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I received an email from a colleague linking me to her friend who was studying school counseling and creating to Nature Therapy Toolbox which led to being asked the question what do you put in such a toolbox. My first thoughts were: a list of real (vs. perceived) hazards, age/skill/regionally appropriate field guides that can get overused/muddy/wet, a Raccoon Circle or two (www.teamworkandteamplay.com/raccooncircles.html), and internally, childhood passion. What do you put in your Nature Therapy Toolbox?

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Todd, I would love to talk to the person who is studying school counseling and interested in nature therapy. I am in the same boat. If you could pass along my email address to him/her that would be wonderful! AWatts@nnu.edu ... thank you so much!

April - I just saw your note.  My friend, Leslie Martin, is the one who created the nature therapy tool kit.  I saw it when I was back in KY in October and it is amazing!  Her email is lkhenkel@yahoo.com 

I'm sure she would love to hear from you and what you are up to.  

Tiffany 
April Watts said:

Todd, I would love to talk to the person who is studying school counseling and interested in nature therapy. I am in the same boat. If you could pass along my email address to him/her that would be wonderful! AWatts@nnu.edu ... thank you so much!

I like the idea that you posed about actual competency (i.e., skills like risk management).  This is something that our organization believes in (www.soleexperiences.org) and is working with other professionals in the field of outdoor education and adventure therapy to address these integral components of effective programming.  When facilitating experiential education programming of any sort I believe it is imperative that you minimize the risk by acknowledging the risks which do exist and effectively mitigating such risk.  This process can be transferred to any other skill which needs to be demonstrated.  By being competent it greatly increases the productivity of the work being accomplished, which in this case would be of the therapeutic origin!  

Hi Todd and friends,

I am writing a paper for a graduate class about nature as a means for improving wellbeing and as a possible means for preventing/treating depression.  I've looked into some of the nature ideas I've seen in this thread, like the Raccoon Circles.  What other ideas have other people seen used that promote health in nature?

Thanks!

Jenny

Hi Jenny,

 

I would suggest visiting www.mind.org.uk and checking out either the Ecotherapy- The green agenda for mental health or the executive summary of it which presents benefits of certain simple outdoor nature connection activities that impacted peoples moods and 4 principles to try and explain why it works.

 

Todd

Wow, thanks so much Todd! This website looks great.  It seems like Australia (Healthy Parks, Healthy People initiative: 

http://www.hphpcentral.com/) and the UK have some programs headed in the right direction.  I'm reading up on the research the Mind website cites right now.  

-Jenny

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