Running a Successful Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) Group

Running a Successful Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Group

Target Audience: Mental Health Professionals; Professional Counselors & Therapists

Online Continuing Education Hours: Five (5)

NBCC Approval: Yes

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Course Description

NOTE: THIS COURSE COVERS THE MATERIAL IN THE MINDFULNESS-BASED ECOTHERAPY FACILITATOR MANUAL. IT IS A GUIDED SEMINAR ON THE FACILITATOR MANUAL ITSELF. IF YOU HAVE ALREADY PURCHASED THE FACILITATOR MANUAL AND COMPLETED THE EXERCISES WITHIN IT, YOU MAY WISH TO CONSIDER OTHER COURSES, OR THE FACILITATOR CERTIFICATION PROGRAM.

Running a Successful Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Group is an online continuing education course in Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy. This course is part of the educational requirements to become a certified Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Group Facilitator. You may take this course individually, or as part of the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Facilitator Certification Package.

Most of the educational material in this course is reproduced in the Facilitator Manual for the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Program. The Facilitator Manual contains the complete text from the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Workbook, plus tips, suggestions and instructions for facilitating the 12-Week Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Program.  A pdf copy of the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Facilitator Manual is included in the course documents for this course in the Course Documents lesson.

The Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) program is a 12-week seminar designed to be held once per week . The Mindful Ecotherapy Center has been training therapists and counselors to facilitate this program since 2015. We maintain a directory of certified MBE facilitators who are graduates of the training and certification program. Professional counselors and therapists have found these skills to be a welcomed asset to their practices, and participants who have attended the program have reported increased self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-efficacy. Participants also report increased coping skills for depression, anxiety, and trauma.
If you are a mental health professional considering adding ecotherapy to your skill set, then the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Facilitator Certification might be of interest to you. Click here to learn more about the program, or complete the contact form at the bottom of this page.

Course Objectives

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  • Discuss and describe the Stages of Change of the Trans-theoretical Model (TTM)
  • Be able to apply the Stages of Change in a group setting
  • Discuss and describe Tuckman’s Stages of Group Formation
  • Be able to apply the Stages of Group Formation in a group setting
  • Be able to utilize the seven skills of a successful facilitator
  • Be able to correctly identify and implement the 12 skills of Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy
  • Be able to teach and facilitate a Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy group

Course Format

This is a self-directed online course in Running a Successful Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy group. While this course is a part of the requirements to become a certified Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Facilitator, it is also a stand-alone course that gives the student a good basic grounding in the principles and practices of group facilitation in Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy.

The course materials include a pdf copy of the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Facilitator Manual and several handouts. The handouts also include this list of course objectives and a list of references and citations.

Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy in Clinical Practice

Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy in Clinical Practice

This course contains nearly three hours of Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Meditations in video format!

NOTE: THIS COURSE COVERS THE MATERIAL IN THE MINDFULNESS-BASED ECOTHERAPY WORKBOOK. IT CONTAINS THREE HOURS OF MEDITATIONS NOT COVERED IN THE WORKBOOK, BUT OTHERWISE IT IS A GUIDED SEMINAR ON THE WORKBOOK ITSELF. IF YOU HAVE ALREADY PURCHASED THE WORKBOOK AND COMPLETED THE EXERCISES WITHIN IT, YOU MAY WISH TO CONSIDER OTHER COURSES, OR THE FACILITATOR CERTIFICATION PROGRAM.

Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy combines the skills of mindfulness with the healing power of nature.

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. 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.

The Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Workbook and the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Workshop series were developed by Charlton Hall as a 12-week program to help individuals re-connect with the healing power of nature. The series meets once per week for 90 minutes, usually in an outdoor setting. The first six sessions cover the skills of mindfulness, and the next six sessions cover integrating mindful skills into ecotherapy. The six mindful skills are about “what” to do, and the six ecotherapy skills are about “how” to do it.

Each of the twelve sessions covers a distinct skill that builds on previous skills, and provides activities and interventions that can be used in both group and individual therapy sessions.

ABOUT CERTIFICATION
This Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy in Clinical Practice course covers the basic skills you would need to be able to introduce the skills and techniques of Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) into your own clinical practice. It is an overview of the skills of the program for mental health professionals. If you are interested in learning how to implement your own Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy program, you may be interested in becoming a Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Certified Facilitator.
This introductory Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy in Clinical Practice course is one of the five courses required for certification as a Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Facilitator.

Click here to learn more about becoming a certified facilitator.


Outline/Overview of the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) Program

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. The skills of Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) include:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

Ecospirituality: The Way of the Coyote

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.

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.


Running a Successful Group

Running a Successful Group

This self-guided online course is a home study continuing education course and is a part of the course requirements for certification in Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy. It is also a stand-alone course for those interested in increasing their group facilitation skills.

In this online study course, we will look at some of the principles of running a successful group. We’ll also examine recent research in the field, including the Stages of Change and the five phases of group process.

In this online study course we will look at some of the principles of running a successful group. We’ll also examine recent research in the field, including the Stages of Change and the five phases of group process.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  • Discuss the Stages of Change of the Transtheoretical Model of Change
  • Describe the stages of group process
  • Name some skills a good group facilitator possesses
  • Define Group Work
  • List some types of groups
  • Discuss the planning process for groups
  • Define and discuss the process of Group Facilitation

COURSE FORMAT

This is a self-directed online introductory course in running a successful group. The course gives the student a good basic grounding in the principles and practices of group therapy and counseling.

The course materials include a five-hour video presentation and a course description including a list of course objectives and a list of references and citations.

Download the description for this course using the link provided below. You may wish to print it out prior to starting the course.

Running a Successful Group COURSE OBJECTIVES & REFERENCES


Ecoplay

Ecoplay Facilitator Training

Target audience: Mental health professionals, play therapists, parents

Online Continuing Education Hours: 13

NBCC Approval: Yes

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What is Ecoplay?

Ecoplay is an 8-week filial play program that trains parents to be ecoplay ‘therapists’ for their own children. It is also a theoretical framework and approach to therapy that allows children to express themselves in play, their natural language. Ecoplay allows this expressive play to happen in healthy natural environments.

Ecoplay is founded on four core principles: Mindfulness, ecotherapy, family resilience and play therapy.

This online course teaches mental health professionals to be facilitators of the Ecoplay program, teaching parents and clients how to use the eight-week program to re-connect their children to nature.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness, at its core, simply means paying attention to the present moment. Children live in the “now” of existence when at play. The tools and skills of mindfulness allow children to let go of the past and the future and to focus on their immediate experience.

Ecotherapy

Ecotherapy is simply therapy that takes place outdoors. Play in natural environments has been linked with a wide variety of positive outcomes, including better focus and concentration, a greater sense of self-efficacy and well-being, and enhanced learning and retention.

Family Resilience

All families go through crises from time to time. While a crisis can bring some families closer together, it can also tear some families apart. What makes the difference in those families that are able to weather a crisis are family resilience factors.

Multiple studies have identified these factors of family resilience. They have been condensed into the 7Cs of Ecoplay.  These seven family resilience factors in Ecoplay are: Compassion, communication, control, choices, consequences, consistency and confidence. Ecoplay covers what these factors mean to you and your family and how to implement them as strengths.

Play Therapy

Children, especially children under 12, lack the vocabulary to discuss complex emotional issues; but they are able to express their emotions during play. Play is a child’s natural emotional language, and play therapy allows children to express themselves in ways that make sense to them.

Ecoplay uses all of the approaches listed above to help your child to live a fuller, richer and more meaningful existence.

Overview of the Eight-Week Ecoplay Program

Session 1: Introduction to Ecoplay
Ecoplay is an evidence-based eight-session training program designed to give parents and their children the opportunity for experiential activities outdoors that combine mindfulness, ecopsychology and the skills of positive parenting. Ecoplay is an authoritative, rather than authoritarian, approach to discipline and parenting. It is a framework for guiding your child(ren) to reconnect to nature in healing ways. Ecoplay trains parents to be nature-based play therapy facilitators for their own children. It is also a theoretical framework and approach to parenting that allows children to express themselves in play, their natural language. Ecoplay allows this expressive play to happen in healthy natural outdoor environments.

Session 2: Compassion
We can talk about problems all day, but until we start talking about solutions, nothing gets solved. Ecoplay focuses on family strengths and connections. It is a solution-focused approach that looks more at what’s working than what’s not working. The Pygmalion Effect teaches us that people tend to become what you expect them to become. If you expect good things from your children, you generally get good things from them. However, if you expect “bad” things from your children by focusing on problems rather than on solutions, your children tend to engage in the behaviors you expect. Ecoplay’s compassionate approach is a positive parenting model designed to catch your children being good by focusing on solutions.

Session 3: Communication
Ecoplay is based on mindful communication strategies. What we say is not always what our children hear. Many of the difficulties in parenting occur due to miscommunications. These communication errors usually occur when our children assume that we meant something different than what we actually said, or when we assume that our children mean something different than what they actually said. By learning proactive, mindful communication strategies we can learn to communicate our intentions in ways that lead to the results we want. In mindful communication we learn to be in the moment with each other, without concerns about the past or the future. In the moment we are able to truly hear and validate each other. From here healing can happen.

Session 4: Control
Ecoplay takes the stance that there is no such thing as a “wrong” feeling. What may be “wrong,” or unproductive, is the way we choose to respond to our feelings. With Ecoplay we learn to respond in positive ways to feelings so that our interactions do not become problematic. We all like to feel that we have some measure of control over our lives. Children are no exception to this rule. Parenting difficulties sometimes come when get caught up in power struggles over control issues with our children.

Session 5: Choices
Ultimately, maturing into adulthood means learning to make good choices. The only way to learn to make good choices is to have the opportunity to make not-so-good choices. Ecoplay uses the power of choice-giving and choice-making to allow your children to gain confidence on their journey to adulthood.
If we can change our thoughts and feelings, we can change our worlds. Our choices are the result of our beliefs. Our beliefs are a result of our thoughts and assumptions about the world and about our children. If our choices are leading to consequences we don’t want, we can consciously change our choices by challenging the thoughts and beliefs that led to them. By changing our choices, we learn to create consequences that we do want for ourselves and for our children.

Session 6: Consequences
Every choice has a consequence. By skillful used of consequences we teach our children self-control and personal responsibility. By linking consequences to choices we teach our children to think for themselves and to take responsibility for their own actions. Every choice is the result of a belief. Each behavioral choice leads to consequences. By examining the consequences of our choices through examining the thoughts, feelings and beliefs that led to those choices, we learn to create different consequences.

Session 7: Consistency
Consistent consequences for consistent choices helps your child to learn self-confidence in a safe, predictable environment. While maintaining consistency can be hard, parents who are able to achieve a level of consistency with their children will reap the rewards. The key to developing consistency is to change the way your family thinks about things. Such a paradigm shift becomes possible by living in the moment. By shifting the focus to the present, we help our children to regain control of their behaviors in the present so that they can choose a different future.

Session 8: Confidence
Everyone has two images of self: The person they see themselves as and the person they’d like to be. Your children are no different. They are in the process of discovering who they are. With your guidance, they can gain the confidence to explore their futures. Ecoplay at its core is concerned with helping children and family members express the persons they were born to be. Doing so allows your child to live a life of confidence.

Ecotherapy for Trauma

Ecotherapy for Trauma

Target Audience: Mental Health Professionals

Online continuing education hours: Three (3)

According to Pretty et al. (2007), Participants in an ecotherapy study reported an improvement in mood merely following a green outdoor walk. Adams (2005) described a “vicious cycle” of trauma and lack of nature that is a negative feedback loop. He discovered that the less exposure to nature one has, the more susceptible to trauma one becomes. Lefkowitz et al. (2005) proposed an animal-assisted-therapy (AAT) model for survivors of sexual abuse suffering from post-traumatic stress, anticipating decreased number of therapy sessions after participating in the program.
These are just a few examples of how the healing power of nature experienced through ecotherapy can help heal trauma.
This course reviews some of the literature on ecotherapy for the treatment of trauma, gives an ecopsychological perspective on trauma, examines some of the therapeutic implications of ecotherapy, and finally proposes a suggested ecotherapy treatment model for trauma.

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Coaching vs. Counseling/Therapy

Target audience: The general public, life coaches

Online continuing education hours: 2

NOTE: This course is for life coaches and the general public, and does not meet the educational requirements for mental health professionals. NBCC credit for continuing education is not available for this course.

While therapy and counseling require years of study and practice prior to obtaining a license, coaching is widely unregulated and requires little or no training. While most of the programs created by the Mindful Ecotherapy Center are designed for mental health professionals, some are designed as coaching programs. This two-hour course helps to explain the difference between coaching and therapy. This course can help you to avoid liability if you are not a licensed mental health professional by helping you to understand where the line is between coaching and therapy.

NOTE
If you have enrolled in the Ecospirituality: The Way of the Coyote course, this Coaching vs. Therapy course is included in the package, so there is no need to register for is separately. For all others, this course helps you to understand the difference between coaching and therapy based on evidence-based citations.

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DISCLAIMER
This course was developed by Charlton Hall, MMFT, LMFT/S, RPT-S, CHt. for life coaches and the general public. Course content is not applicable for mental health professionals, and continuing education credit for mental health professionals is therefore not available for this course.
No warranty is expressed or implied as to suitability for continuing education credit for other professions, organizations or credentials.

Suicide Risk Assessment and Prevention FREE COURSE

Suicide risk assessment and prevention

TARGET AUDIENCE: Licensed Mental Health Professionals

Online continuing education hours: 1.75

Course Description
This online continuing education course in Suicide Risk Assessment and Prevention is FREE for mental health professionals. It 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.

Suicide Risk Assessment and Prevention Course Objectives

  • 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 and refute some common myths about suicide
  • 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
  • Define “de-escalation”
  • 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

Course Format
There is a video for this course, including several handouts and worksheets used in suicide risk assessment and suicide prevention. After watching the video and reviewing the worksheets you may take the 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.

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DISCLAIMER

This course is approved for NBCC credit for online continuing education.
The Mindful Ecotherapy Center has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7022. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Mindful Ecotherapy Center is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
All course materials are evidence-based, with clearly defined learning objectives, references and citations, and post-course evaluations. Upon request a copy of this information and a course description containing objectives, course description, references and citations will be given to you for your local licensing board. All online courses and webinars contain course objectives, references and citations as a part of the course materials; however, it is your responsibility to check with your local licensing board for suitability for continuing education credit if your licensing board does not recognize National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) approval. No warranty is expressed or implied as to approval regarding jurisdictions outside of the United States or its territories or for organizations that do not accept NBCC approval for continuing education courses.

NBCC ACEP # 7022

Ecospirituality: The Way of the Coyote

Ecospirituality

The Ecospirituality program connects people to the healing power of nature using the Way of the Coyote. The 16-week journey towards ecospirituality uses the skills of mindful ecotherapy to teach students and practitioners how to live in True Self according to their own true nature.

In this Ecospirituality Coach Certification course, you will learn how to implement the Ecospirituality program so that you may run your own groups.

TARGET AUDIENCE: General Public (Coaching Course)

Total Online Continuing Education Hours: 40

NBCC Approval: No

Course Description

In this Ecospirituality coaching certification course, you will complete the journey while learning all the skills you would need to facilitate an ecospirituality group of your own. This coaching course is designed for people who are not mental health professionals. Completing the certification qualifies you to lead a coaching program in Ecospirituality: The Way of the Coyote.

Ecospirituality: The Way of the Coyote  Workbook

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 program is based on the workbook, Ecospirituality: The Way of the Coyote. The complete text of this workbook is included in the course.

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 an ecospirituality coach.

If you are a licensed mental health professional you may wish to consider the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy courses instead.

Included in this course:

  • Ecospirituality: The Way of the Coyote – 33 online and experiential continuing education hours
  • Running a Successful Group – 5 online continuing education hours
  • Coaching vs. Counseling: Avoiding Liability – 2 online continuing education hours

Click here to read our Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions, and Program Policies

Courses are best viewed using Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Internet Explorer. Other browsers may create login issues. If you are having difficulty logging in, please switch to one of these browsers or empty your browser’s cache.

DISCLAIMER
This course was developed by Charlton Hall, MMFT, LMFT/S, RPT-S, CHt. All course materials are evidence-based, with clearly defined learning objectives, references and citations, and post-course evaluations. This course is for life coaches, and not for mental health professionals, professional counselors, or therapists. Because of this, course work is not approved for credit by the National Board for Certified Counselors, and there is no NBCC credit for this course.

Course Overview

Joseph Campbell was an American mythologist best known for his works and lectures in comparative mythology and comparative religion. One of Campbell’s areas of study was the archetypal nature of world mythologies. He noted that myths from around the world followed a pattern. Campbell conceptualized this pattern into a framework or a template for the seeker’s journey, calling it the monomyth. The monomyth is the archetypal mythological journey of discovery. Campbell’s monomyth is often referred to as the Hero’s Journey.
The path of ecospirituality also follows the monomyth. The template for the monomyth, along with an explanation of the phases, is outlined below. There are three major phases, with steps for each phase. The three major phases are: Departure, Initiation, and Return. This course and the ecospirituality program are divided into three sections labeled after these phases:

Phase One: Departure

In the Departure phase, the hero leaves the familiar on a journey of self-awareness that will ultimately make or break him. The Departure phase is about a way of doing things differently than they have been done in the past. It is an awakening to the world of wider possibilities. It has been said that, “Insanity is doing the same thing in the same ways and expecting things to turn out differently.” In the Departure phase, we prepare for the journey by coming to the realization that if what we have been doing hasn’t been working, then doing more of it isn’t likely to work either. For a spiritual seeker, this means challenging your own accepted notions of what spirituality means. It means going against the dogma you were raised with and finding your own individual path. It means trusting yourself and your own supernatural aid enough to take that step.

Session 1: The Call to Adventure

The Call to Adventure is the catalyst that sets the Hero’s Journey in motion. It could be an inner need to change one’s circumstances, or it could be an external event that triggers the journey. For Buddha, it was the inner desire to seek enlightenment. For Luke Skywalker, the Empire forced his hand. In either case, the hero recognizes that something fundamental has changed, and he/she can never go back to the way things were.

Session 2: Refusal of the Call

Change is scary. The comforting thing about the familiar is its familiarity; we know what to expect. This can even be true if the familiar situation is grim. Such a sentiment is often expressed in the phrase, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.”

The familiar, however uncomfortable it may be, is at least familiar. When faced with change, there is an element of the unknown that must be reckoned with. Few things are as frightening as a trip into the unknown. No matter how bad things are, the thought that they could potentially get worse always hovers in the back of our minds. By making a change, chance has entered the equation. What may you expect to happen when walking into uncharted territory? Things might get better, but they might get worse as well. Because of this doubt and uncertainty about where the path may lead, many people refuse the call to adventure.

Session 3: Supernatural Aid

Sometimes when we get stuck in our refusal of the call, we need a little push to get going again. When this happens, the stars tend to align in such a way that we have to act. If we choose not to walk through the open door out of fear or uncertainty, the universe begins to close all other doors one by one until we have no choice but to walk through the one that is open before us.

This supernatural aid doesn’t have to come from some deity. Sometimes it is just as simple as a moment of inspiration or a flash of insight. Sometimes it may just be learning to see things in a new way. Sometimes it’s just the knowledge that we can’t live the rest of our lives this way. Whatever the ultimate form our supernatural aid takes, it sets our feet on the path in spite of our reluctance to embrace the journey.

Session 4: The Crossing of the First Threshold

 “It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step into the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

–Bilbo Baggins

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This means that for every journey there is a first step. The Crossing of the First Threshold is that first step. The significance of that first step is that it indicates a commitment to the journey. The reluctance and refusal are over, and the intention has been set. Once your intention has been determined, and you announce your intention to the Universe, there is no going back to the way things have been in the past.

Session 5: Belly of the Whale

In order to learn new ways of being, we must first cast off our old assumptions about the way things work. Our assumptions create our perceptions, and our perceptions create our reality. If we’re journeying to new realities, our old perceptions and assumptions have to be discarded. This can be an especially difficult task, since many of our assumptions and perceptions are involved in our own sense of identity. If we cast them off, we lose who we are. But in order to become someone new, we must lose who we were. Percival had to cast off his armor before he could receive the Holy Grail. Since he was a knight, this meant casting off all outward appearances of his former identity in order to discover something new.

Jonah spent three days in the Belly of the Whale after his Refusal of the Call. This was Jonah’s casting off of his former identity so that he could step into his new role as a spiritual leader. This time in the whale’s belly is a time of reflection and of challenging preconceived notions before initiation into a wider world. It is a preparation for the death of the old self so that the new self may be born.

Phase Two: Initiation

In the Initiation phase, the hero must “die to herself.” Many religious and shamanic rituals involve a symbolic death and rebirth to a new way of being. Initiation is an emptying of your cup so that it may be refilled with new knowledge. For a spiritual seeker, Initiation means being open to new experiences and being willing to experiment with new ways of being.

Session 6: The Road of Trials

“The word ‘ashes’ contains in it a dark feeling for death; ashes when put on the face whiten it as death does…some men around thirty-five or forty will begin to experience ashes privately, without ritual, even without old men. They begin to notice how many of their dreams have turned to ashes.”

–Robert Bly, Iron John: A Book about Men

The Road of Trials begins with what Robert Bly calls “Time in the Ashes,” or “Ashes Time.” Sometimes things get worse before they get better. The Greek katabasis literally means “to go down” or “to descend.” Katabasis is the idea that it is always darkest before the dawn. As the spiritual seeker’s old identity is stripped away in the Belly of the Whale, there is nothing yet with which to replace it. To a spiritual seeker, this katabasis may feel like the end of the world. Sometimes it manifests as a sense that one’s entire life has been meaningless up until this point. Author Richard Bach, in his bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, describes this feeling best: “I gave my life to become the person I am right now. Was it worth it?”

Session 7: The Meeting with the Goddess/God

“For she is the incarnation of the promise of perfection, the soul’s assurance that, at the conclusion of the exile in a world of organized inadequacies, the bliss that once was known will be known again…” – Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Journey

The Goddess (or God) here isn’t necessarily an actual divine entity, although she can be. Since the heroes in most of the myths Campbell studied were heterosexual males, the Meeting with the Goddess represents the ideal partner. Since we’re talking about a spiritual and metaphorical level here, the Meeting with the Goddess symbolizes the idea of completeness and perfection. After having our former identities stripped away in the Belly of the Whale, and after our Initiation in the Road of Trials, the Goddess appears to us in ideal form with the promise of what could be, if we persevere. The Goddess represents perfect love. It is a love that is truly unconditional; a love that applies not only to others, bur to self as well.

Session 8: The Temptress/Tempter

The original monomyth referred to “Woman as Temptress.” The gender bias of referring to the Temptress/Tempter as a woman is a by-product of centuries of male heroes in mythology. The Temptress can just as easily be a Tempter, as when Lucifer tempted Jesus with all the wealth of the world if he would give up his seeker’s journey.

Whichever gender you choose to picture the Tempter/Temptress, its purpose is to entice you with the easy way out. The Temptress manifests in shortcuts, laziness, and leaving things half-done. It is the counterpoint to the Meeting with the Goddess. The lesson of the Tempter is that if we cheat by taking shortcuts on the road to enlightenment, we are only cheating ourselves.

The Temptress will test your integrity and character, but there is a purpose in this trial. By testing you, the Tempter gives you an opportunity to display your honor. True honor is how we act when nobody else is watching, and the Temptress gives us the opportunity to practice that honor. She will attempt to sway us from the path and try to prevent us from owning the darker parts of ourselves. If this happens, we will fail to achieve Atonement with the Father.

Session 9: Atonement with the Father

The poet Robert Bly, in Iron John, talks about the son receiving an injury from the father. Whether the father intentionally or unintentionally gives the son this injury, often it is this catalyst that sets the son off on a journey of self-discovery in the first place. In primal cultures this injury is sometimes ritualized and done deliberately. In some African cultures, the father knocks out one of the son’s teeth in a rite of passage ritual. In some Native American cultures, the son receives some other form of injury, as in the ritual tearing of the pectoral muscles practiced during the Sun Dance of the Lakotas. This dark aspect of fatherhood is reflected in the idea of the Shadow from Jungian psychology (more on this later). The psychoanalyst Carl Jung believed that all human beings have the potential for all behaviors. The most moral among us have the potential to become serial killers, and the most immoral among us have the potential to redeem themselves and become saints. Since, according to Jung, all humans have the potential for all behaviors, the behaviors we choose not to express are suppressed in the unconscious. The part of the psyche in which these behaviors are repressed is what Jung called the Shadow. The behaviors we choose to express, the mask we wear in our daily lives, are what Jung called the Persona.

The Atonement with the Father is the integration of the Shadow with the Persona. Although the Shadow is where our dark, evil impulses lie, it is also where our creativity lies. Without it, we can have no imagination. So Atonement is literally “at-ONE-ment,” meaning that the Shadow and the Persona become one. This does not mean that we consciously choose to act on those evil impulses. It means that by acknowledging their existence in the first place, we can move towards mastering them. When they are mastered, we can achieve apotheosis.

Session 10: Apotheosis

This word, Greek in origin, means, “To deify,” or to “become godlike.” According to Joseph Campbell, apotheosis is, “The pattern of the divine state to which the human hero attains who has gone beyond the last terrors of ignorance.”

Apotheosis is the ability to rise above the chess board and recognize that one has been a pawn in the game. By seeing the whole board, we gain a new perspective. It is a shift in perspective; the solving of the puzzle of existence. Once the hero has achieved apotheosis, he can never go back to the way things were before. Apotheosis is the gaining of a godlike wisdom. Adam has eaten the apple, and gained the godlike knowledge of good and evil.

Session 11: The Ultimate Boon

The Ultimate Boon is the treasure at the end of the journey. It is the Holy Grail; the elixir of life; the reason for the journey in the first place. For a spiritual seeker, the Ultimate Boon may be the gifts of wisdom and enlightenment. In ecospirituality, the Ultimate Boon is the ability to live according to one’s own true nature.

Phase Three: Return

In the Return Phase, the hero has gained wisdom about the nature of reality and consciousness, and is now faced with the challenge of returning to the world to teach those who are willing to listen. It is the process of coming home with the Holy Grail. It is the act of bringing the Ten Commandments down off the mountaintop. It is the skill of helping others to achieve what the hero has achieved, while avoiding the temptation to turn them into carbon copies of himself. For a spiritual seeker, this means applying lessons learned in the spiritual realm to daily life. It means learning to see the bigger picture and to trust the vision.

Session 12: Refusal of the Return

When you have tasted the milk and honey of Paradise, why would you want to leave? When you’ve experienced perfection, it can be difficult to summon the energy to return to an imperfect world. There is also the consideration of trying to communicate your experience to others who have not had the same experience. You will lack a common frame of reference. Once your perceptions have been transformed and you learn to see things in a new way and speak a new language, it can feel like it’s impossible to communicate with those who haven’t learned the same language.

In Plato’s Cave Allegory, the Seeker learns to see beyond the illusion and into the real nature of things. In Plato’s Cave, these illusions take the form of shadows projected on a wall. The shadows are of people. The shadows are not the people; they are merely an illusion and a projection of the real people behind the shadows. In Plato’s Cave, the Seeker sees the real people behind the shadows for the first time. But when he tries to explain the concept of real people to the others in the cave, they cannot understand what he means, because they lack a common frame of reference.

A return to the “real” world of shadows after living for a time in the world of true substance can be a frustrating experience if you hope to share your newfound wisdom with others. Because of this, it is easy to refuse the return, especially if you have attained paradise along your journey.

Session 13: The Magic Flight

“If the hero in his triumph wins the blessing of the goddess or the god and is then explicitly commissioned to return to the world with some elixir for the restoration of society, the final stage of his adventure is supported by all the powers of his supernatural patron. On the other hand, if the trophy has been attained against the opposition of its guardian, or if the hero’s wish to return to the world has been resented by the gods or demons, then the last stage of the mythological round becomes a lively, often comical, pursuit. This flight may be complicated by marvels of magical obstruction and evasion.”

–Joseph Campbell

Sometimes the hero can escape with the Ultimate Boon. But sometimes forces conspire to prevent the hero from returning. Even paradise can be a prison if you can’t leave when you wish to leave. For the spiritual seeker, the Magic Flight may consist of letting go of forms of spirituality that are no longer meaningful. Spirituality is only good when it isn’t taken too seriously. This is the ultimate lesson of Coyote magic. If you find yourself in a space where the tools and the dogma have become more important than the message, then you may be in need of a Magic Flight.

Session 14: Rescue from Without

As the end of the path draws nigh, the hero may be exhausted and spent from the journey. If you have cast off the weary world, you are probably in no hurry to return to it. If this is the case, then the world may have to come and get you. For a spiritual seeker, this rescue from without may come from a friend or a family member who needs the wisdom you have gained from your journey, or it may come from the knowledge that we are all connected, and what helps one must ultimately help all.

Session 15: The Crossing of the Return Threshold

The Return Threshold is the doorway that lies between the spiritual world and the “real” world. In order to cross the return threshold, the spiritual seeker must complete three tasks. First, she must retain all the wisdom she gained on the quest so that she may share it with others. Next, she must find a way to integrate that wisdom into a human life without pain or regret. Finally, she must find a way to share that wisdom with the rest of the world in such a way that they receive it with welcome. This last task is especially important, as we humans tend to make martyrs out of messiahs. This is another powerful way that Coyote magic may be used. Sometimes people have to be “tricked” into enlightenment in order to bypass their preconceived notions of what is and what should be. In any case, these three tasks must be accomplished in order to cross the return threshold.

Session 16: Master of Two Worlds

Once your basic needs of food, clothing, shelter and love have been satisfied, how much do you truly need? We often confuse our wants with our needs. The Master of Two Worlds has learned to reconcile these dualities. Such a Master has found a balance between the spiritual world and the material world. This seeker has also found a balance between his Shadow and his Persona; his light half and his dark half. Such a person has moved beyond seeing the world in black-and-white terms, and can see the gray areas, where most of life happens.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s famous philosophical device, commonly known as the Hegelian Dialectic, is a triad consisting of thesisantithesis, and synthesis, where the thesis is an idea, the antithesis is the idea’s opposite, and the synthesis is the blending of the two. If the material world is the thesis, and the spiritual world is the antithesis, then a synthesis of the two would be finding a way to live spiritually in the material world. The Master of Two Worlds has achieved this synthesis.

Session 16: Freedom to Live

Once you’ve conquered your fear of death, what else can stand in your way? If the soul is the only thing in the Universe that is truly indestructible, then death is just another way of being. Even if you are atheist or agnostic, and have no belief in an afterlife, this is still true from the point of view of your own consciousness. If this life is all you will ever know, and there is no afterlife, then it is impossible to ever be conscious of your own death; therefore there is no way you could ever know that you have died. How can you be conscious of your own death, if death is the end to consciousness? So from the perspective of your own consciousness, you are immortal for all practical purposes. When you die, your Universe ceases to exist, and you are no longer the Center. With this knowledge of death comes the Freedom to Live. Soul musician Ray Charles said, “Live every day like it’s going to be your last, because one of these days you’ll be right.”

Freedom to Live means that you have mastered death…and life.

A spiritual seeker can use this monomyth template as a road map for following the Way of the Coyote, or any other spiritual path. As you look over the phases and steps above, you can probably readily identify where you are on the journey. You can also identify what lies ahead, and get some idea of what skills and tools you will need to meet those upcoming challenges. 

Mindfulness: An Introduction

Mindfulness an Introduction

TARGET AUDIENCE: Licensed Mental Health Professionals

Online continuing education hours: 6

DESCRIPTION

Mindfulness: An Introduction is an online and experiential continuing education course for mental health professionals. Mindfulness: An Introduction offers an introduction to some of the skills of mindfulness, discusses how these skills may be used in a therapeutic setting, and discusses some forms of therapy that integrate mindfulness with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The course also includes some experiential exercises so the student may try the skills.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

  • Discuss and describe the concept of Mindfulness
  • Differentiate between Doing Mode and Being Mode
  • Discuss Differentiation and how it relates to Mindfulness
  • Discuss Individuation and how it relates to Mindfulness
  • Discuss emotional regulation and how it relates to Mindfulness
  • Discuss and describe Emotional Mind, Rational Mind, and Wise Mind
  • Discuss the process of Externalization and how it relates to Mindfulness
  • Discuss and describe Positive and Negative Thought Streams
  • Describe and discuss the Mindful Skill of Observing
  • Describe and discuss the Mindful Skill of Describing
  • Describe and discuss the Mindful Skill of Fully Participating
  • Describe and discuss the Mindful Skill of Being Non-Judgmental
  • Describe and discuss the Mindful Skill of Focusing on One Thing at a Time
  • Describe and discuss the Mindful Skill of Being Effective
  • Describe and discuss the Mindful Skill of the Power of Intention
  • Describe and discuss the dialectic of Acceptance vs. Change
  • Describe and discuss Mindful Acceptance
  • Describe and discuss Letting Go
  • Be able to conduct a basic Mindful Meditation
  • Discuss how Mindfulness may be used with CBT
  • Discuss several Mindfulness-Based forms of therapy

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Courses are best viewed using Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Internet Explorer. Other browsers may create login issues. If you are having difficulty logging in, please switch to one of these browsers or empty your browser’s cache.

DISCLAIMER

This course is approved for NBCC credit for online continuing education.
The Mindful Ecotherapy Center has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7022. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Mindful Ecotherapy Center is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
All course materials are evidence-based, with clearly defined learning objectives, references and citations, and post-course evaluations. Upon request a copy of this information and a course description containing objectives, course description, references and citations will be given to you for your local licensure board. All online courses and webinars contain course objectives, references and citations as a part of the course materials; however, it is your responsibility to check with your local licensure board for suitability for continuing education credit if your licensing board does not recognize National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) approval. No warranty is expressed or implied as to approval regarding jurisdictions outside of the United States or its territories or for organizations that do not accept NBCC approval for continuing education courses.

NBCC ACEP # 7022

Ecotherapy: An Introduction

Ecotherapy an Introduction

TARGET AUDIENCE: Licensed Mental Health Professionals

Online continuing education hours: 10

Ecotherapy Course Description

Ecopsychology is the study of how the natural world impacts our mental well-being. Ecotherapy is the therapeutic application of this knowledge. This online and experiential course will introduce you to some of the basic skills, techniques and research in the field.


COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  • Discuss and describe the concept of Ecopsychology
  • Discuss and describe the concept of Ecotherapy
  • Discuss some of the characteristics of the Green Care model
  • Describe a rationale for the use of ecotherapy in therapeutic settings
  • Discuss the roots of ecotherapy in indigenous shamanism
  • Discuss Nature Deficit Disorder as proposed in the book, Last Child in the Woods by Louv
  • Describe some of the research into Nature as Nurture
  • Discuss some research in Nature and Child Development
  • Discuss the Eco-Educative Model proposed by Pedretti-Burls (2007)
  • Discuss how ecotherapy facilitates mindful states
  • Discuss ecotherapy for treating addiction
  • Discuss ecotherapy for treating trauma
  • Describe and discuss some ethical issues of ecotherapy
  • Name some colleges that offer ecotherapy programs
  • Discuss some future directions for ecotherapy

Click here to read our Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions, and Program Policies

Courses are best viewed using Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Internet Explorer. Other browsers may create login issues. If you are having difficulty logging in, please switch to one of these browsers or empty your browser’s cache.

DISCLAIMER

This course is approved for NBCC credit for online continuing education.
The Mindful Ecotherapy Center has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7022. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Mindful Ecotherapy Center is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
All course materials are evidence-based, with clearly defined learning objectives, references and citations, and post-course evaluations. Upon request a copy of this information and a course description containing objectives, course description, references and citations will be given to you for your local licensure board. All online courses and webinars contain course objectives, references and citations as a part of the course materials; however, it is your responsibility to check with your local licensure board for suitability for continuing education credit if your licensing board does not recognize National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) approval. No warranty is expressed or implied as to approval regarding jurisdictions outside of the United States or its territories or for organizations that do not accept NBCC approval for continuing education courses.

NBCC ACEP # 7022

Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Facilitator Certification Course

Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Facilitator Certification Course

THIS VERSION OF THE CERTIFICATION PROGRAM IS CLOSED TO NEW STUDENTS AS OF JUNE 1, 2020. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN TAKING THESE COURSES UNDER THE NEW GUIDELINES, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

TARGET AUDIENCE: Licensed Mental Health Professionals

Total Online & Experiential Continuing Education Hours: 60

Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy blends the skills of mindfulness with the healing power of 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. Ecopsychology is the study of nature’s ability to heal. Ecotherapy is the application of ecopsychology in a therapeutic setting. Time in nature fosters contemplative practices like mindful meditation. Taken together, the skills of mindfulness and ecotherapy yield increased self-confidence and self-esteem, allowing you to live more fully as the person you were meant to be.

Courses are best viewed using Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Internet Explorer. Other browsers may create login issues. If you are having difficulty logging in, please switch to one of these browsers or empty your browser’s cache.

DISCLAIMER
This course is NOT currently approved by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). We are updating the course materials to be in compliance with NBCC standards and requirements. If you are currently enrolled in the course, NBCC credit is not offered for the certification course.

There are four modules/courses in the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy certification package. In the near future we will be offering these courses individually. Each individual course will be updated to offer NBCC credit. When all four courses have been completed, you will qualify for Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Certified Facilitator status. NBCC does not approve certification programs, but the individual course work earned towards certification will qualify for NBCC approval after the updates.
All course materials in this program are evidence-based, with clearly defined learning objectives, references and citations, and post-course evaluations. Upon request a copy of the course descriptions will be given to you for your local licensing board. All online courses and webinars created by the Mindful Ecotherapy Center contain course objectives, references and citations as a part of the course materials; however, it is your responsibility to check with your local licensing board for suitability for continuing education credit. No warranty is expressed or implied as to approval regarding jurisdictions outside of the United States or its territories, or as to the suitability of course materials for agencies and organizations that do not recognize certification status.

Click here to read our Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions, and Program Policies

MINDFULNESS-BASED ECOTHERAPY COURSE DESCRIPTION

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 works so well in this capacity that it has been referred to as the “penicillin of mental health.”

Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy is a result of combining the skills of mindfulness with the healing power of nature.

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. 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.

The Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Workbook and the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Workshop series were developed by Charlton Hall, MMFT, LMFT/S, RPT-S, CHt as a 12-week program to help individuals re-connect with the healing power of nature. The series meets once per week for 90 minutes, usually in an outdoor setting.

This Facilitator Certification Course qualifies you to be a Certified Instructor of Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy. The certification includes continuing education in the following:

  • Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy in Clinical Practice – 25 hours
  • Mindfulness: An Introduction – 15 hours
  • Ecotherapy: An Introduction – 10 hours
  • Running a Successful Group – 5 hours
  • Running a Successful Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Group – 5 hours

This Certified Facilitator Training Package contains all four courses/modules required to complete the training and become a Certified Facilitator of Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy.

Upon successful completion of all required courses of the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Certification Program, you will be issued a Certificate of Completion indicating that you are a Certified Facilitator of Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy, and you will be eligible to receive a free listing on our Certified Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy Facilitators Directory page.

Outline/Overview of the Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) Program

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. The skills of Mindfulness-Based Ecotherapy (MBE) include:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

Ecospirituality: The Way of the Coyote

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.

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.