Ecotherapy for Trauma

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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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