Outdoor play has been demonstrated to be effective in treating a wide variety of disorders and behavioral issues. One of the most effective applications of outdoor play lies in the treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Later this year, the Mindful Ecotherapy Center will be releasing our eight-week Ecoplay program. Ecoplay teaches parents how to use the healing powers of mindfulness and ecotherapy to benefit their children and themselves. One of the ways that Ecoplay might benefit your family is through the use of Ecoplay for ADHD.
Parents of children under the age of six are justifiably concerned about administering ADHD medications to children that young. Per new clinical guidelines for the treatment of ADHD, updated in 2019 by the American Pediatrics Association, Parent Training & Behavior Management (PTBM) is recommended rather than medication for children under six.
PTBM is also recommended in conjunction with medication for children over the age of six who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Ecoplay for ADHD is a type of Parent Training and Behavior Management (PTBM) in that the tools of Ecoplay teach parents how to model behavior for their children while setting effective limits with the child in an outdoor, natural environment. This means that the upcoming Ecoplay program can help you and your child manage the symptoms of ADHD while playing outdoors.
Benefits of Ecoplay for ADHD
Kuo and Taylor (2004) demonstrated that, “…green outdoor activities reduced symptoms significantly more than did activities conducted in other settings, even when activities were matched across settings. Findings were consistent across age, gender, and income groups; community types; geographic regions; and diagnoses. Green outdoor settings appear to reduce ADHD symptoms in children across a wide range of individual, residential, and case characteristics.”
According to their study, the “greener” the activity, the better the results. In other words, walking on a hiking trail yielded better results than walking on a playground, and walking on a playground yielded better results than walking through a suburb. And playing outside was definitely a better option than playing inside.
One possible contributor to the benefits of spending time outdoors might be the increased opportunity for physical exercise. In general, the more aerobic the exercise, the greater the benefits to children with ADHD.
According Harwood et al (2019), “…although all behavioral interventions designed to aid ADHD seem to have a positive eﬀect on cognitive symptomology, physical exercise, especially aerobic exercise that included targeting executive functions, appears to be the most effective.”
The eight-week Ecoplay program to be released by the Mindful Ecotherapy Center later this year joins the benefits of mindful parenting with ecotherapy to help you and your children reap the benefits of the healing power of nature. Ecoplay for ADHD could be one of those benefits.
Subscribe to our newsletter to be informed when the Ecoplay program is released.
Kuo, Frances E., and Taylor, Andrea Faber (2004). A Potential Natural Treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Evidence From a National Study (Am J Public Health. 2004;94:1580–1586)
Lambez B, Harwood-Gross A, Golumbic EZ, Rassovsky Y. Non-pharmacological interventions for cognitive difficulties in ADHD: a systematic review and meta-analysis [published online October 9, 2019]. J Psychiatr Res. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2019.10.007
Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) is a blending of Mindfulness and Ecotherapy. MBE uses nature to facilitate mindful awareness. MBE is used as a framework for helping individuals and families to find deeper connections in their own lives, and to give more meaning and enjoyment to the activities of daily living.
The Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Program consists of 12 skill sets facilitated by the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Workbook. Price of retreat includes a copy of this workbook in pdf format. Paperback copies of the workbook will be available for purchase at the event.
The Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy program is a 12-week program, with one session per week. At each session, one of the 12 skills of Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy is discussed and practiced.
This course, consisting of 35 hours of online education and 25 hours of live, face-to-face education in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, certifies you to be a facilitator of the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Program.
When is this live training?
May 4-8, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the offices of the Mindful Ecotherapy Center at:
Offices on Eleven 3598 Highway 11 Suite 226 Travelers Rest SC 29690
We will meet at the picnic area to the right side of the building. If you are facing the building (pictured below), the picnic area is on the right end of the building. Park and take the sidewalk.
In case of inclement weather, we will be meeting inside at the office of the Mindful Ecotherapy Center. To get to this office, drive to the back side of the building and park. Facing the back side of the building, go into the door on the right. The Mindful Ecotherapy Center is the first office on the right when you enter the building, suite 226.
Who should attend?
This training is for mental health professionals who want to expand their skill sets in mindfulness and ecotherapy. This course contains 35 hours of online education and 25 hours of live, face-to-face education for a total of 60 continuing education hours.
Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy consists of 12 skill sets. The Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy program is a 12-week program, with one session per week. At each session, one of the 12 skills of Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy is discussed and practiced. At this live training, we will be covering all 12 sessions of the program in a week-long intensive (see schedule below). In addition to this 25-hour live training, there are three online components to be completed prior to the retreat. These online components consist of an additional 35 hours of online training required to become a Certified Facilitator of Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy.
These online components are:
Mindfulness: An Introduction – 15 online and experiential hours
Ecotherapy: An Introduction – 10 online and experiential hours
Running a Successful Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Group – 10 online hours
If you plan to attend this live training in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, you will be sent links and instructions on how to complete the online components prior to attending the live, face-to-face retreat. The online components are self-paced, but must be completed prior to attending the retreat.
Price of this retreat does not
include accommodations. There are several hotels and campgrounds in the area.
Links to a few are provided below (list below does not imply endorsement of any
Schedule for the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) Training:
May 4, 2020 Morning Session
Session 1: Mindful Awareness Mindful Awareness is a way of tuning in to what is happening right now, at this moment. It is a shift from doing mode into being mode. Mindful Awareness involves the skills of Observing, Describing, Fully Participating, Being Non-Judgmental, Focusing on One Thing at a Time, and the Power of Intention. Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) teaches you these skills.
Session 2: Radical Acceptance Mindful Awareness teaches us the art of acceptance. Emotional reactions to our circumstances are natural, but that doesn’t mean that we have to respond to these emotions. The mindfulness skill of acceptance teaches us that we can experience these emotions without engaging in cycles of behavior that lead us to negative consequences. Acceptance teaches us that we are not our thoughts, and that we are not our emotions. At any time we can choose which thoughts and emotions we wish to respond to. If, at any time, we should engage in thoughts and behaviors that lead to negative consequences, this does not mean that we have become bad persons. This simply means that we are human beings, and as humans we are entitled to make mistakes. Each mistake is an opportunity for growth and learning. Forgiveness is a skill and an art. The place to start with learning the art of forgiveness is in learning first to forgive ourselves when we make mistakes. Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) teaches you the art of Radical Acceptance.
May 4, 2020 Afternoon Session
Session 3: Wise Mind and Wise Body When you are being logical, rational, and devoid of emotion, you are said to be in Rational Mind. When you are allowing your thoughts to be driven by your emotions, you are said to be in Emotional Mind. The idea of Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy is to achieve Wise Mind. The Mindfulness concept of Wise Mind is the joining of Rational Mind and Emotional Mind in perfect balance and harmony. It is a moving beyond opposites to a mindful state of acceptance. Likewise, when we come to realize that there is no line between mind and body, and that they are one and the same, we are able to move beyond the duality that implies that mind and body are separate entities. From there we see that the body can change the mind, and the mind can change the body. Wise Mind is the first step to living in True Self. Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) gives you some of the tools you will need to help you develop your own Wise Mind and your own Wise Body.
Session 4: Letting Go The art of Mindful Acceptance can best be described as the Art of Letting Go. Once you have done everything in your power to solve a problem, you have done all you can, so at that point worry and stress is counterproductive. Note that letting go of the stress and anxiety doesn’t necessarily mean letting go of the problem itself. For example, suppose you have a car payment coming up, and you don’t have the money to pay it. This would naturally cause you anxiety. If, after brainstorming for solutions, you find that you still don’t have the money to pay the car payment, then at that point you’ve done all you can do. So at that point, you let go of the anxiety associated with the problem. That doesn’t mean that you let go of car payments altogether. You’ll make the payment when you can. In this instance, “letting go” just means that you won’t worry about not being able to make the payment. The energy you might have used worrying about the situation could be put to better use in trying to come up with solutions. Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) teaches us how to let go through the power of radical acceptance.
May 5, 2020 Morning Session
Session 5: Living in the Now Living in the Now means leaving Doing Mode and entering Being Mode. In Being Mode we learn that there is no past, there is no future. There is only this present moment. Living in the Now means allowing yourself to be in this moment…here and now. Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) teaches you the skills of Living in the Now.
Session 6: Centering Centering yourself is allowing yourself to get in touch with and being open to your True Self. It is allowing yourself to realize that you are perfect just as you are, even with your imperfections, because those feelings and desires are also a part of who you really are. If you accept your imperfections and integrate them into your way of thinking and feeling about yourself, you will obtain peace of mind, and you will be centered. Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) teaches you how to Center.
May 5, 2020 Afternoon Session
Session 7: Connecting Suppose you could take all the spiritual paths practiced worldwide, put them into a cauldron, and boil them down to their essence. What would remain? I believe that the common thread to all spiritual practices is a feeling of connection. In this sense, spirituality means connection to others, or connection to the divine, or simply connection to nature and to ourselves. In short: spirituality is connectedness. If you think back on the spiritual experiences you’ve had in your lifetime, do recall feeling connected on some level? Many describe spiritual experiences as a sense of oneness. Oneness implies connection to something outside ourselves. In this sense, even an agnostic or an atheist could achieve spirituality through connection. Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) can be one of the paths you use to re-connect to spirit.
Session 8: Nature as Metaphor Each of us lives in our own personal fairy tale called “my life.” We all have good things that happen to us, and we all have bad things that happen to us. We create our own personal myths by choosing which things to focus on in our own lives. The good news about the myth of our lives is that we are the authors. So if we don’t like the way the story is going, we have the power to do a rewrite at any time. We can’t always choose the circumstances of our lives, but we can always choose the story we create about those circumstances. If you go out into the woods and start observing things, you will notice something begin to happen. You will begin to create stories about the events you observe there in the forest. These stories that spring to mind in the woods can tell you a great deal about what is going on in your own unconscious mind, if you know how to pay attention to them. Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) teaches you how to pay attention to those stories.
May 6, 2020 Morning Session
Session 9: Nature as Teacher Our ancestors knew hundreds of medicinal uses of local plants and herbs. They knew the seasons, when to plant, when to harvest, how to forecast the weather by the behavior of plants and animals, and a host of other things based on their observations of nature. The lessons our ancestors learned haven’t gone away. They’re still there, waiting in the forest like an open book. All we have to do is to learn how to read it. Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) teaches us the language of nature so that we may read its “book.”
Session 10: Nature as Nurture A large and growing body of research has demonstrated that nature has incredible healing and nurturing powers. People who go into the woods become calmer, more relaxed, less stressful, and healthier. Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) can be used to tap into the nurturing power of nature.
May 6, 2020 Afternoon Session
Session 11: Nature as Healer Research continues to demonstrate the healing power of nature. People in hospital rooms that have windows overlooking a garden recover faster than those who do not. People who swim with dolphins recover from depression more quickly than people who take antidepressants. Children with ADHD who play outdoors regularly display fewer symptoms than those who do not. These are just a few examples of the many beneficial effects of the healing power of nature. Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) helps you to connect to this healing power
Session 12: Living in True Self Do you remember a time when you knew exactly who you were, what you wanted to be, and where your life was going? When you do something that isn’t healthy for you, or make a mistake, which part of you is it that recognizes the mistake? What part of you is it that holds the highest dreams and aspirations for your life? Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) recognizes that part of you as your True Self. The ultimate goal of Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) is to realize your True Self, and to live in it. Doing so allows you the opportunity to re-connect in positive ways with nature, with others, and with yourself.
May 7, 2020 Morning Session
Reflections on the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Program At this morning session we will process any questions students may have about the program overall.
Marketing the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Program At this morning session we will discuss some special considerations about marketing a Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy program.
May 7, 2020 Afternoon Session
Running a Successful Group Part I At this afternoon session we will cover questions and answers about Part A of the online course: Running a Successful Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Group
Running a Successful Group Part II At this afternoon session we will cover questions and answers about Part B of the online course: Running a Successful Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Group
May 8, 2020 Morning Session
Intro to Mindfulness Part I At this morning session we will cover questions and answers about Part I of the online course: Mindfulness: An Introduction
Intro to Mindfulness Part II At this morning session we will cover questions and answers about Part II of the online course: Mindfulness: An Introduction
May 8, 2020 Afternoon Session
Intro to Ecotherapy At this afternoon session we will cover questions and answers about the online course: Ecotherapy: An Introduction
Final thoughts, Q & A At this final afternoon session we will answer any questions about the entire program. Certificates of Completion will be distributed at the end of this session.
There are three fellowships available for this retreat. Fellowships include full tuition for the retreat and the online components in exchange for assisting with the retreat. Assisting duties include set-up and tear-down for sessions, distributing materials, and help with cleaning or other light duties as assigned. Fellowships DO NOT include hotel accommodations, meals, or any other amenities.
NOTE: Prior to receiving your Certificate of Completion, you must have completed the online portions of the training. Completion of the online portions is subject to verification. If you have not completed the online portions, a Certificate of Completion cannot be issued until the online portion is completed.
The Mindful Ecotherapy Center is currently working towards status as an Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) with the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). As a part of this process, I’m offering a free course for mental health professionals.
Two free continuing education hours in Suicide Risk Assessment and Prevention are now available for mental health professionals! I created this course as part of the requirements for being an Approved Continuing Education Provider with the National Board of Certified Counselors.
To take this free course, you first have to register for an account. Go to the page linked below, enter a username, password, and email address, and create your account.
Once you’re registered, go to the link below and click the “Take this course” button to sign up for the course. After the course there’s a brief (five question) evaluation followed by a 20-question final exam. You’ll have 3 attempts to score 80% or higher on the final. Once you achieve 80% or higher, a certificate in pdf format will appear on the page under “PRINT YOUR CERTIFICATE.” This is proof of completion of the course for your continuing education requirements.
This course is for people who are not licensed mental health professionals but who are interested in exploring Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy skills. If there is no Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy group is available where you live, you may take this course to learn the skills. The course contains the complete text of the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Workbook and experiential exercises you may complete on your own.
Do you enjoy nature? Have you ever been camping, hiking or canoeing? Do you enjoy hunting and fishing? If so, you are probably already aware of nature’s power to relax and heal. A large and growing body of research demonstrates that nature is good for the mind as well as the body.
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the moment in which you find yourself by focusing on your immediate experience rather than on ruminations that may be producing stress depression, or anxiety. The benefits of mindfulness as a tool for stress reduction and self-improvement have been thoroughly researched.
Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) is a blending of Mindfulness and Ecopsychology. MBE uses nature to facilitate mindful awareness.
For those of you interested in learning more about mindfulness and ecopsychology, there is an extensive list of citations and references at the end of this book.
MBE is a framework for helping individuals and families to find deeper connections in their own lives, and to give more meaning and enjoyment to the activities of daily living. By re-integrating ourselves with nature, we are able to tap into nature’s healing power and to heal the earth as we heal ourselves.
Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy consists of 12 skill sets. The Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy program is a 12-week program, with one session per week. The skills of Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) include:
Session 1: Mindful Awareness
Session 2: Radical Acceptance
Session 3: Wise Mind and Wise Body
Session 4: Letting Go
Session 5: Living in the Now
Session 6: Centering
Session 7: Connecting
Session 8: Nature as Metaphor
Session 9: Nature as Teacher
Session 10: Nature as Nurture
Session 11: Nature as Healer
Session 12: Living in True Self
This course includes a pdf copy of the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Workbook, plus audio meditations that supplement the text, and dozens of experiential exercises to complete on your own in nature. It’s an introduction to Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy for those who may not have access to a program in their area.
This 3 (three) hour webinar course in Suicide Prevention sponsored by the Mindful Ecotherapy Center covers some common myths about suicide, suicide statistics, how to perform a basic suicide risk assessment, how to complete a suicide prevention action plan, and how to implement basic de-escalation strategies in a therapeutic crisis situation.
Identify and refute some common myths about suicide
Identify some of the early warning signs of a potential suicide attempt
Be able to discuss some current statistics regarding suicide
Be able to discuss some age group differences regarding suicide
Be able to conduct a basic suicide risk assessment
Be able to discuss the PPI method of suicide risk assessment
Be able to complete a Suicide Prevention Action Plan
Be able to complete a No-Harm Contract and Action Plan
Be able to use the Suicide-Homicide Ideation Decision Flowchart
Discuss the importance of de-escalation strategies in crisis prevention
Describe and be able to use the LEAP de-escalation model
Identify and use some common resources on suicide prevention
This course is a webinar. There is a 2-hour video for this course, followed by two 30-minute video discussions. You may watch the video at your convenience any time prior to the scheduled video conference portions of the webinar. After watching the video and participating in both webinar video conferences you will receive a link to a final exam for the course. Upon successful completion of the quiz with a score of 80% or higher, you will receive a Certificate of Completion for the course good for three interactive continuing education hours.
SUICIDE ASSESSMENT AND PREVENTION WEBINAR VIDEO CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
Webinar Video Conference 1 Friday, June 21, 2019 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Webinar Video Conference 2 Saturday, June 22, 2019 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Ecospirituality connects people to the healing power of nature using the Way of the Coyote. This 16-week journey towards ecospirituality uses the skills of Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy to teach students and practitioners how to live in True Self according to their own true nature.
Ecospirituality isn’t about a particular religious or spiritual path. The word “spirit” comes from the Latin “spiritus,” which simply means, “to breathe.” It’s where we get the word “inspiration.” Ecospirituality teaches us to seek those breathtaking moments of inspiration, using nature as our guide.
The Ecospirituality: The Way of the Coyote program is a coaching program for people who are not licensed mental health professionals, but who wish to be certified coaches in ecospirituality. You do not have to be a counselor or therapist to take this course, or to become a certified ecospirituality coach.
In January of this year we added a new Learning Management System in an effort to make access to our courses easier. Unfortunately, we chose LearnPress, a very buggy LMS with little or no support. As a result of this poor choice, many students were reporting having difficulty accessing course materials and/or getting certificates printed.
We have now updated to LearnDash, one of the top LMS products on the market today. As a result, course materials were temporarily taken offline. We are starting to add them as we update the system. The first update is to theMindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Facilitator Certification Course. If you had previously enrolled in this course, you should now have access to it without having to purchase it again. PLEASE DO NOT RE-PURCHASE THE COURSE IF FOR SOME REASON YOU DO NOT HAVE ACCESS!
If you were previously enrolled in the course and are having difficulty logging in, please click here to contact the Mindful Ecotherapy Center with your username and email address you used to register for the course and you will be added manually to the course’s enrollment.
If you were enrolled in another course, you should be automatically added to that course’s enrollment once we get all courses updated.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!
Thanks for your patience during the upgrade, and we apologize for any inconvenience. As always, if you have any tips or suggestions for how we may improve the site in the future, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Charlton Hall, MMFT, LMFT/S, RPT-S, CHt
In January of this year we added a new learning management system for our online courses in an effort to improve performance and make things easier for students of our online courses. Unfortunately, due to ongoing problems and a lack of support from LearnPress, we have decided to replace it with another, more reliable system with more technical support. We have been trying for the past five months to get LearnPress to support their product, to no avail. So in May and June of this year we will be switching to another, more reliable product.
During the interim you may experience some difficulties downloading materials and taking tests. In order to minimize difficulties, please follow the guidelines below:
Log on to any courses you may be taking, download and save all course materials
If you are ready to take a post-test, please do so as soon as possible
If you need to take a post-test before upgrades are completed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and a post-test will be emailed to you
If you did not get a certificate after completing a course, please email email@example.com and one will be emailed to you in pdf format
The upgrades won’t begin until Thursday, May 9, 2019, so you have until then to make the changes suggested above.
We apologize for any inconvenience, and your patience is appreciated as we strive to make our course materials better for everyone!
Charlton Hall, MMFT, LMFT/S, RPT-S, CHt
Mindful Ecotherapy Center
The Mindful Ecotherapy Center will be offering seminars on mindfulness in the workplace in the upcoming months. Starting in June of 2019 I will be offering a FREE two-hour seminar on dealing with difficult customers. This seminar is an introduction to mindful business communications and is sponsored free of charge by the Mindful Ecotherapy Center at www.mindfulecotherapy.org.
This seminar is free to businesses and other organizations in the Upstate South Carolina area (course materials provided for free) and will include:
Top Ten complaints customers have about customer service
Seven key strategies for dealing with difficult customers
Ten types of difficult customers and how to deal with them using a mindful, solution-focused approach
Three ways to deal with a problem
Mindfulness-based communication strategies
The two questions of an intentional approach: What are we trying to accomplish? Is what I’m doing accomplishing that goal?
This seminar is available free of charge to businesses and organizations within a fifty-mile radius of Greenville, South Carolina. To schedule a seminar at your place of business, please use the contact information below!
The word “spiritual” comes from the Latin spiritus, which means, “breath.” So originally, that which was spiritual was simply that which was breathtaking. From this perspective a spiritual experience is an awe-inspiring experience. People of all religions…or none…can experience such awe-inspiring events in nature. Ecospirituality can be spiritual without being religious. Those breathtaking moments for me most often occur when I have made some sort of connection to nature. Ecospirituality is the process of seeking wonder and awe in those moments in natural environments. The Ecospirituality Program is available for use at any organization that teaches principles of ecology and/or mental and spiritual health. If you are interested in presenting the program at your organization, training is available for facilitators at www.mindfulecotherapy.org.If your organization would like to implement the Ecospirituality Program, Charlton Hall, MMFT, LMFT/S, RPT-S, CHt also offers facilitated live instruction and consultation on the program, as well as volume discounts on copies of the Ecospirituality Workbook.Learn more at the Mindful Ecotherapy Center’s website at www.mindfulecotherapy.org.
Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Certification Package is now available! Click here for details!