range of nature-based therapeutic activities tailored to your specific mental health needs.

Why choose Nature Informed Therapy?

Choose NIT for its innovative, evidence-based approach that integrates the healing power of nature with proven therapeutic practices. By fostering secure attachments with the natural world, NIT offers a transformative pathway to healing, promoting balance, health, and ecological consciousness.

More questions?

Find Your Nature Informed Therapist

If you're seeking a therapist who integrates the healing power of nature into their practice, our Online Nature Informed Therapist and Practitioner Directory is an invaluable resource. It's designed to connect you with professionals trained in Nature Informed Therapy, ensuring you find the right support tailored to your unique needs. Discover a therapist who not only understands your challenges but also shares your appreciation for nature's transformative power. Visit our directory to start your journey towards healing and growth with nature. 

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